Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Film Career Cut Short

The day after the POWs landed in the Philippines, President Nixon called my mother to offer his good wishes.  I answered the phone when he called, yelled down the stairs, which was SOP (Standard Operating Procedure, showing off my knowledge of military acronyms) for communicating in our house, to mom, telling her to pick up the kitchen phone.  I listened in on the upstairs phone.

Even though this was slightly pre-Watergate, when someone mentioned to a reporter, later in the day, that I'd spied on the conversation between the President and my mother, the reporter saw potential for a fresh angle to the story.   My mother called me at my friend Judie's house and told me to come home (not asked or suggested as I'd have done with my children, a consequence of my twisted, overly indulgent parenting) because a reporter wanted to talk to me.  By this point in the afternoon, I'd been at Judie's for a couple of hours doing what we (and our friends) often did while her parents were at work, an activity which will remain unnamed because I don't think Judie has enlightened her children about her past and I'm too good a friend to expose her.  Those young guys with the cameras and microphone gave me knowing glances when I brushed my hair, while they were asking me questions, then tossed the hairbrush over my shoulder into mom's azaleas. Disappointingly, the interview never made it to air.

Obviously, that inane story isn't the important memory attached to this photograph of my dad and Richard Nixon, but once I started on it, I had to finish.

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