Monday, January 4, 2016

A long-forgotten brush with Republican celebrity

Ànd, for good measure,  it distantly connects me to Peyton Manning's current embarrassment, which I believe to be a first for both of us.

Back in my salad days at Purdue, I worked on an election committee for two candidates for student body president and vice president. I strongly suspect I did it to make headway with some attractive coed also on the committee, although no particulars come to mind at this late date. It's just that I remember nothing about the experience now except these three disconnected bits: (1) the last name of the fellow at the top of the ticket is Italian for "chicken pox." (2) his running mate was Joanie SerVass, daughter of Beurt SerVass, then publisher of the Saturday Evening Post and at about the same time part of Nixon's entourage on his historic trip to Moscow, and (3) although they lost, as I recall there was rumor later that they got a mild slap on the wrist for nevertheless dropping three times the allowable maximum on campaign expenditures - a story that, if true, I always supposed was more than coincidentally related to  (2), above.

This all came to mind because of a puckish bit of connecting the dots that Charlie Pierce shared yesterday. I like to think my modest contribution around the margins of the story adds a little something an admittedly complicated tale.

Clearly, the woman I remember as Joanie hasn't let the grass grow under her feet in the intervening years. At the time, I was unaware of her father's larger and apparently somewhat more complex business interests. Callow young  Democrat at the only Big 10 school to go for Nixon in 1972 that I was, it didn't occur to me that owning the Post wouldn't be enough right there. (According to Google, she inherited the magazine from her father in 2014.)

Funny old world, huh?

My other favorite brush-with-Republican-celebrity story is, fittingly, a New Year's Eve story: Part One: and Part Two.

No comments: