What does a person do after a campaign like Gary’s where we worked in the Silver Lake section of LA and we rested our weary heads on fluffy pillows at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. At least most of us did, except Richard Simmons, who brought his own pillows. He made me aware of this when we met at the parking facility and he was near hysterics because the cleaning people had lost his treasured pillows. As a political nutcase, there was not much to do except go to work for Walter Mondale, who I liked, but the staff had to stay at union hotels — which were usually bleak.
Howard, my friend and the scheduler promised he would send me, and Sid and Terry someplace interesting. He lied, and we all went to Texas. First stop El Paso Texas, known as the Sun City because they have an average of 302 days of sunshine a year. It is in the western corner of the state. When we landed we rented a car and headed directly to our hotel. Well, not exactly directly because we spent what seemed like hours looking for the place. We actually could see it, but just couldn’t figure out a way to get there. Finally, Sid was so frustrated that he drove right across a lovely flowered park. (Maybe I should use flowered in the past tense).
Simply put, the hotel was a pit. A real pit! On the way from the airport but what was mid town El Paso, we saw a lovely new hotel, we didn’t ask if it was a union property, and just checked in, called Howard so he could divert the other advance people to the hotel where we decided to stay. On the first night the team had dinner to get to know one another. Sid who has a New York accent and ear, had no idea what the team was talking about when they asked him to pass the salsa. He insisted there was no saucer on the table. We laughed for quite some time.
The next day it started to rain. it rained so much that the fire department had to pump out the site we chose for the event. The rain continued until about an hour before Mr Mondale arrived.
When the event was over the Advance Team traditionally has a wheels up party. Which we did across the border in Juarez, Mexico. We drank enough tequila that it rendered us incapable of driving. so we simply left our cars in Mexico, and taxied back to the hotel. For all I know they may be there still.
When we sobered up the team moved to McAllen Texas, (talk about pits). It was so awful that Sid and Terry left, which was fine since they couldn’t be seen in public, (just a little too thug like),and I stayed. But try as I might, it was so bleak that I can’t remember what we did. Except I got a ticket for an illegal left turn, which I never paid. The reality is, I probably can’t go back to Texas.
The campaign was fine, but of course, we lost, so it was hunt for a job again. No one hates to get a real job quite as much as I do, so I applied for a teaching position at American University.
And then……. we’re just sayin’… Iris