Friday, 13 November 2009 00:00
There is an old saying that goes something like this – one should never live in the past, but it is nice to reflect on it once in a while. As I was thinking about my next column, a series of events came to my mind.
For over 22 years, I have written a column every week. Today, I am going to highlight a few of those columns as I reflect on the past.
One of the events in my life which could never be erased was coming face to face with Marilyn Monroe while in Korea. My Company sprayed the roads with water to keep the dust off Marilyn as she arrived in February of 1954 at Camp Casey to entertain the troops. As she left the helicopter, all of us got a friendly wave and a big smile. Later, the sparkling purple dress, which we helped to keep the dust off, would be sold for $112.
Another reflection from the past was a meeting with former President Dwight D. Eisenhower while on Richard Nixon’s staff. In November of 1964, after Goldwater had lost the presidential election to Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Eisenhower, and Goldwater met at the Waldorf Towers to review the future of the Republican Party. I was privileged to sit in at that meeting. After Goldwater left, Eisenhower asked me to go down to the lobby and listen to Goldwater’s remarks to the press. He wanted to be sure that Barry Goldwater was “on message.” Reporting back to Eisenhower and Nixon, after the press conference, was a moment in my life which can never be forgotten.
One of the most interesting reflections, as a lawyer, started with a phone call from the then-supervisor of the Town of East Hampton, Tony Bullock. He told me that Billy Joel and Bay Men from the East End had been served with tickets for haul seining for striped bass. Haul seining had been outlawed, even thought its origins on Long Island dated back to the 1600s. Billy Joel was trying to help the Bay Men survive. The meeting with Billy Joel and his Bay Men was an interesting experience. Based on a technicality, the case was thrown out – another fun and memorable experience.
During my run for the United States Senate back in 1988, two happenings are still fresh in my mind. The first was a meeting in the White House with Ronald Reagan. President Reagan wanted to help in the election effort and had each Republican candidate meet with him in the Oval Office. It meant about one-half hour alone with the president. During that period, we talked and walked down the Portico of the White House while movie cameras taped us. Later, the taping was turned into a TV commercial which I cherish to this day.
The other event in 1988 took place near the end of the campaign at a rally in Queens. George H.W. Bush was the only speaker, but on the platform were local legislators and Senator Al D’Amato. As Bush finished his remarks, he quickly turned to me, grabbed my arm and pulled me up along side him as the crowd cheered. Then he leaned over and said, “Wave, Bob, we will both be on national TV tonight. He was right. That Queens event is another one that I reflect on every once in a while.
Over the years, you may have read the full details about these moments in my life along with others. In order to preserve them for future generations of my family, I put them into a book – “Columns.” In addition, I have them in one of my PowerPoint presentations. Hope you did not mind reflecting with me on the past.