Thursday, March 09, 2017

In Honor of Intl Womens Day

Happy International Women’s Day… we’ll get back to that.

It costs the taxpayer about 21 million dollars every time Trump goes to Florida. We thought home was NYC and now Washington DC. That sounds reasonable, right.  And by the way, I hate it when people excuse his lies and ridiculous executive pronouncements by saying, “He’s not your traditional President”.  I am seriously depressed, but this election hit me harder than I thought. When a sixties hippie starts yearning for Nixon, you know we are in trouble.

Back to International Women's Day.  There are also International Women’s Years and Conferences.  When I was at the State Department I was often detailed to the White House for to Advance Presidential or First Lady Trips. The International Women”s Conference was held in Houston and Mrs. Carter was going to attend.  So a few of former Advance people (women of course), were asked to set things up for her.

Mary, Christine and I flew out a week before the Conference — figuring we would spend a few days just hanging out. This was not to be. As soon as we arrived the Secret Service attacked. They said it was a horrible mess and we needed to do “something”. Apparently, the opening ceremonies were in shambles and there was no one in charge.  We needed to go right to work.  First thing was to put out a press advisory. Actually, the first thing was to find out what was going on.  We had no office space, paper or even pens— it was like we were undercover.  There were no cell phones, no computers, or iPads —no new technology, how did we ever survive?

Sometimes the most outrageous acts are never identified as outrageous. We figured everything we needed was across the street in the Conference hotel. It was like another world over there.  They had the supplies we needed to survive.  So over we went and (without hiding anything) we helped ourselves to a electric typewriter, paper, pens, press lists, staff lists, preliminary schedules (that made no sense), and plans for the opening ceremonies in which at least 500 people were invited to participate.   We decided to reenact what the ceremonies would look like. there were many gory details but reliving them would be too painful.  Imagine 50 members of a choir, a marching band of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the military honor guard, the VIP’s and Mrs.Carters entourage.

When you have been doing this kind of work for the as long as we had, you learn that the best way to visualize events is to act them out.  The first group to deal with were the VIP’s. They wanted to enter from the rear of the auditorium, who knows why. So I started at the rear of the auditorium and by the time I got to the front we couldn’t stop laughing. There were no stairs for the VIP’s to get upon the stage. Most of the day went just like that and we only had two days left to do five days worth of work.

The ceremony was about to begin.  We had to commandeer some stairs but that was no problem.  We asked the choir to sing one song before Mrs Cater arrived and one while she was getting up on the stage. The choir director had another agenda in mind.  They started to sing as Mrs. Carter entered but they didn’t stop after the second song, or the third. Despite my pleas to stop singing, they continued and ignored me.  Finally, in desperation I pulled the mikes so they had no sound. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts marched in as did the military guard with the flags and the speeches began.  We all breathed again, went out for a cocktail and recounted with hilarity the events of the week.

When I reflect upon those events all I can think of was how wonderful it was working with those ingenious, talented, warm and wonderful women, some of whom are still in my life, some of are not but they will always remain in memories and in my heart.  We're just sayin'.....Iris

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was American women's day for all women or just those who believe in abortion, because the women's march was just for those who believed in abortion. I will not support anything that promotes women because I am pro life and I am a woman.