It dawned on me as I rummaged through some of my grandfathers stuff and ran across a photo with him and Charles Freihofer, him with his friend the Governor, who went to become president,(FDR) that my own grandchildren won't be stumbling across anything similar and it's my own darn fault.
I've met Reagan, Bush (41), Bush (43), Prescott Bush, Jr. Jeb, Barbara, Laura, in the 1970's even sold a car to 41's brother William, met Stewart Alsop, knew Roger Eddy and so on.
Not one photo as it wasn't on my radar.
Pushing 60 and now recognizing the errors of my youth, I set about to correct the situation, and this was the 1st opportunity.
Once I'd made all sorts of plans, my employer decided I should be out of state that week.
Getting rescheduled was dicey and took long enough to get my anti-acid consumption to a 5 year high.
"This time I'll get a nice shot of Newt with my wife", I thought to myself.
I was on the committee, I worked peddling tickets, cajoling, embarrassing various associates and fellow politicos into springing for tickets; even begged the party chair to offer two hard working and loyal couples that couldn't quite afford the night $50 off per-ticket just to get them there. (I don't know if he ever did.)
The Bush Dinner is a good time to run a candidate around quickly and introduce them to people they should know. Planning ahead I uncharacteristically made note cards and stuck them into my suit jacket.
Polished my best shoes, bought a new french-cuff shirt and even bought a new tie (not that I needed one) just for the event.
My 21 year old son agreed to come and brought a girl he's known since before he could walk; even (on his own no-less) went to Brookes Bros. and bought new suit for the event (looked like a million bucks too) - was left trying to entertain my table filled with largely with people he's known all his life including a State Marshall, Past Master of my Lodge; 4 fellows from Waterbury, including newly elected GOP State Central member from the 15th district; Jeffery Santopietro; a good friend of mine for over 25 years.
I did pick up my son's ticket for him and his date's dad, a local Town Councilman, also at our table, picked up hers. (They're both in college and neither is rolling in cash.)
I was assured that I had done enough that even without the $1000 "get a photo" ticket getting a photo with Newt and my wife wouldn't be a problem but get there early.
My every-bit-as-kind-as-Mother-Teresa-wife got tied up at work so we arrived not at 5:00 - 5:30; but at 7:27.
Just in time to see the waiter remove the salads from our places to make room for dinner.
The two couples I had tried so hard to get to come had, and had been turned away at the door as the place was a sell out. That put a pall on the evening for me and embarrassed me to death.
We missed almost everything except Newt, including Southington native Vinny Nolan receiving the Futtner Award (Pat Futtner was a wonderful man and I've been kicking around so long that I was probably among the 30 or 40 people in the room of over 800 that actually knew him.)
We saw Newt; Chairman Healy closed, and it was over by quarter of 9:00; 1 hour and 18 minutes after we arrived.
No photo - and forget about any notes I had as to who to be sure met who - that was in the toilet too.
The room had 50 more than legally allowed and the night might have a set a record for the Bush Dinner!
But you asked "how was the dinner" - beats me, I'm just duct taping the Hoover hose here onto my cars exhaust pipe ..........................................