Where were we? A brief recap: I moved to DC and got a great job as a political operative in the Carter Administration. The nature of my job meant I had the opportunity to travel all over the world. Sometimes for the job and sometimes for the White House. Could I tell you stories, or you could read them in my book “Schlepper”. It was also the first year of the Kennedy Center Awards. This was terrific for many reasons. The primary reason was that I got to dance with my tap hero, Fred Astaire. He loved being honored and loved that he was the reason I started to tap, despite the fact that my mother thought it was a waste of time to take lessons because I would never practice. This was not true but she wouldn’t let me take piano lessons because I would never practice — instead I had to learn to play the accordion. That lasted until my grandma saw me schlepping this enormous instrument up Main Street. When I wanted to have a puppy she insisted i wouldn’t walk him and gave him away. Oh, she insisted my parakeet had a nervous breakdown so he went back to the petshop.
That was a digression: On 4th of July, we got invited to the White House lawn for fireworks, . The Carters were generous about invitations to the White House. We went to Christmas celebrations, fire works, the Easter egg hunt and often had seats at the Kennedy Center in the President’s box. We knew everyone considered important because we got invitations to embassies and press events. I was Henry Kissinger’s dinner partner for The White House Press dinner. This list could go on but it won’t. The neat thing was that we all (Secret Service, Media, and Politicals) came to DC at the same time. During the election I moved to NYC as Director of Security for the Democratic Convention. It was me and 17,000 guys — not bad odds for finding a date. Oh, and I started to date David Burnett, when one or the other of us was available.
You may recall it was a one term Presidency, boo hoo, but the impact and honesty with which the Carter Administration dealt was enormous. So with two friends we started a boutique PR business which we called called “Arrive” and called it an ‘access service.’ If anyone (big deal people) wanted access to anyone or anything they would hire us. For example, Warner Brothers wanted the US to get involved in soccer, so we made sure to arrange for Péle to go to the White House and play soccer with the President. We thought we could go anywhere, and do anything, and we did. We were hired to do the international opening of the film Gandhi. We opened the film in Atlanta with the King Center, in DC with UNICEF, and in India with Columbia pictures. There were many trips to India, and it was the most exciting and challenging project I have ever undertaken. At some point I will talk about the experiences, but that would take a book. Richard Attenborough, Sir John Mills and the whole cast became pals. I dined at Indira Gandhi’s and travelled across the world with person and daughter-in-law.
“Arrive” had a noble beginning and a disastrous end. But the pain was lessoned by the Dukakis campaign. When you travel with or for a candidate you meet the most fascinating people. Ok this is where my memory dims. What was next on my agenda? My emotions simply can’t deal, more tomorrow…..we're just sayin'.... Iris
Post a Comment