Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 10 No. 3 | Fall-Winter 1988 (Portland) /// Issue 39 of 41 /// Master# 39 of 73

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Advertising Representative Sandy Wallsmith Ad Production Coordinator Stacey Fletcher Typesetting Harrison Typesetting, Inc. Arrow Typesetting, Lee Emmett 4M, Qualitype Camerawork Craftsman Lithoplate Laura Di Trapani, TYP Cover Separations Portland Prep Center, Inc. Printing Tualatin-Yamhill Press Quality of Life Project Dave Clingan, Toni DeMicoli Luria Dickson, Rhonda Kennedy Theresa Marquez, David Milholland Thanks Judy & Stew Albert, Robert Anderson Linda Ballantine, John Bennett Judy Bevis, Brian Booth, DNAD Dru Duniway, Margaret Dunne Martha Gies, Gary Grayson Keith Jellum, Bob Jeniker, KOAP Craig Karp, John Laursen, Deborah Levin Lola Maria, Zak Margolis, Melissa Marsland Enrico Martignoni, Alice & Del Milholland The Mohlere Group, Kevin Mulligan Nature’s, Larry Needham, Northwest Film & Video Center, Oregon Historical Society Lynn Parkinson, Rick Rubin, Walter Shane Stan Sitnick, Norman Solomon Joe & Charlotte Uris, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. John Wanberg, Lou & Rosa Weinstock The Clinton 500 The Clinton St. Quarterly is published by CSQ—a project of Out of the Ashes Press. Address: P.O. Box 3588, Portland, OR 97208—(503) 222-6039. Unless otherwise noted, all contents copyright ®1988 Clinton St. Quarterly. Subscriptions are $16/2 years. Add $4 for overseas. Send check, cash, U.S. stamps or your Mastercard/Visa number and expiration date. No dalmatians, please! 777 Northwest king of auto-comedy. Valium will never taste the same. My First Job—John Callah You thought you were depri Another full scoop from the Inside Kandahar— Paul Overtly The mujahideen have the Russians by the beep. A first- person account from the Afghan “What’s Wrong?” Asked Jim Blashfield 25“I don’t believe these two U concepts create a duality,” replied & Du-Wayne. R i BumBerDruM—Melissa Laird F.g- Percussionists from around thd hi; globe develop a beat, and kiss * Pei those cultural barriers goodbye. lea. Kt Being Presidential with The K Duke— Karl Eysenbach R An early believer offers his Iowa R Campaign report from the chilliest r i scenes of winter. Remember when K the name Dukakis was still in the Ey future? Guatemala—1988—Maria Chinchilla A brief visit to a seldom visited front. Behind the smiles and lovely textiles, under a cornfield, after the troops came. Leadership— it ’s missing and sorely needed. Moreover, our turn has finally come round. Wherever we turn there are critical problems facing us, from the personal on up. The real concern is: What are we going to do? When? There were promising signs this fall, despite the depressing showings of the Democratic and minor party national tickets. In Congress, the Democrats added seats; the Bush “mandate ” was granted in a spirit of great distrust. In Washington, Mike Lowry came within a chin whisker of offing the moderately reactionary Slade Gorton. In Oregon, Mike Kopetski came even closer to bouncing Denny Smith, a seemingly unassailable upward-bound law’n ’order man. Portland Mayor Bud Clark eased to victory over his ex-police-chief opponent. And here and there younger progressives and card-carrying Liberals (Unsoeld in SW Washington, AuCoin and DeFazio in Western Oregon) won or consolidated power. Locally and nationally, the clearest symptom of our malaise is the perpetuation in power of the now senescent WWII-era mindset— Imperium Americanum. As the immense generation that follows on the veterans’ h e e ls — t h e i r c h i ld r e n — w e ’ ve marched, organized, restructured our lives, gone for a better deal on many fronts, but failed thus far to do the most significant deed—seize the reins. Many in power, not just here but abroad [Margaret Thatcher for one], have denounced our lack of gumption, exotic lifestyles and more. We ’re portrayed as "soft-on-commies, drug-dep e n d e n t , o r g a n i c a l l y - g r o w n layabouts” and variously blamed for most everything but the nuclear age. Now this kind of scapegoating has everything to do with feeling threatened. We’re being handed on a very stale bundle of goods, to which of course we've certainly contributed. CSQ Insert: QOL Festiva Survey & More Fill it out and you’re sitting on top of the world. Picture—Carel Moiseiwitsc Two pieces from Strip AIDS USA by one of our favorite artists. Organizing the Cuckoo’s ' Evan Kaeser | In which a disenfrancised group labels its members consumers and goes for real control. An insiders perspective I t ’s high time to air out and revitalize things. Though our national, business and consumer debt levels are out of control, they do not guarantee a fall. Though our ship of state is rudderless and careening, neither nuclear holocaust nor the death of our economy are givens. Social justice, AIDS, acid rain, the greenhouse effect and the crack nightmare: issues waiting to be boldly addressed, not lackadaisically dismissed as insoluble. The core problem is far from merely generational. People of all ages oppose while others identify strongly with the “Republican renaissance, ” or with some pivotal issue they’ve tucked cleverly under their right wings—abortion, gun control, the death penalty and “welfare” abuse (freely substitute racial fears for the last two). It should be duly noted that both Reagan and Bush received high levels of support from the young voters (ages 18-25) Porpers—Maia Penfold “1981. Eugene. Oregon. Living or peanut butter sandwiches, Ballpark hotdogs and Marlo’s desserts/” Keep your eyes on the knicknacks. They’ve a story to tell. Northern Correspondent— Q j Kristine Kathryn Rusch Scrappy reporters are hard to come by in small-town America, and even harder to lose. You can go home again. But think twice. No Frail Servant of U tilitwman l Hall)—Walt Curtis An unfairly forgotten poet resuscitated by poet-historian Curtis. Stitching timeless verses by sepulchral light. who apparently bought into the flagwaving, hopeful America the Republican TV s tra tegy so incessan tly portrayed. No opposition can rise to power in this media-dazed nation without one hand on the control panel and the other stirring up a recipe of hope. Who among us really wants to live through another 1930s, or ‘40s for that matter? As progressives rethink strategies for the decade ahead, a central concern must be developing a strong link to the up-and-coming generation, the group most disaffected and least informed about our history and the machinations of the right. We should be no less concerned about solidifying an alliance with our progenitors, especially the 90 percent who depend on Social Security and Med icare for the ir wellbeing. The challenge is ours alone, taking o u rse lves as s e r io u s ly as the Thatcherites have taken us. We’ve come of age, with interpersonal, familial, political and work-related responsibilities shaping our lifestyles as much as entertainment and exploration commanded our attention earlier. The rain forest we save is ours, not some distant enemy’s. Our armed forces patrol the world, in our name. So pick a number. Good parts are being offered and the camera is rolling. Step right up. This take is for real. DM Clinton St. Quarterly—Summer, 1988 5

Clinton St. Quarterly—Fall/Winter 1988 wall the group P h o t o s b y B ru c e D u g d a le have been Islam and since there are no seats left. A young man named Andy Frankel explains that he has studied with these musicians for two years in Nigeria. He says that the dancer is from a long line of dancers. The mask is part of a powerful ritual of magic, while the acrobatics incorporates some elements of the European circus tradition of the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the African history is recounted by poetry. The troupe's leader, Lamidi Ayankunle, claims a percussive ancestry dating back at least 20 generations. His predecessor, a drummer named Ayan, has become known as a god. Ayankunle lives in a large compound with 15 adult males, many of them drummers, who tour a range of neighboring towns. They function as praise singers for traWhat we are hearing is sacred music of the Yoruba people, one of the largest tribes in Nigeria, whose songs for Shango and Yemaya have become familiar to people who listen to the bata drum music of Cuba and Brazil as well as Africa. One of the drummers does a roll and a dancer appears. He is wearing a white mask which is traditional in the sacred dances of the Yorubas. He dances in incredible tw ists and turns and suddenly performs an acrobatic flip. He waits for the proper beat. The crowd is amazed, thrilled. People are holding their breath as he flips three, four times in a row. all in with the drums. People are sitting along the B umB e rD ruM bo Addy fills the stage playing f j music of Ghana with two large drums, a ‘talking drum,” bell, shekere, and voices. Each part adds a new layer until we hear the full textured sound of a West African drum ensemble: vocal harmonies, interlocking rhythms, and a three-part drum interaction that allows for extended improvisations. Obo lives in Portland and frequently performs with horns and guitars. But in this setting he has chosen his traditional ensemble. During the first tune each member gets up and does a solo dance. Born and raised in Ghana. Obo is the son of a priest and medicine man. He ditional festivals, which partially suppressed by Christianity. The third drummer in has played drums since the age of six. “ I t ’s amazing to get together with people from different countries, to see what is outside your own environment,” he tells the audience. “ I haven’t been around some of these musicians before. It brings the world together—music is really a universal language." This brings fo rth warm applause. Obo introduces another piece, this time with the talking drum. People in the audience are on the edge of their seats. Many of the rhythms are based on spiritual music while others are for social functions: gatherings for newborn babies, birthday parties, special festivals. “ Even the music I play with American horns comes from the spiritual thing. If I take a traditional song and transfer it onto bass or trap, it's still the traditional rhythm. The bata drums play the spiritual rhythms. But I use all of them—social and spiritual. My background tells me to use what I The word was out: there would be no time wasted at Bumberdrum. John Kertzer, the program's unobtrusive emcee, put it simply: “ This is an historic occasion. Where else in the world could you hear all of these musicians at once?” SamulNori, the Korean group, opens the program. A small gong-like drum introduces the firs t song, fo llowed by a large hourglass-shaped drum and then a barrel drum. Quickly two other drums join, forming an intense full-bodied, driving sound. This music originated from traditional farmer's band music for planting and harvest festivals and grew to include shaman rituals connected with seasonal ceremonies. The drummers dance as they play, taking large steps in and out of a square. The female singer's voice rings out above the drums, building in energy. During a special dance, the performers' headdresses are decorated with long swirls of ribbon which tw irl in the air in brilliant symmetrical patterns. Next up is Tito Puente whose name has become synonymous with tim ­ bales (drums) and Afro-Cuban music itself. He plays alternating rhythms with each stick as if two people are there—playing rhumbas, mambos, and somehow weaving a samba in there while the rhythms all lead to one another. You feel many people and cu ltures converging together as he keeps a melodic thread moving; these are all dance rhythms, African rhythms which have survived and evolved in the new world. Puente’s rhumba guaguamco is distinct, almost like a voice taking a solo. There is a theory that rhumbas derive from rest dances used as “ breathers" during sacred dance music, such as the music of the bata drums. Puente’s guaguamco has the tone of a rhythm to be played intact, not tampered with, and is still flamboyant. We are finding it more and more d ifficu lt to stay in our seats. We want to dance, and yet here we are in the sturdy cushions of the Opera House. Puente's rhythms are a natural transition into the Oyelami Troupe from Nigeria. There are three drummers, two of them playing bata drums which are double-headed, hourglass-shaped drums. The rhythms sound like other West African drumming we have heard, although this is more filled in, as if the patterns have been completed. There are no “ missing beats." plays a small set of three drums with high pitches. What we are hearing is a drum orchestra. The concept of percussionists as “ back-up” musicians has to be some butcher's version. Early on, emcee Kertzer mentioned that the idea for Bumberdrum was Norm Langill’s, the Bumbershoot Festival Director. SamulNori told him about various drum festivals they had been to, most a bit more “ new age" oriented. “ Rather than as an anthropological approach we wanted a little more body and soul in it ," said Langill. The Nigerian troupe rounds out their set with some secular and social dances. We feel we have arrived. two. sync e n o u g h in t h e i r o w n r i g h t t o d r a w a n d h o ld a la rg e a u d ie n c e b y th e m s e lv e s . B u m b e r d r u m : a n in t e r n a t io n a l d r u m f e s t i v a l , w a s p a r t o f S e a t t l e ’ s B u m b e r s h o o t A r t s F e s t iv a l in S e a t t le o v e r L a b o r D a y w e e k e n d . T h e l i s t o f p e r f o r m e r s w a s a w e s o m e . W o r ld ­ c la s s p e r f o r m e r s w e r e p r e s e n t f r o m a ll c o r n e r s o f t h e g lo b e— K o re a , C u b a , N ig e r ia , G h a n a , In ­ d ia , a n d t h e U n i te d S t a t e s — e a c h s t r o n g

Clinton St. Quarterly— Fall/Winter 1988 only r omeone asks Obo Addy how he felt playing during the finale. "It was great. The organizers talked with us and arranged the order but we d idn ’t plan what we were going to play. Musicians know that music is one Ianjazz drumming but drumming—its past, present, and fu ­ ture. He leans, tightens, he grits his teeth, and then he releases himself in a long steady roll up and down the different pitched drums of the set. Backstage, a young Russian rock drummer, who has come to the States to play in a back-up band for Alla Pugachove (the Russian rock n roll queen), stands almost at attention, his eyes glued to Cobham’s drumsticks, astonished that he is on the stage hearing Billy Cobham in person. As Billy finishes the solo, the audience roars a long applause and suddenly Billy is standing next to the speechless Russian. Billy sets down his sticks and the Russian wipes the sweat from Billy's brow. Zakir Hussein and Alla Rakha return to the stage for a trio of tablas and traps. Billy plays with some brushes. Zakir joins in. they pick up speed, and soon all three drummers are playing without holding back in an act of leaving room and filling the space. Zakir has played with many jazz drummers in a kind of marriage of improvisational musics, and Billy has played all over the world with many kinds of bands. Billy signals to Zakir. They talk through their drums, swap sounds, ideas, listen as much as play, and hit a rhythmic groove that is comfortable and yet innovative. Suddenly it is Billy Cobham alone again, beginning a bell pattern, initiating a theme. He is joined by Tito Puente and together they play a duet on timbales. Zakir adds a tabla line and then the troupe from Nigeria picks up on the feel of what is happening here: the heart of improvisational music. Obo Addy's group adds layers, and poon dancers from his group join the ■Migerian dancer. Layer upon layer of tseund, filigrees over the basic 4/4. You Lan break it down, hearing a rumba Tade in and out. The basic down home African rhythms at the core reach out around the globe. SamulNori swirls into a pattern and their headdresses spring to the back- beat. One of their drummers does a dance that puts his body at a slant so close to the ground you think he must be riding a pulley. SamulNori joins the other dancers, drummers riffing with drummers, all the while the music holds its shape while it expands. We re standing now, arms raised, exhilarated, moving if we can find room or jumping up and down, hoping this will last on and on. We feel fresh, e ffo rtless. happy to be human and alive; we feel in tune, connected to the coherent rhythm of the universe. guage. But when you get together you have to listen. You have to be a little bit sensitive—and everyone on that stage had that sensitivity." Zakir Hussein comments about the performance. "I thought it was fantastic to play there. I would have liked a little more time to get to know the other musicians. During the first show we warmed up but the second show was much better. It was an honor to be on stage with these masters. When I first was asked to perform at Bum- berdrum. there was no mention of the drum finale stuff. But when all these drummers appeared, we decided to do something. When you have great masters on stage, people who are very positive about playing together, then you can do something. Everyone was watching each other, wanting to help build something. "There is incredible drumming all over the world," Hussein added. "It was a commendable e ffort and it would be a lot of fun to have this annually. I really would like to be part of future performances. ” While Zakir Hussein and Ustad Alla Rakha tune their tablas. Zakir comments: "Since this is an integrative concept, we will continue on with the same tempo used by our friends from Ghana. " Alla Rakha brought a lot of Indian music to the States along with Ravi Shankar and is Zakir's father. Zakir explains that the sarangi (violin) player will play a repeated melodic line and Zakir and his father will improvise on top of that using a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats (four bars of 4/4 time). "Your response is very important to us. You're performing just as much as we are on the stage. It's great to jam with you here ton ight." The audience applauds and shouts loud approval. As we slowly leave the Opera House, a Hungarian woman te lls about her experience. "I saw one of the most healing experiences that I ’ve ever partaken of and I'm delighted that i t ’s happened in Seattle. My family from Hungary is here to enjoy that with me. I am utterly delighted. I saw nations coming together expressing themselves in the form of art, coming together the way they don 't do on the diplomatic tables. I ’m delighted, high, happy. This is what I want to see in the world and I hope that you keep doing th is ." Bumberdrum. A hard act to follow? Maybe. . but an act worth following. Over and over. At Bumbershoots, at other festivals, and in our selves, our attitudes, our lives. Writer Melissa Laird lives in Seattle. Long a CSQ contributor, her prize-winning stories on Hanford have contributed greatly to the decline and fall of that nuclear machine. Bruce Dugdale is a Bumbershoot staff photographer. Andy Frankel has studied with the Oyelami Troupe in Nigeria. illy Cobham's solo begins like a | J demonstration of the range of possibilities available to a trap set—fleshing out rhythms, tying to ­ gether patters, bringing in scales, playing with the full texture of traps and somehow referring to the music we have just heard here on the stage. Cobham, who has played with Miles Davis. Billy Taylor, Larry Coryell, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and many others, summarizes the evolution not The soothing melody of the sarang/ opens. Zakir Hussein and Alla Rakha begin their exchange—solos alternating with duets. Double tablas ring out, dazzling the opera house. The organic sound of the deep left drum alternated with the high-pitched pattern of the right hand, embellished with rapid swirls, skin upon skin in an amazing array of sound. Father and son swapping bars, nodding, signifying. The audience is delighted and amazed. Oh—so this is what tablas really sound like. And two of them together? Not the usual combination. Zakir pronounces some of the tabla syllables for us and plays the composition of a deer loping across a meadow, with his elbow literally skipping across the drums like a running deer. Zakir is a flamboyant tabla virtuoso. The swirls of Alla Rakha well up like a small fountain that grows into a great waterfall, bringing with him decades of playing the drums in villages and cities, for crowds of all ages, and the vast vital life of a country that, in spite of transformation and attempts at influence from the outside, retains its core and never really changes. “ This may be my father's last performance in America." Zakir remarked. Alla Rakha is now 70 years old. He teaches music at a school in Bombay for students with no financial resources. The audience is very moved. As the tabla players finish. John Kertzer announces that they will be back. Only now do we get the notion that the musicians will satisfy our almost unspoken desire by playing together. M u s ic ia n s k n o w t h a t m u s ic is o n e la n g u a g e W h e n y o u g e t t o g e t h e r y o u h a v e t o l is te n . Y o u h a v e t o be a l i t t l e b i t S e n s i t iv e— a n d

* * ^ < x * 0 ^ < C v* _^®HPtJV* ^ W W K PROLOGUE: he had no interest in pursuing the nomination. Frankly, his body language on TV made me believe him. I knew little about Joe Biden or Mike Dukakis, but a DC friend told me that Biden thought out his position while he was speaking. This can do in a national candidate. I pondered my heart’s choice (Paul Simon) versus my head’s choice (Mike Dukakis). After calling Boston and getting some position papers, I finally placed my bets on Dukakis. With only a few days to get my affairs in order and drive the 2,000 miles to what might as well have been another planet, I turned the management of the house over to my ex, sorted out clothing, had mechanics pore over the car, paid my bills, and saw my best friends. WELCOME TO CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS JULY 4, B87 EUGENE, OREGON ISUPPOSE IT ALL BEGAN THE DAY MY WIFE FORGOT TO COME HOME BEFORE SHE BOUGHT A NEW CAR WITHOUT TELLING ME. THE FACT THAT WE HAD BOTH BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR A T LEAST SIX MONTHS DIDN’T MAKE MATTERS ANY BETTER. AT THAT POINT, I DECIDED THAT LIVING IN THE GREAT HOUSE IN EUGENE WASN’T MAYBE AS IMPORTANT AS I ’D THOUGHT. THE MARRIAGE WAS OVER. With a lot of time on my hands, I began asking myself what it was I wanted to do when I grew up. Speeding toward my fortieth birthday, I had not gone where I really wanted to be in politics. I’d given up hope of being an elected official a long time ago, having lived with one for eight years. They had to be nice continually to mindless weinies indignant over leashlaw violations. Sitting on the Lane County Planning Commission had been okay, but I was in the process of burning my bridges behind me, having successfully alienated the conservative city-county dads over a land-use dispute. I was not particularly interested in serving in yet another rural community as a city administrator. Having ambition and credentials, I wanted to go to Washington, DC. I had been there in June for three weeks searching for anything even remotely governmental. My dream had always been to do staff work in the White House. There could be nothing higher or finer for a political junkie. History in the making, and all that good stuff. By scoping out who had the best chance of winning the election and signing on early, a dedicated campaign worker might be rewarded with White House jobs somewhere between washroom attendant and Ambassador to France. Being a campaign staffer seemed the only chance I would ever have of living out my fantasies. HANDICAPPING THE PLAYERS This was the time of the Seven Dwarfs (after Gary Hart exploded), and the political playing field was filled with little knowns such as Joe Biden, Paul Simon, Bruce Babbitt and Dick Gephardt. Theoretically anyone could win, but who had the best chance of winning the nomination? Just as importantly, who could I work for without choking down a strong sense of moral revulsion? A close race and a brokered convention was possible, but I knew that three or four people would drop out of the race after New Hampshire, leaving three or four candidates who would represent fairly distinct factions of the Democrats. Gary Hart, the clear favorite, had been destroyed on the Monkey Business. The new ideas crowd was as interested as I was in the left-of-center, professionally oriented candidate inclined to implement defense reform and increased domestic spending. Carl Oglesby’s SDS theories from The Yankee-Cowboy War made me think that cowboy money from the Sunbelt had already seen their people in charge under Reagan. Yankee interests were chafing at being excluded from power. This put two strikes against Babbitt, Gore or Gephardt. Okay by me, as they represented the right wing of the party. Gephardt seemed a particularly nasty dude. In a perfect world, someone with Jesse Jackson’s kind of politics would be my choice for President, but a black man with no government experience was not going to be the people s choice. I knew I could work for Paul Simon like rolling off a log. We’d met in 1969 when he was an Illinois State Rep. Eugene was his birthplace. A college chum was one of his top campaign aides. However, Paul Simon had disadvantages. With his bow tie and big ears, he had what I called the Orville Redenbacher effect. He was also trying to build on Walter Mondale’s creaky old coalition. I wanted to work for Senator Simon, but didn’t think he would go the distance. Even so, he could be a formidable contender, as Democrats have always been willing to nominate the person they should have put up four years earlier. My semi-finalists were Mario Cuomo, Joe Biden, and Michael Dukakis. Everybody liked Mario (I love the way his brother Perry sings), but he kept saying ENLISTING IN THE ARMY SALEM, ORAUGUST, B87 Between appointments I wandered through the statehouse offices just to see who might be there. The only person I came across was Rep. David Dix from Eugene, state coordinator for the Massachusetts governor. Having told him I was interested in working for Dukakis he immediately picked up the telephone and called Des Moines (much to my surprise). “ Hello, Theresa. How you doin’? Weather hot enough for you? Hey, I’ve got a great guy for you. No, he’s not a road warrior.” He covered the receiver and said, “Theresa Villmain is the Iowa state coordinator.” When he finally hung up, he asked, “ How does $800 a month sound?” I was taken aback. I hadn’t anticipated getting an immediate job offer or a salary less than half my previous one. “ I'll have to think about it, I’ve got a couple of other things hanging in the fire.” “Well, here’s the number of Dukakis headquarters in Iowa. Call them up when you're in the mood.” Still in the running for a $40,000-a-year state job—the Job of the Century—I thanked Dix and left for Eugene. MOHDAY, NOVEMBER 22 EUGENE AND SALEM The Job of the Century selection process dragged on and on as only civil service can. My interview took place on JFK Assassination Day. Facing the 15- person review panel, it was apparent I was not a finalist. By some strange quirk, the moment I got back home from Salem, a call came in from Iowa. I had made contact with the Dukakis campaign out of desperation. My Boston phone call had been a cold pain in the ass, but Iowa was friendly. They were calling me—telling me to report to Des Moines, with my car, before 5:00 PM, December 1. IN A PERFECT WORLD, SOMEONE WITH JESSE JACKSON’ S KIND OF POLITICS WOULD BE MY CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT; BUT A BLACK MAN WITH NO GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE WAS NOT GOING TO BE THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE. At 3:30 PM, December 1st, I parked my car in the handicapped space of the loyva Red Cross, a nondescript two-story commercial building. I was entitled. In four days of driving, I slept in a series of Sam Shepard Fool for Love motels. Late one night, in the Idaho-Utah scrubland, I watched a man torch my brand new tire with gasoline while mounting it. Don’t try that one at home, kids! In Wyoming, I figured out that James Watt had once again developed Teapot Dome, the famed symbol of an earlier corrupt Republican administration. And in Laramie, a shyster mechanic performed psychic surgery on my steering wheel. Driving sixteen hours a day, my car turned into a space capsule—a very messy space capsule—complete with a Nebraska speeding ticket, a dozen orange peels, and a stray Talking Heads tape. The only evidence of the headquarter’s mission was a couple of Dukakis lawn signs taped to the glass doors. Inside it conformed to the movie vision of what a presidential campaign central should look like. Twenty-five-year-old aides ran around. Large photos of the candidate and handmade campaign signs graced the walls. The Dukakis campaign looked, at first impression, well organized. I assumed this to be the positive influence of the Harvard Business School. I was told of a 5:00 PM meeting, and that someone would take care of my accommodations. It seemed a good omen that the Iowa Democratic Party offices were on the same second floor where I reported to the conference room. Sixty faces sat around folding tables arranged into a giant hollow rectangle. A small, swarthy, Boston-accented guy standing at the front of the room introduced himself. Joe Ricca welcomed us to the campaign. One of the best kept U.S. government secrets is that it’s largely run by young whippersnappers. Sure, we all know about the President, cabinet members, and congressmen. Those are the cushy jobs, but someone has to do their work for them. Oliver North is equal to or just one 8 Clinton St. Quarterly—Fai l/Winter 1988

* & __ SECRET$ W0IERSMlevel above the Republican counterparts of people in that room. I was immediately struck at how different I was from the other recruits. Everybody was 25 or under, and only two were women. Later I found that higher level campaign workers were predominantly female. Role reversal. Seventy-five percent of the guys had Jewish, Irish or Italian names. Almost everybody was from Massachusetts or New York, and the only other person who looked forty was one of the women in the room. I was demographically unique. Two kids from California, and one kid from Texas shared my minority status. After a pep talk we were told to report to an East Des Moines labor temple for a night of telephone canvassing. You’re in the army now! At 9:30 PM I still had no place to sleep. There was some mention of putting me up at Andrea Dukakis’ apartment. As it turned out, I ended up in a woman’s apartment who later became one of my telephone bosses. Three young women shared their small two-bedroom apartment with about seven guys in their early twenties and myself—a pretty bad hippy crash pad. The cheap pressed-wood paneling had a few holes in it. Silverfish skittered about in a kitchen sink piled with dirty dishes. A large flag of China draped over the fireplace was the only significant piece of decor. Ah, my lost and found youth. These living arrangements guaranteed that someone would be coming in until 3:30 AM, with someone else waking up and walking over bodies by 6:00 AM. I had traded in my well-appointed house in Eugene for this? My senior status secured me a single bed which later turned into sleeping on a box spring. I donated my mattress and a few blankets to guys sleeping on the floor or couch. DUKE POLITICAL CULTURE The first four days were filled with a tutorial on the ins and outs of political campaigning. Hours were spent detailing volunteer recruitment, press relations (None, unless we tell you!), canvassing, giving the Dukakis rap, (Goodjobs at good wages! and Mike Dukakis cares a* *1 5J about peace, people and the environment.), telephone manners, scheduling and doing campaign events. Having had ten years of Demo politics, the only thing even somewhat new to me was the word surrogate. Hint: It’s not artificial insemination. This refers to people standing in for the candidate: mom, wife, children, Rep. Chet Atkins of Massachusetts, The Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner, and even more obscure people. One of the few surrogates with any kind of name familiarity at all was Father Drinan, the Catholic priest whose anti-war stance had made the Pope rule that he and a few Sandinistas could not hold elected office. The Duke bosses conformed very closely to standard political types. Joe Ricca, number two man in Iowa, was a pure political technician—the kind of guy who obviously did his job and did it well. You didn’t want to cross Joe Ricca. Theresa Villmain, the Dukakis Iowa campaign head, was a fearsome woman. Plain and thin, her energy level could only be described as ultra-manic. Always enthusiastic!! Always fast-talking! It was rumored she could eat a five-course meal in five minutes. Food was served either in campaign headquarters or in a Greek restaurant. It was always fast-food grease and sugar. Group activity left hardly any time for the individual. This was like being indoctrinated into some obscure religious cult selling flowers in the Des Moines airport. The campaign and politics were the only focus of any conversation. At one point, my roommates were astonished when I showed up with a current Wall Street Jourpal. They were amazed a) by the fact that someone actually had enough time to buy a paper, and b) by physical evidence of contact with the outside world. MEETIHGTHE PRESIDEHT It was announced on the third day that the candidate was going to personally interview us the next morning. My first job interview by a man who would be president. Avoiding a beer party, I went to the flophouse to get a few hours of precious sleep. By 6:00 AM I was wide awake with a high degree of energy. After a five-mile run, I was the last person to use the shower, grateful for lukewarm water. I put on my power suit. Twenty of us sat on chairs in a small, windowless room. The Governor came in and was handed a three-ring notebook that held our resumes. Mine was the best looking one in the bunch. I could easily see them, sitting in the front row three feet away from the Governor. The kids probably hadn’t been looking for serious work as long as I had. I was the best- dressed, and the oldest too! Who cares? Mike Dukakis wasted no time. He looked at the resume for no more than five seconds; then had a short, but casual conversation with each of us. The Texas kid and the California kid were chatted up with something like “Well, you’ve come a long w a y . . . . ” His conversation to me began with, “You’re a little old to be doing this, aren’t you?” Think fast, Karl! I gave my response only a C-. “Well, I try to keep up with these guys by running five miles this morning.” My Ronald Reaganesque inflection was a little ridiculous. Gov. Dukakis talked about his Boston Marathon run and his exercise program. Afterward, the troops assembled to listen to the Dukakis stump speech for the first time. I sat down, and Dukakis stood right beside me. What can you make of immediate impressions? Adjectives for the Duke: intelligent, learned, well- adjusted. He came across as a brilliant manager. There wasn’t a single weird or kinky streak in the guy. His only flaw was that his moral standards were cast in stainless steel. If anything brought comeuppance to the Dukakis administration, it would be the Greek Puritan getting in the way of the manager-pragmatist. The only other hint of non-perfection was his side comment to the troops, “Whatever you do, don’t put it in writing.” Though this followed right after Sasso’s Biden-killer video, I speculate that President Dukakis ' would get along quite well with the CIA. ALMOST PEARL HARBOR DAY DES MOINES AND CHEROKEE, IA The green recruits were assigned stations and mustered out. My hope was that my long political history would qualify me for some responsible, demanding job at headquarters. As it turned out, I was parked in the upper-lefthand corner of the Iowa map in a town called Cherokee. It seemed I had been assigned there simply because I came from the Pacific Northwest. American campaign logic had struck. I measure campaign logic by what I call the Insanity Quotient. On a scale of 0 (too mundane for a winning campaign) to 100 (beyond criminally insane), the Dukakis organization appeared to be a 10, i.e. arbitrary and capricious. This was far better than some congressional campaign crews I had seen. A more typical campaign would have a boss played by J.R. Ewing on a crystal meth jag, ruling a claque of nitwits, incompetents, sycophants, and paranoid-schizophrenics. My foster parents in Cherokee were Don and Marilee Johnson, a Methodist minister and his wife. They literally adopted me as their own. Not enough can be said about the hospitality, generosity, and character of people who are willing to take a total stranger into their home for the sake of a cause. Besides free room and board, there was an important ground of emotional support and total access to their social network of friends and parishioners—a wonderful source of stability. Clinton St. Quarterly— Fall/Winter 1988 9

fman>«B».« BODY ■»««JJS2w■iEroSS“ as^ssssaS K — CON MAN FOR JESUS! This was critically important, as being the presidential campaign in three Iowa counties is a most destabilizing experience. I pitied the poor devil I knew who was assigned territory so hostile that no one would take him in. He had to live out of a motel room with nothing but a telephone for two months. The drive east had conditioned me to the eighteen-hour day, seven-day workweek. The Dukakis campaign demanded numbers. GIVE US YOUR NUMBERS! “ How many #1s?” (total Dukakis supporters). “ How many #2s?” (Duke leaners). “ How many precinct captains did you get?” A field staffer is the modern Willy Loman. In fact, the Iowa campaign was run on the same principles governing a crew of door-to-door Bible salesmen. In Babbitt (not Bruce), Sinclair Lewis offers a great description of a sales convention dinner. The star salesman gets the biggest, finest porterhouse steak and so on, until the worst sales guy gets just a small serving of peas on his plate. Staffers in large, liberal cities could report dozens of #1s, #2s, and precinct captains nightly. Their rewards were personal visits from the candidate, media coverage of themselves and their operations, and full-fledged campaign offices. Cherokee, Iowa was too small (pop. 6,000) to support giant numbers or campaign perks. Dukakis Central was my bedroom, and I had the finest 18th Century office technology—paper, pens and stamps. For three weeks, until I got a phone, I had to sneak campaign calls on the parsonage phone (church and state, you know). As for my army, I eventually recruited four or five good government ladies to do a little phoning. This was very humbling. At the same time, there was the manic rush of being The Representative of Someone Who Might Eventually Become the President of the United States. My first weeks in Cherokee were a single line of high energy. More people had to be recruited. More people had to be talked to. I was the only person who could convince someone that they should support Dukakis on February 8th. In Des Moines, they’d said, “ If you do illegal drugs, you are out!” In Cherokee, my response was, “Who needs drugs when you have adrenaline?!” Daily activity consisted of seeing farmers, Kiwanis, schoolchildren, meatpackers—7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. No one lived on too obscure a dirt road. No effort was spared in scheming what it might take to sit down in someone’s living room to convince one or two voters the Duke was their kind of guy. At TV news time, I ate microwaved broccoli or cottage cheese with salsa while looking for campaign news. After 6:30, there was telephoning. Finally, around 9:30,1could begin my paperwork for the late-night phone report. I fell asleep in my bedroom-office between midnight and 1:30 AM, carefully mixing varied combinations of aspirin, Excedrin PM, tryptophan, and white wine in order to avoid chemical dependency. Phone-trolling for Duke meant stopping just short of destroying my voice. Within two weeks, my body had declared war on itself. The -50°F wind-chill factor cracked the skin on my fingertips. My complexion zitted out from bad food in Lake Wobegone coffee shops. My lips were chapped. Shaving nicks would not heal from the stress! I even developed bursitis in my shoulder from scrunching my neck on the telephone—writing while I was talking. The Duke was right, as usual. Physically, this campaign job sucked. One of the few extraordinary powers I could invoke was the celebrity phone call. Des Moines had a list of people ranging from Teddy Kennedy to lesser lights who might eventually call Louis Braunschweiger if I really felt it would help. lowans were all old political hacks. It seemed everyone had been in a living room or coffee shop with Walter Mondale or Jimmy Carter. It was shocking how matter-of-factly these people treated presidential candidates and media potentates alike. One teacher casually mentioned his interviews with the Des Moines Register, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. “Oh yeah, a CBS TV crew is coming out to see me next week.” Elsewhere, the average Joe would consider an interview by Time magazine a high point of his life! One farmer was called to the phone in the middle of our three-hour political ping-pong session. He asked me how I spelled my name. A reporter from the Boston Globe was on the line. At least, the Duke knew I was on the case. Some people said they wanted Mike Dukakis to call personally. Their requests were granted. The last time I saw Dukakis in Iowa, he was spending spare moments ensconced in a senior center office on the phone, asking people for either personal support or money. Cherokee County had been Dukakis country. He had visited the Johnson’s living room a week and a half before I arrived. Despite the Siberian cold, his lead slowly melted, as other candidates paid their respects. Dick Gephardt put on a big show in an auction house three miles south of town. Paul Simon walked into the 100-watt radio station with his Secret Service escort. Jesse Jackson ate at a workingman’s restaurant, as did Bruce Babbitt. The charisma-less Gary Hart paid a visit to a steak house. Bob Dole lurked in and out of town. The Duke never came back, leaving me as the lone sniper trying to pin down everybody else’s armies. The Des Moines people frowned on our going to other people’s rallies. I was too busy making converts. I only saw Pat Robertson’s. He pulled up in the middle of a blizzard with three Greyhound buses. Large banners were taped to their sides, and one bus had a fold-out speaker system and bandstand. His campaign site, Stu’s Corner, was the only coffee shop with pictures of fetuses next to the cash register. Robertson’s rally was a curious mixture of bright TV lights and half-hearted enthusiasm generated mostly by very intense 20 year olds with bad complexions and styrofoam hats. The thirty townfolks just looked on. It was slightly more fun than going to the animal shelter to see a litter of kittens. ROBERTSON’S CAMPAIGN SITE,STU’S CORNER, WAS THE ONLY COFFEE SHOP WITH PICTURES OF FETUSES NEXT TO THE CASH REGISTER. THE RALLY WAS A CURIOUS MIXTURE OF BRIGHT TV LIGHTS, AND HALF-HEARTED ENTHUSIASM GENERATED MOSTLY BY VERY INTENSE 20 YEAR OLDS WITH BAD COMPLEXIONS AND STYROFOAM HATS. A CAVALCADE OF MEAT BUENAVISTA COUNTY STORMLAKE, IOWA Near Buena (rhymes with tuna) Vista College in part of my territory was a clean, white metal building emanating an industrial hum—Iowa Beef Packing Co. Even in winter, Storm Lake’s air was permeated with the smell of blood from the canned ham and hot dog factory. But IBP’s offal smell harbored human blood as well. The IBP plant had belonged to Hy- Grade Ball Park Franks, but cholesterol mania had made the packing business a dog-eat-dog industry. Union wage concessions didn’t prevent the slaughterhouse from going under. Iowa Beef came to the “ rescue.” In return for hefty property tax and sewer/water rate exemptions, IBP brought jobs back to Storm Lake. They even promised to be environmental with their sewerage, long discharged raw into the nearby lake. Because IBP is a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, deep pockets were assumed. IBP, it turned out, wanted nothing more than to monopolize the packing business. It cut wages so severely the unions had no choice but to strike. IBP hired $4 to $6-an-hour scabs, breaking the union after eighteen months. Organizing was met with goon squads, and shotgun blasts ripped through windows of local union leaders. The scabs were treated like the animals they slaughtered. IBP sped the production line up from 25 to 50 kills an hour. More than one animal killer ended up in the state mental hospital in Cherokee. IBP’s full-page, multi-color ads bought off the local papers while telling people what a great place it was to work—$10 an 10 Clinton St. Quarterly— Fall/Winter 1988

hour after six months! Bankrupt farmers trickled in, but starting wages depended on the boss’s mood. There was no job security. Storm Lake developed its own homeless problem. It was said that entire families lived in their cars during the Iowa winter. The Democratic candidates were a little skittish about this issue. Al Gore’s dad was on the Occidental Petroleum board. Bruce Babbitt had garnered certain fame for busting a strike of Kennicott Copper workers in Arizona. Though the national press didn’t report it, IBP was the concern of the locals in northwest Iowa. Jesse appeared at IBP’s front gate for a rally in Storm Lake. My phone request miraculously got action from the candidate himself. Mike Dukakis, appearing at a Cedar Rapids packing plant, said that IBP was a crime. He wouldn’t allow conditions like that in Massachusetts. He called for toughening OSHA (the federal work-inspection agency). This is likely my major contribution of the entire campaign. OF THE PHONE! BY THE PHOHE! FOR THE PHOHE! Ilived somewhat better than a packinghouse worker. Our eighteen-hour day, seven-day week was supposed to crest on February 8th, election day. Free time was spent in two and four-hour chunks watching MTV or running six miles in a blizzard. The rest of the time was always the same. On Sunday the comics were in color. Tour the country during the day. Phone at night. Phone on Saturday. Phone on Sunday. Go to Des Moines to work on New Year’s Eve and January 1. Campaign Iowa only respected two institutions—Christmas and the Super Bowl. The holiday season held its own horrors. I drove to Chicago to visit Mom during my three days off for Christmas, racing a Paul Simon bumper sticker in the dark from Des Moines to the Illinois border. Returning to Cherokee, I didn’t know the snow had closed the freeway. Only semi lights were visible. I could go 55 mph, or I could go sideways into the median strip. My Rabbit skipped over the ice ridges as I slid by cars going into the ditches. The campaign staff threw a New Year’s party for the recruits. Dukakis decreed that no one would be driving. A Greyhound bus drove us to the college bars of Des Moines as the kids and I warbled theme songs from The Flintstones and The Brady Bunch. For the thirteenth time the labor staffer drunkenly said that Mike Dukakis thought Joe Montana was the greatest quarterback ever. My bursitis was killing me. Everyone but me spent the night in a Dukakis crash pad. At 3:30 I got a cab to a motel on the other end of town. After the 10:00 AM New Years’ briefing, I had my picture taken in front of every campaign headquarters in Des Moines. Otherwise, day in and day out, the same telephone conversation repeated itself. I talked about Dukakis and health care—an issue I knew about. The more I called, the more other campaigns called. My phone spiel became less and less welcome. Once in a while, my routine would be’ broken by calling someone with Alzheimer’s disease. One old lady got turned on by the second syllable in Du- ka-kis. I can count only one person that I’m sure I convinced to vote for Mike by phone. This experience did give me a lesson in political power. Listening to the rise and fall of voices, I began to gauge real attitudes towards the presidential campaign. What is the issue most important to you? How do you feel about Mike Dukakis? I began to develop world-class information on how the campaign was going. Des Moines told me very little, but I had access to an opinion poll larger and more detailed than anything Gallup or Harris could put together. I knew Gary Hart was a joke even when the big-city newshounds were ballyhooing him. Paul Simon had large but soft support. Richard Gephardt might win the election, and he was spending way too much money. Public opinion flipped all over the map, depending on what was on the nightly news. I’m sure that Mike Dukakis would have won Iowa if the election had been held a week earlier. Daniel Ellsberg once said, the only thing about being in the seat of power is that you know what the nightly news will be a week or a month from now. That doesn’t necessarily allow you to control the situation—it just makes you better informed. REAL CAMPAIGN BIRT Des Moines attempted to control things by phone. Every couple of weeks there would be a 70-person phone call—always very strange. Eight or nine of the most important pieces of party line were delivered rapid-fire on a giant party line. Once they played a tape of Dukakis singing “ Itsy Bitsy Spider.” I was glad I hadn’t ended up in Des Moines. My first phone boss had grown more short-tempered and bitchy. Without warning, she was transferred to Waterloo, in disgrace. Andrea Dukakis replaced her. Andrea was sweet but something of an airhead. Then came someone I dubbed Surfer Girl, a California friend of a Massachusetts scion who came to Des Moines with no winter clothing. I listened over the wires to the campaign’s disintegration. Surfer Girl began asking me the same questions two or three times in the same conversation. Theresa Villmain turned into Madame LaFarge (Off with their heads!). The Insanity Quotient rose from 10 to 50 to 120. For five days a key campaign aide disappeared. No one knew whether he was dead or alive. He just showed up at his desk with no explanation. It sounded like headquarters had turned into the last outpost of Apocalypse Now. Important campaign events for my area were scheduled with three-days notice, only to be cancelled without warnI LISTENED OVER THE WIRES TO THE CAMPAIGN’S DISINTEGRATION. THERESA VILLMAIN TURNED INTO MADAME LAFARGE. IT SOUNDED LIKE HEADQUARTERS HAD TURNED INTO THE LAS T OUTPOST OF APOCALYPSE NOW. ing. I was pulled off regular duty to make sure that Euterpe Dukakis was not being scheduled into Iowa’s only leather bar. Des Moines staffers lived on cold pizza and slept at their desks. They got angry and distracted when Shirley MacLaine or Tom Brokaw swept through the place. They were too busy. MY LAST WEEK IN MEGA-POLITICS: THE RIG MISTAKE! While headquarters went crazy, I began to go sane. I had called every registered Democrat in one county, and 80 percent of the D’s in Cherokee County. By the time I began phoning in Cherokee itself, every campaign was inundating people with calls. My local advisors all said it was unwise to call; Des Moines wanted redoubling of efforts. On Thursday, February 3rd, we were first or second. On Friday, I rechecked my numbers for accuracy. From a few key phone calls, I determined that 30 percent of Dukakis supporters had evaporated. Paul Simon’s Des Moines Register endorsement had swung people, and I could do nothing about it. Des Moines sent out a useless volunteer to help me. I quickly dubbed him Cronin the Barbarian. He was a spoiled rich kid from Massachusetts. At a Gary Hart do, Cronin nearly caused a campaign incident. He told Hart’s daughter that he was not associated with the Dukakis campaign; someone else had to correct him publicly. His campaigning skills included liking girls and liking beer. Mentally, physically, and geographically I was phoned out. I couldn’t get any more converts to save my life. Instead of being a good soldier, I let Cronin talk me into doing a Saturday night on the town. Another night of reporting goose eggs wouldn’t make any difference. Arriving home drunk at 1:30 AM, I received a phone call from Surfer Girl screaming, WHY HADN’T I BOTHERED TOCALL IN MY NUMBERS?!? She called fifteen minutes later to repeat her message. Fifteen minutes later the same call again. At 2:30 AM, Joe Ricca was on the line. By this time, I was so drunk and tired that I did something unusual—I calmly explained to Joe that our voters had gone south. Dukakis would finish third, and there was nothing we could do about it. I heard silence and then the dialtone. My campaign daydreams during the Siberian winter had me sent to Marina Del Rey, California, to do fundraisers with Jane Fonda. Had I stayed on, my next assignment would have been International Falls, Minnesota, because Iowa wasn’t cold enough. FEBRUARY 9TH: THE AFTERMATH After Dukakis finished third, the troops were gathered for the last supper. People were going to find out their new assignments (South Dakota or Minnesota), and there was going to be a celebration party. For one thing, we had made Simon and Gephardt spend all their money. At headquarters, there was cameraderie in the midst of shambles. The most impressive sight was a five- foot-tall mound of loose typing paper. Special arrangements had been made, and workers were actually being booked into motels with real beds! We were sleeping four to a room. The Dukakis Sleep Dictator was still making room assignments! I was beyond caring. This was my last day on the campaign. I had gotten a job in Portland, and I had to be in Grand Island, Nebraska by the end of the evening. Clinton St. Quarterly— Fall/Winter 1988 11