Class Dinner in Review

The evening was a tribute to a much honored classmate. It was also fun. The Century Club, recently renovated by Byron Bell, sparkled. Bobís presentation was in the Billiards Room. Dinner was in the Gallery where membersí paintings and sculptures are displayed. 14 class members are also Century members. This arts related club has been at the 43rd Street location since 1891. A founding member was William Cullen Bryant. After dinner Byron Bell led a number of groups through the clubís beautiful public rooms.


Robert Caro Introduction

More on the Dinner



We have all experienced house guests who have over-stayed their welcome. The Caros have had LBJ with them for more than 25 years. Perhaps Robert Moses is also hanging around in some corner of their New York apartment or the Long Island house they had to sell to finance the writing of The Power Broker.

Still, there have been compensations. Not many authors can say that all their books have won Pulitzer Prizes. It wasn't easy. When Bob started to do a Johnson biography there were already 17. Now there is only one.

In a 1999 interview with Kurt Vonnegut, Bob said he no longer feared poverty but he did fear "not finishing." I don't know if William Manchester's problems in finishing with Winston Churchill were known at that time. But, Bob did finish Master of the Senate. It was published last year and quickly became a best seller with a paperback edition coming soon. Bob appears to be at the top of his game and the final volume of the Years of Lyndon Johnson is now in process.

I told Bob that the large turnout tonight is not due to respect for LBJ, it is for RAC.

I am honored and delighted to present to you 9Down on the March 30 NYT Crossword and our classmate,Bob Caro.
 

Every organizer's dream is to have his event blessed by a recent award. Bart Reitz never hoped for more than Bob & Ina Caro's appearance at the class dinner on April 11, which guaranteed a record attendance for the event. Then, the week before, the Pulitzer committee named Master of the Senate its prize winner for biography. Such good fortune brought in classmates from Illinois, Ohio and even Florida. Bill Tangney flew in from Naples Florida to congratulate his old mate on the Prince.

Bob's presentation concentrated on material in Master of the Senate but references were made to Robert Moses and The Power Broker, which also won a Pulitzer. While still a reporter for Newsday, Bob became interested in the large amount of political power wielded by Robert Moses. He had assumed that such power was conferred by voters yet Moses was never elected to any office. How he got the power and how he used it were explained in his book which was published in 1974.

Political power as a theme led Bob to Lyndon Johnson whose 12 years as the Senate Majority Leader were as productive as any in American legislative history. Much of Johnson's success was a result of the special relationship he had with Sam Rayburn. Bob told the story of Speaker Sam and Lady Bird; two very shy people who bonded early with great benefit to Lyndon. Rarely has this group sat so still for so long. Many had apparently read all three volumes of The Days of Lyndon Johnson.
 
Byron Bell, Sally and Orville Mann Sumner Rahr & Fred Deming
 
A lovely table setting Bill Tangney, Nort Rosensweig, & Bob Bolgard
 
Faith & Bob Duncan, Rob & Anita Lincoln Janet & Ed Dunn, Irv Flinn, Tony & Ellie Carey
 
Bob Kent, Sumner Rahr & Cullom Davis Louise Bessire, Gwyn Rahr, Jane Otis & Greg Farrell
 
Ted Jones, Bobbie Glass, Delle Jones, Linda & Nort Rosensweig Liliane Peck, Charlie & Rachel Bernheim & Norm Peck
 
Jane Otis, Cathy Farrell & Anita Lincoln John Solum, Rudy & Mary Hoeltzel
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