We all have a little Watergate story in each of us.
When I got home tonight the first thing Mrs. Tbogg said to me (besides “God you’re hot. Take off your clothes and make me a woman“) was “Did you see that asshole Liddy talking about Felt?” to which I replied (after I said “Okay, but I can only go six times tonight. Big meeting tomorrow morning“) that she should read Martini Republic to get a real feel for what a sack of shit Liddy is and how it appears that Paula Zahn doesn’t have the brains God gave a Parker House roll.
Then we had sex.
Okay, we didn’t have sex but only because we’re too busy fighting the man.
But that’s not what I want to talk about.
First, some back-story: I grew up with Watergate. I was a senior in high school the year of the Watergate hearings (1973) and I had a political science class every morning and each day we would watch the televised hearings in class as well as go over the coverage in the local papers. Our instructor, whose name I have forgotten, told us that we would learn more from those hearings than anything that she could teach us. And so we watched and we discussed and we listened and we became intimately acquainted with the entire cast of characters and the strange workings of our government.
Jump ahead to 1995. Still dashingly handsome, I’m the senior buyer at a fairly large retail chain when I get contacted by a recruiter representing a father and son who have bought a business that they’re not too sure how to run, and would I take the time to talk to them?
What the hell, I’m ready for a change, and I get their names.
Because I don’t like to go into any meeting without doing some research, I start asking around and one of the first things I’m told is that the father was one of the Watergate Seven. He would be Robert Mardian. So I have dinner with his son Bill (who was a great guy, I might add) and we discuss what they have and what they need and how I fit into the whole shebang. He asks me what I want..I tell him. He agrees. We have a deal. Before we part ways I casually ask him if his dad is the Robert Mardian, and Bill laughed and said yes, and mentioned that he had been in college at Arizona State when all the hearings were going on and that it wasn’t the most pleasant thing to have gone through.
So I went to work for Bill & Robert Mardian, but I never met Robert until some six months later (he still lived and I assume still lives in Arizona). Bill and Robert and I were going to have lunch, and before Robert met up with us, Bill smirked and said, “When you meet my dad, ask him what he thinks of Richard Nixon.” Okay. We’re having lunch and finally I got around to it (I thought the whole idea was kind of awkward) and said, “Mr Mardian. (I never called him Robert) Bill said I should ask you what you think of Richard Nixon.”
Robert Mardian looked at me and said, “Richard Nixon is a lying son of a bitch“, and by the way he said it, I knew that the topic was now closed. Bill, on the other hand was laughing his ass off.
And that is my Watergate story.
Coming soon: Interviewing Spiro Agnew when I was thirteen, and Barry Goldwater walks out of a dinner party to look at a bunch of doves I’d shot.
I swear: these are true.