Friday, January 25, 2008

Have I told you this one?

Often an idea post occurs to me and by the time I get to the computer it has slipped from my 78 year old mind.

If you've heard this one stop me.

Uncle Dave and I shared an office. When business was quite we would sit and schmooze.

One day he pulled out his wallet and extricated a check. He examined it and then reported the following.

The Barer's had attended a party in Los Angeles and decided to spend some time in Palm Springs. I believe the year was 1973. A heart blockage was becoming a burden and Uncle Dave was spending his afternoons playing gin rummy with Senator "Maggie" Magnusen who also favored P. S. as a getaway spot.

The check was for $46.00 and represented a settlement on their series of game.

As the Senator was writing the check, he related this story.

It is a tradition in Washington, D. C. that when the president is in residence on Friday there is a late night poker game at the White House. It is an honor to be asked to sit in with the regulars who tend to be the movers and shakers of the administration.

While Maggie was a regular in the Lyndon Johnson era, he was thrilled as a young congressman to be invited to the game by the legendary President Franklin D. Roosevent.

At the end of the game the president summoned his aid, Steven Early to write checks settling his losses. The president always paid by check. He was a frugal man with his own funds and he reasoned that a check with his signature would not be cashed but kept as a memento or end up in the portfolio of a collector.

Uncle Dave asked me if Maggie was suggesting he not cash the check. I thought it might be a while before the Maggies signature would be worth $46.00.

The next question was, "Who is Winnie?"

Prior to leaving Palm Springs, Uncle Dave had called Maggie to tell him he was heading to Portland for open heart surgery.

First Winny now you was the response.

I wracked my brain and finally admitted that the only Winny I could think of was ex Governor of Arkansas and scion of the Rockefeller family, Winthrop Rockefeller who had fallen victim to a heart attack at that time.

He was visibly moved that he had been mentioned in the same breath as the grandson of the Standard Oil (Exxon) founder.


Blogger Danny Barer said...

I can envision Uncle Dave exclaiming, "What do you think I am? A Rockefeller?"

The story about FDR is priceless. Great men are best remembered through their foibles.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Burl Barer said...

Did my dad cash the check from Maggie? I had a check from Frank Sinatra. I cashed it,but took a picture of it and had it made into a framed work of art to hang on my wall.


3:30 PM  

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