Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:12 pm
Re: The 1976 Republican National Convention in KC
I was in KC during the convention, working for Ma Bell as a suit.
I went to Crown Center Hotel one evening and found myself sitting with Earl Butz, the Secretary of Agriculture, who later went on to fame as among the first to be drummed from office as result of a stupid racial slur, in the form of a joke told to a reporter. This was prior to his "fame" and I enjoyed a couple of scotch and waters with him.
Somehow, later, I ended up in a room in the hotel with two of Jerry Fords sons and several secret service guys (who didn't identify themselves that way, but...). The Fords were really nice guys, a few years older than me and as pumped about their perspective on the world stage as you might imagine. Honestly can't remember how I got there, but the most impressive thing was that they had Heiniken on ice. Wow! Beer all the way from Europe!
Following that, I went home and changed into grubs, and went back to join the Yippies!, and other "protesters/partiers'' camping on Liberty Memorial. Really don't remember much of that, except that it was pretty mellow kumbaiya.
At Kemper Arena, where the convention was held, there was a designated protest area, which was a chainlink cage of about 50 foot by 75 foot, twelve foot high. This was out in the parking lot and it was where the protesters could go to wave their signs and scream at the delegates and news people from a hundred feet away. There were police and badass types standing around bored stiff, to keep watch on the Yippie corral. I went and spent an hour in the cage and it was very sad, the whole thing. Very creepy on multiple levels.