But, I do remember where I was on September 10, 1982. How about you? As I like to tell it, I was having lunch with the President of the United States. In 1982, I was younger than all of our kids except Madison. I was working full time at a place called Insurance Services Office and helped make ends meet by working as a cocktail waitress at the Topeka Club several evenings a week. The Topeka Club was where the Republicans gathered (located on top of the then Merchants National Bank Building). The Democrats were over at the Top of the 1st National Bank Building. (Even then they didn't mingle).
The evening of September 9th, I was waiting on a table of what I called "big wheels" although I only knew one of the gentlemen. There was one man in particular who kept smiling at me and being a friendly type of gal, I smiled back. Let's not forget, tips were the main source of income for this job. At the end of the evening he asked me to walk him to the elevator and he would give me my tip. Yea, I thought, I have had to fend off this type of tip before (I was quite the man magnet in my younger years). Imagine my surprise when he handed me a ticket to the $100 per plate luncheon being held the next day as a fundraiser for the then President Reagan. (I think those luncheons go for about $25k now).
I found out the next day that the man who gave me the ticket was the Executive Secretary of the Republican party in Kansas.
Of course, I went to the luncheon and when it was over, I wrote a detailed letter of the event to my mom. She saved it and recently gave it back to me. Two things still stand out for me ALL OVER AGAIN after reading this letter.
At that time, I was so impressed with all the "power" in the room. I was young in my working life, still at my first job and working as an executive secretary at the time. Mentioned in the letter was the thought process going through my head that if I spoke out loud, the President, along with many other important leaders, would hear me. The second point I made was, I would probably tell my grandchildren this story (if I lived that long).
Since that time I have had the opportunity to work with many people in various levels of power and authority. And have met additional "power" people. While many of these people have left impressions on me, I am no longer in awe of power in the room. Once you know the "powerful" as people, you lose the mystery. We are all just who we are.
And finally - I have lived long enough to tell my grandchildren, and I do have several (five to be exact) so let me go on record that this is the official notification of my brush with The Chief.
Until next time,