Tuesday, November 15, 2016



I was flipping channels the other day and stopped on a movie called “Ike – Countdown to D-day.” It starred Tom Selleck as General Dwight David Eisenhower.

After a few minutes, I was hooked. Even though I was a toddler when the real D-day happened, it was still my era, my memories of my parent’s conversations and "I Like Ike" campaign buttons. As I grew up, Ike was President in the peaceful times of 1953 to 1961.

By 1962 I was a fledgling radio reporter in Syracuse, New York, and Ike, who had just relinquished the presidency to John Kennedy, was a guest speaker at a Republican fundraiser in Onondaga County.

I assigned myself to cover the event. I was the news director too. When you are a staff of one, you can do those things. The organizers allowed the press to come back stage and do quick interviews with Ike.

We were called the “press” in those days; “members of media” didn’t come around for another twenty years. “Press” was a throwback to the days of newspaper coverage and the printing press.

It was over fifty years ago, so I don’t remember what I asked President Eisenhower, but I do remember being thrilled. He was the first of many presidents and former presidents I would meet and interview during my long broadcasting career.

Back to the movie. Some parts of the movie were historically true; some facts were compressed to fit the story line. Anyway, it was a good dramatic depiction of America’s history and it made me remember a different time.

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