Thursday, May 17, 2007

the Cuban Missile Crisis and Richard J. Hughes

I lived in a block growing up that was named after a prominent psychiatrist at Hackensack Hospital. Appropriately named. There were no boys on my block that didn't tower over me in age but there were two girlup the street that I played with. They were the Mills girls. One was two years older than me and one was two years younger than me. They were exciting people to be around and they had exciting imaginations. The older girl was a horse nut and the younger one was into politics and the movies. Every summer we had imaginary horse shows.

They dragged around a little red wagon that was emblazoned with campaign stickers supporting Democratic party candidates from New Jersey since 1958. There was the bumper sticker for Robert B. Meyner. There was the bumper sticker for Harrison A. Williams. There was, as should be expected, a few Kennedy stickers. The newest sticker they had was for Richard J. Hughes, who was, at that time, running for governor in New Jersey.

I always will remember the horse shows we had in the Mills backyard. And there were the happy summer hours shooting rubber arrows and listening to the older girl talk.

Come fall there was a big story in the neighborhood. The newly elected governor was making an appearance at the Young Democrats headquarters in Maywood, New Jersey. We waited an interminable time. There was a tv in the window of the headquarters. John F. Kennedy was on the tv and he was giving a speech about missiles being found in Cuba.

Finally Richard J. Hughes arrived in a car. He had the reddest face I ever saw. My mother said that was because he had high blood pressure. He shook a few hands and autographed the Mills wagon. I always thought after that that governors always had reddish faces.

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