Thursday, June 18, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 06/17/15: Watergate Again, Grandpa Pasta, Dick Cavett Again

1. Back in 1972-74, as the story of the break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Georgetown developed, I had trouble keeping it all straight. It didn't help, I suppose, that I was drinking a lot of beer in those days and that I was hospitalized following the accident I had at the Zinc Plant. While in the hospital, I remember Mom being a little put out when the Watergate hearings were shown in place of All My Children.

Back then, I thought that I'd wait until the whole situation came to a conclusion and then I'd try to understand it by looking back, rather than trying to comprehend it as it happened. Today, over forty years later, I once again dove back into the story. I watched the first two thirds of the 4 1/2 hour documentary, Watergate: A Third-Rate Burglary (1994) and I am arriving at a better understanding of who was involved, the gravity of their actions, and how crazy some of the stuff that happened was.

For me, G. Gordon Liddy, sounding  in the interviews disarmingly like Maxwell Smart, personifies the craziness. The craziness, to me, was also expressed in how matter of fact Howard Hunt, Bernard Barker, Bob Haldeman, John Erlichman, and the others sounded about the schemes they worked up and carried out. In tone, they sounded like they were talking about picking up their kids from school or what they had for dinner the night before.

This entire documentary is available in three installations on YouTube.

2. Much to my surprise and delight, Molly brought Olivia and David over and we had a simple and delicious pasta dinner together.  The "grown-up" pasta was dressed with olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Very simple and mighty tasty.

3.  I had forgotten that Dick Cavett had many of those involved in the Watergate situation on his late night talk show. Not long ago (unknown to me) an hour long documentary entitled Secrets of the Dead:  Dick Cavett's Watergate was filmed.  It's a compilation of clips from Cavett's show and contemporary interviews with him and others looking back forty years.  Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are prominently featured.  I watched Dick Cavett most often when his show was on PBS and when I was sleeping on the couch at the end of my first marriage. Back then, I found it a satisfying way to end my day of studies and teaching and to relieve myself of the stress of a failing marriage.  Tonight, the impact was less dramatic, but it was fun to, once again, have Dick Cavett help me end a day of contemplation, house cleaning, and some cooking.

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