1973: the class trip to DC

New Paltz Democratic Club

I intend to finish my 1973 diary recollections by the end of 2023.  Though I found nothing I wanted to share in the first two months, the class trip to DC was particularly noteworthy.

Wed, Mar 7: I was famished that evening and was going to eat. But the Okie said she was going to bring food. Then my parents and my sisters arrived, surprising me near or on my birthday for the second year in a row.

We were about to leave when a car with a little girl barreled down the street in reverse. Dad tried to stop it, but he couldn’t. It rammed into another vehicle. The girl was okay. She was trying to adjust the radio station and released the brake. My family went to a Chinese restaurant called Great Wall.

Tues, Apr 10: I attended, not for the first time, a New Paltz Democratic Club meeting. Ralph Kulseng nominated me to be the acting recording secretary. Someone whispered, “Who’s Roger Green?” I whispered, “I’m Roger Green!”

[I joined the Club after I was allowed to register to vote in the town. The law in New York State at the time was that no one would gain or lose the right to vote by attending college. The Republican registrar was going to deny me the chance to vote there. But the Democrat, noting that the Okie was already registered in Ulster County and that it would be silly for a married couple to have to be registered in different counties.]

I won the election and was given postcards, the membership list, etc.

Sat, Apr 14: I was back in Binghamton. I met a legislative assistant of my Congressman Howard Robison at the Federal Building about war, Watergate, and other issues.

District of Columbia

Sun, May 13: My classmates (Sid, Andi, Ivy, Gary, Jay, Mitch, Stu, Charles, Jerry, Tom, and Linda ) and I drove down to DC for a trip arranged by our professor, Ron Steinberg.  We ate at the Mayflower Diner. Nixon arrived at the Washington Monument grounds by helicopter, causing chaos. We stayed at a hostel.

Mon, May 14: After breakfast at a greasy spoon, we take a bus to the Supreme Court. They ruled 8-1, Rehnquist dissenting, that a servicewoman could claim her husband for benefits as easily as a serviceman could claim his wife. (As I read the case now, it was a bit more nuanced than that.) We talked with chief clerk Rodak, a real PR man, about court caseloads.

At the Justice Department, we talked with Phil Locavara, deputy solicitor general, who was very candid, even about Watergate.

The last day in DC

Tues, May 15: We had a meeting at the EPA with a guy named Stuart, who was very interesting and informative. I got lost going to the Common Cause meeting, seeing an Ethiopian parade en route. Later, the FCC PR man gave us terse, frustratingly evasive answers.

Wed, May 16: Took a bus to the New Senate Office Building. I hated carrying around my duffel bag, which was searched every time I entered there or the Supreme Court. Ron, Sid, and I ate at the NSOB cafeteria. We got Senate passes from the office of Senator James Buckley (C-NY). I went to the Senate on the subway, but only four Senators were on the floor.

We went to the Old Senate Office Building for a meeting with a subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary with two of the staff on Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC).

Then we went to see former Chief Justice Earl Warren. Ron made only an introductory statement and asked the last question over an hour later. )I wrote about this here.)

We all drove back to New Paltz, very tired.

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