Kickass, the doorstop dog, is allowing the keeper to dredge up his—the keeper’s memory of his one and only involvement with political conventions when he was part of the Milwaukee Journal team covering the 1976 Dem’s convo in New York, and had difficulty finding Madison Square Garden because he was standing under the arch of one of the main entrances. When he asked directions of a NY cop, the officer gave him a long look and then pointed a finger straight up.
The MJ contingent was led by edit page editor John Reddin who assembled everyone for breakfast one morning at his favorite Irish tavern where he-Reddin consumed a heaping plate of mashed potatoes smothered in melted butter which he washed down with straight-up martinis. It was the most impressive breakfast the keeper had ever seen and he recalls the image of it to this day.
Watching the convention—complete with a roving band of Jerry Brown supporters and an entrenched Mayor Daley holding floor court, was a fascinating experience; and the nomination of the Carter/Mondale team was in line with the keeper’s liberal leanings.
The keeper had been slated to cover the Repub’s convo that year, but was benched when Journal women staffers demanded team representation. That was fine with the keeper who did not really have the journalistic stomach for politics. And maybe John Reddin did not have the stomach for mashed potato-martini breakfasts since he died some years later of digestive problems while on assignment in Europe.
The keeper will be having fried eggs and toast this morning as the first day of the 2020 Dem convo gets rehashed.