Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:16 am

Testimony of Major Randy Aber on Capitol Hill
by DemocracyNow!
December 11, 1996
[Transcribed by Tara Carreon]

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LISTEN TO FULL SHOW [RANDY ABER TESTIMONY AT 41:50]

Major Randy Aber believes his diagnosis of Lou Gehrigs Disease is a result of a low level chemical exposure in the gulf. His illness prevents him from speaking so after he thanks the members of the Congress his father read the Major’s statements about his experiences of possible chemical exposure in the gulf war. This event is broadcasted.

Segment Subjects (keywords for the segment): Gulf War, chemical agents, biological agents

[Amy Goodman] You’re listening to DemocracyNow!. I’m Amy Goodman. More Persian Gulf War Veterans will testify on Capitol Hill today as a House Subcommittee continues its hearings on chemical weapons in the Gulf War.

Yesterday, several veterans gave first-hand accounts of their experience with chemical agents in the Gulf. The most compelling testimony came from Marine Corps Major Randy Aber who believes his diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease is the result of low-level chemical exposure in the Gulf. Aber’s illness prevents him from speaking clearly, so after he thanked members of Congress, his father read the Major’s statements.

[Randy Aber] [Speaks incomprehensibly]

[Randy Aber’s Father] Mr. Chairman, my son has said:

Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Randy Aber. I appreciate the opportunity to present the truth today.

In December, 1990, I was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, where I served as Assistant Operations Officer and Officer in Charge of breaching the divisions’ left [inaudible] to create two emergency lanes to evacuate casualties if needed.

On the 23rd of February, 1991, the eve prior to our ground attack, we moved into our attack position approximately 2-1/2 to 3 miles from the border of Kuwait near the area known as the Umm Gudair Oil field. On G-Day 24 February, 1991, we were to link up with a section of tanks. This never happened. In the confusion, I radioed to the battalion 3 to let him know the situation. I decided to halt my men south of the berm dividing Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

I proceeded about 500 metres to the East via Humvee with my driver and radio man to a traffic control point. As we approached, we received the hand and orb signal for chemical attack. We put on our mask and gloves. In doing so, I recall my right hand feeling cool and tingling. I was mad because we were just starting, and already receiving the signs for chemicals.

I jumped from the vehicle and asked the MP in strong [inaudible] language who had told him to go to MOPP Level 4. He pointed to another Marine whom I asked the same question. He told me, “Someone on the radio.” We drove back and radioed to my Marines to get to MOPP Level 4. When we arrived somewhere, others were not. The driver and I jumped from the vehicle giving the signals for chemicals. I approached the MP controlling traffic to ask why he wasn’t in MOPP Level 4. He told me the alarm was false. I was angry and removed my mask. I now feel that was a mistake.

I radioed to the Battalion 3 and told him, “We are rolling and we have not made contact with the tanks.” He said, “Okay.” Within a minute of rolling he called back saying that, “Your lane is dirty. Chemical mine has gone off. Go to MOPP 4.” I called back and verified his statement. Then I told him, “Roger that.” We all went to MOPP 4. Lane Red One was the lane where the chemical mine detonated.

After about 30 minutes, we had finished firing line charges. We had several mines that needed to be cleared from the hedgerow. We were still in MOPP 4, and I radioed to the Battalion 3 asking where we would decontaminate. A Lieutenant told me that we should check to see if chemicals were in the air. I again asked, “Where we would decontaminate.” I received the same response. I was mad and hung up.

We stayed in MOPP 4 another 2-1/2 to 3 hours. During this time, much of the division moved quickly through the area, some in MOPP 4, others not. Although we had finished our portion of the lane, we remained by Lane Red One because the Four Right Flank was having great difficulty due to the density of the mine field. The battalion commander wanted us all to proceed to the next obstacle belt together.

I remember a dead camel lying by the entrance to our lane. It did not have any insects feeding on it.

After several hours in MOPP 4, I had my driver check the area for chemicals. After we determined that chemicals were no longer present, my driver selectively unmasked. Then, after he displayed no symptoms, I had my other Marines unmask.

I forgot to mention that once we arrived at the breach site, I had communicated directly with the Lieutenant working with me asking if he felt funny or if he was having problems breathing. He told me he didn’t think so, but he asked why. I told him that I felt funny.

I also recall two large explosions while we were breaching that I thought were [inaudible]. However, they only left dust clouds after they hit. I now believe they may have been chemical rounds.

We remained between the two mine fields the night of 24 February, 1991, and the next day and night, 25 February, 1991. On the 25th, I heard a large explosion in the area. The following day we moved to an area known as the “Ice Cube Tray” where we built a POW camp. I later learned the area just north was the headquarters for the Iraqi Chemical Brigade. During our movement to this area, we heard several explosions. I am not sure what they were.

A few days later, 28 February, 1991, we moved to an area about 8 miles southwest of Kuwait City near a small town called Al Jahrah. I later learned this area was an old garbage dump that had been covered.

Around the beginning of March, perhaps the 10th, I became very ill with flu-like symptoms. I remember many others were ill also. Around the 22nd of February I started taking Pyridostigmine Bromide pills (PB) for anti-nerve agent protection. I believe I took the pills for 11-14 days.

Once we returned to Saudi Arabia in early April, I began to have some difficulty with sleep. This continued upon my return home 15 May, 1991, until early July, at which time I was having difficulty reading and remembering what I had read. I was extremely aggressive, moody and excitable. I had headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. I was also diagnosed with moderate depression. I was given medications for several months at which time the majority of the symptoms went away.

I continued to have headaches almost on a daily basis, and took as many as 8 to 10 aspirins a day until April, 1995. Besides the headaches, I felt I was not able to breathe as well when I ran. In May of 1994, I noticed a decrease in my upper body strength. In early July, I had a lump on my throat area the size of a walnut. I was not sick. I had a friend who was a medical doctor come to my home to examine me. He was not sure what caused the lump. It remained for 1-1/2 to 2 weeks.

In October, 1994, I experienced problems with my throat muscles and coughed very frequently and uncontrollably. There were times when my throat muscles would constrict, and I could not breathe for 10 to 15 seconds.

In November of the same year, I noticed atrophy in my right arm and hand and began having difficulty controlling my hand and arm.

In January, 1995, while being evaluated at Nashville Naval Medical Center, I developed another lump on the right side of my face just forward of my right ear. It also was the size of a walnut.

During the same three-week period, I had a very large rash from the middle of my nose to the middle of my forehead which was red, swollen, and extremely itchy. Also, it had three white, watery pustules. When the rash subsided, I was left with a scar inbetween my eyebrows.

From January, 1995, until October, 1995, I was evaluated at several different hospitals. During some of these visits, I saw, spoke to, and learned of other servicemen and women who served in the Gulf who were having problems. These problems included cancer, respiratory disease, muscle twitches, fatigue, memory loss, joint pains, ulcers, rashes, lumps under the skin, hearing problems, atrophy of one limb, atrophy of the brain, insomnia, depression, heart problems, tearing of the eyes, and others.

During this time, I developed a rash on my buttocks, tearing of the eyes with burning, and occasional ringing in both ears.

In October, 1995, I was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

I believe the medical problems I have discussed are due to low-level chemical exposure over an extended period.

I learned after the war, that the chemical mine detonated in Lane Red One, was confirmed for the nerve agent Sarin, and also the agent Lewicite Mustard Gas by a Fox Vehicle in the lane. I also learned that two Marines in an Amtrak received chemical burns, and that the chemical mine confirmation was reported by the Regimental Commander of the 6th Marines. It was also reported up the chain of command by the 2nd Marine Division Commander.

It has been brought to my attention that there have been at least seven other cases of ALS in service members who served in the Gulf. To me, this is more than chance or coincidence.

Besides myself, there have been numerous others with various experiences. For example:

1. I have spoken to a Marine who believes a missile attack occurred in Algabal that was a chemical attack. He made the duty officer from the 2nd Division read the Division Logbook to him. He has the statement recorded on audiotape. It says that mustard gas was detected.

2. I have also spoken to a Marine who was evaluated with several other Marines from his squad upon their return from the war. They were told they were being studied for adverse effects from the desert sun. They were told this by someone who he believes was a civilian doctor. They all were observed for one week. The following week, the Marines went back to the hospital to find the results. They were told that they were never there. Also, there is not an indication in their records they were ever there.

3. I have learned of a Marine Corps investigation that was directed at the General Officer level, to determine the possible exposure to chemical agents of Marine Sergeant Randy G. Wheeler. As a result of that investigation, I have learned of other chemical detections just to our northeast, near Al Jabir Airfield, in the 1st Marine Division’s area, both on the 24th and 25th of February, 1991. One of the opinions of the General Officer reviewing the investigation was that “Sergeant Wheeler may be suffering from exposure to chemicals or other contaminants, and his condition may be combat-related.”

Finally, on 12 November, 1996, the Commandante of the Marine Corps was speaking at Camp Lejeune. I had an opportunity to ask him if the Marine Corps had an official position on Gulf War Syndrome Illness. The Commandante told me that the Marine Corps does have a position, and they believe chemical weapons were used. He also said the Marine Corps is in the process of trying to contact Marines who may have been exposed.

In conclusion, I believe with 100% certainty, that chemicals and possibly biological agents were used during the war –

[Amy Goodman] And that was the father of Marine Corps Major Randy Aber who testified yesterday along with other Persian Gulf War Veterans on Capitol Hill. That testimony continues today. You’re listening to DemocracyNow! If you’d like to get a copy of today’s show, you can call 1-800-735-0230.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:30 am

The 96th Annual Virginia Maritime Association Banquet
by T. Parker Host
May 13, 2016

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T. Parker Host and our guests attended the 96th Annual Virginia Maritime Association Banquet last night, and hosted get-togethers before and after at local restaurants.

We enjoyed spending time with our much-appreciated business partners and friends, and we thank the VMA for putting together another fantastic event this year!

The VMA was organized in 1920 to promote, protect and encourage international and domestic commerce through Virginia's Ports. With a membership of over 450 companies, employing over 70,000 Virginians, the Virginia Maritime Association is widely recognized as "The Voice of Port Industries." The VMA is the primary advocate for the interests of the maritime industry, developing opportunities for its membership and Virginia's ports.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:16 am

Rock Hudson's Wife Secretly Recorded His Gay Confession
by Stephen Galloway
7:00 AM PDT 6/6/2013

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Image
Hudson was fed wedding cake by his bride, Phyllis, at a reception following their surprise wedding in 1955. Inset: Fred Otash

The Hollywood Reporter obtained private eye Fred Otash's secret files, which also reveal a recording of JFK and Marilyn Monroe having sex and where Judy Garland hid her pills.

This story first appeared in the June 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

On January 21, 1958, Rock Hudson's wife confronted him, demanding to know if he was gay and grilling the actor about a Rorschach test he had taken. "You told me you saw thousands of butterflies and also snakes," she said "[A therapist] told me in my analysis that butterflies mean femininity and snakes represent that male penis. I'm not condemning you, but it seems that as long as you recognize your problem, you would want to do something about it." She also complained about "your great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?"

"Well, it's a physical conjunction [sic]," replied Rock, then 32. "Boys don't fit. So, this is why it lasts longer."

Added Phyllis: "Everyone knows that you were picking up boys off the street shortly after we were married and have continued to do so, thinking that being married would cover up for you."

"I have never picked up any boys on the street," Rock insisted. "I have never picked up any boys in a bar, never. I have never picked up any boys, other than to give them a ride."

This eye-popping dialogue -- tape-recorded surreptitiously by a detective whom Phyllis had hired to check on her husband, and transcribed on thin, crinkly paper -- is just part of the startling material that comprises the secret files of private eye Fred Otash. Now unveiled for the first time to The Hollywood Reporter by the detective's daughter, Colleen, and her business partner Manfred Westphal (a veteran publicist with APA, whose parents were Otash's neighbors), the records fill 11 overflowing boxes that for two decades have been hidden inside a storage unit in the San Fernando Valley.

BUT WHO IS FRED OTASH?

Otash was the Anthony Pellicano of his era, a notorious Hollywood gumshoe who charged hundreds of dollars per day and spied on everyone from Hudson to Marilyn Monroe to John F. Kennedy. A big, burly man who left the Los Angeles Police Department in 1955 after falling out with Chief William H. Parker, he was the go-to guy for some of Hollywood's top attorneys, including Melvin Belli and Jerry Giesler, and operated from the mid-1950s until he lost his private investigator's license in 1965.

Mike Wallace called him the "most amoral" man he had ever interviewed, and Robert Towne used him for inspiration when he wrote his Oscar-winning screenplay for 1974's Chinatown, about a morally dubious private eye played by Jack Nicholson. "There were several people I drew on," Towne says. "But he was one of them."

Born in 1922, the 6-foot-2 Otash grew up in Methuen, Mass., but left home to serve in the Marines before joining the LAPD. After exiting the police force, he set up the Fred Otash Detective Bureau on North Laurel Avenue in Hollywood, where he worked as a freelancer and "fact verifier" for notorious L.A. celebrity tattle magazine Confidential. Among the cases he reportedly worked on were Confidential's outing of Liberace and a gay pajama party with Tab Hunter. He once said: "I'll work for anybody but communists. I'll do anything short of murder."

Using a gun strapped to his calf and a specially designed truck loaded with surveillance equipment, Otash was hardly modest about his achievements.

He was "unreliable and unruly," says John Buntin in his 2010 nonfiction work L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City.

"He was a con artist, bullshitter," insists novelist James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential), who met Otash several times before his death. "He did a lot of bad things [including] revealing secret details, mostly sexual in nature, about the lives of celebrated people, causing them to endure personal shame, emotional hardship, financial privation -- and doing this for a living. … He was always talking about bugging [JFK brother-in-law] Peter Lawford's beach pad and getting the goods on Kennedy. He told me Jack [sexually] was a two-minute man. But I did not trust him not to dissemble. I got what I could, and he died."

Otash is a recurrent figure in Ellroy's work and the subject of his recent e-book Shakedown, in which a fictionalized version of the detective looks back on his life from "Pervert Purgatory" and describes himself as a "rogue cop, private eye, shakedown artist. Soldier of fortune and demonic deus ex machina. The hellhound who held Hollywood captive. The man with all the sicko secrets you irksome earthlings want to hear."

In Shakedown, Otash gloats about his misdeeds and also about having an affair with a transsexual communist named Miss Bonvillain -- which Ellroy says should be interpreted as a joke. But that's not the way Colleen sees it.

"I was stunned," she says of the novella, admitting she never finished it and wondered, " 'What can we do to stop him from taking my father's life and turning it into just a horrible fictional depiction?' It was really insulting to me. I was very aggrieved." Adds Westphal, "Real-life franchise characters like Otash come along once in a lifetime, and Colleen and I are committed to setting the record straight. Here, the truth is far more entertaining than fiction."

In an attempt to counter Ellroy's view (and perhaps anticipate an even more negative portrayal in a pilot about the private eye that Ellroy is developing for FX), Colleen and Westphal recently allowed this reporter access to several of the files and an unpublished book Otash wrote about Marilyn Monroe in which he claims he overheard Monroe having sex with JFK.

Among the highlights:

TAPING MARILYN MONROE

"Marilyn wanted a mini-phone listening device," Otash claims in the notes, adding that he spied on her even while she was paying him to install recording equipment so that she could tape her own phone calls. "You could hide it in your bra. The microphone was a wristwatch. You could also put a suction cup on the phone. Later on, she wanted a sophisticated system put in her house. We wired up her phone because it started looking stupid with a suction cup."

Otash listened in on Marilyn having sex with Kennedy when he was watching Lawford's house in Malibu, allegedly while working for Howard Hughes, who was seeking general information with which to discredit the Democrats. "When the original Lawford house was wired, Monroe was not part of the plan," Otash says in the files. "It was to find out what the Democrats were up to on behalf of Howard Hughes and Nixon. Monroe became a by-product."

The files include notes that he left for Colleen, in which he says he was conducting surveillance of Marilyn Monroe on the day she died.

“I listened to Marilyn Monroe die,” he claims in the notes, without elaborating, adding that he had taped an angry confrontation among Bobby Kennedy, Lawford and Monroe just hours before her death: “She said she was passed around like a piece of meat. It was a violent argument about their relationship and the commitment and promises he made to her. She was really screaming and they were trying to quiet her down. She’s in the bedroom and Bobby gets the pillow and he muffles her on the bed to keep the neighbors from hearing. She finally quieted down and then he was looking to get out of there.”

Otash only learned that Monroe had died when Lawford called him in the early hours of the following day and asked him to remove any incriminating evidence from her house. There is no record of what was removed, and the alleged tapes have since disappeared.


Shortly before Otash's death in 1992 at the age of 70, he told Vanity Fair: "I would have kept it quiet all my life. But all of a sudden, I'm looking at FBI files and CIA files with quotes from my investigators telling them about the work they did on my behalf. It's stupid to sit here and deny that these things are true. Yes, we did have [Lawford's house] wired. Yes, I did hear a tape of Jack Kennedy f--ing Monroe. But I don't want to get into the moans and groans of their relationship. They were having a sexual relationship -- period."

GUARDING JUDY GARLAND

One of the files also centers on Judy Garland, who hired Otash to protect her after she split from her third husband, Sid Luft, in 1963. The actress even got him to move into her Holmby Hills home, where he befriended daughter Liza Minnelli and found a hidden stash of pills. (A rep for Minnelli declined comment.)

The files elaborate on an experience he outlined in his 1976 autobiography, Investigation Hollywood: "I was shocked when I met Judy Garland the first time. She was no longer the little girl I remembered but a grown woman, puffy-faced and more than a little plump. ... I was only in Judy's house a couple of days when I realized that she was taking something. I wasn't sure if she was using narcotics or boozing it up. But she was obviously out of it most of the time."

He continued: "I gathered up all the bottles and locked them up. Then I began the search for pills. You wouldn't believe the cleverness of that woman in stashing her drugs so nobody could find them. And there were all kinds. Uppers, downers and some I didn't even recognize. They were stuffed into a hole she'd cut under the mattress and in rubber fingers tied at the top with the string tied again around the faucet of the washbasin. The pills were down in the crook of the pipe, and when she wanted them she just pulled them up by the almost invisible string. I dumped all that junk down the toilet and flushed it away."

When Otash confronted Garland, she demanded to know why he had destroyed the stash. He told her: "Narcotics and alcohol are the best evidence he [Luft] could ever produce in court. Believe me."

CLEARING LANA TURNER?

The detective also might have been involved in one of the most celebrated murders of the era, that of mobster Johnny Stompanato, though he gave various accounts of precisely how. Documents in the files indicate that Giesler (who represented movie star Lana Turner) called Otash and asked him to come to the actress' house the night of the gangster's death.

Stompanato had been dating Turner when, on the night of April 4, 1958, police were called to her house, where they found the gangster stabbed to death. Turner's teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, then 14, took the blame, explaining that Stompanato had attacked her mother and that she had acted in defense -- an explanation accepted by the courts, where the death was ruled justifiable homicide. (The files indicate that Cheryl's father, Stephen Crane, had asked Otash to keep an eye on his daughter, and that he was afraid she was the object of Stompanato's desire.)

Westphal says Otash told him that he was on the scene of the crime before the police and actually removed the knife from the dead man's body, placing it in Crane's hand.

But in a 1991 Los Angeles magazine profile, Otash gave another account, saying: "Beverly Hills police chief Clinton Anderson once accused me of removing the knife from Stompanato's body, wiping off Lana Turner's fingerprints, putting on Cheryl Crane's fingerprints and then shoving the knife back into the body. Crazy."

BETTE DAVIS' EYES

Within the files, there also are surveillance records dating from the time Otash was hired by Bette Davis to snoop on her husband Gary Merrill while she was in the process of divorcing him, after which two Otash operatives testified in court that they saw Merrill leave a Newport Beach, Calif., hotel while he "went out on the town" and made "flirtatious gestures with girls."

THE END OF THE LINE

Otash kept working as a P.I. until his license was revoked by California's Bureau of Private Investigators, partly because of his connection to Confidential (whose reign of fear effectively ended following a much-publicized libel case in 1957) and partly because of his association with several jockeys who were involved in a doping case. Later, he earned a living as head of security for cosmetics company Hazel Bishop Inc.

His tapes have vanished, and now only his files remain as evidence of his secret activities. But more information may yet emerge.

On the night of his death, Otash left his West Hollywood apartment to attend a Friars Club dinner celebrating the completed first draft of his unpublished book, Marilyn, the Kennedys and Me. He came home later that evening then, mysteriously, at around 4 a.m. called for a taxi to take him to LAX.

At about 7 a.m., the taxi arrived, but there was no Otash. A doorman called Westphal's parents (Otash's neighbors and friends), who entered the snoop's Park Wellington apartment in West Hollywood and found him lying facedown under the kitchen table, dead of a heart attack, it later was concluded.

Soon after, his executor, famed attorney Arthur Crowley, arrived and stripped the condo of its contents -- including a red filing cabinet that contained material nobody close to the detective ever got to read.

Says Westphal: "He put a shackle on the door, emptied the condo, and nothing inside was ever seen again."

Shirley Halperin contributed to this story.

See the transcript of Rock Hudson's gay confession below:

Rock: (continued) I can go as yet. I've been busy. I just feel I would like to go somewhere. Get away.

Phyllis: You know Dr. Rankin knows your problems.

Rock: How?

Phyllis: [DELETE]

Rock: [DELETE] I didn't try to cover up anything.

Phyllis: They wouldn't do any good if you lied. You would only be lying to yourself.

Rock: I told Dr. Rankin everything. I didn't hedge on anything at all.

Phyllis: You mean about homo-sexuality?

Rock: Yes, I told him everything, but I told you we were just talking about the movies.

Phyllis: Then what kept you from going back to him?

Rock: Oh, he doesn't say anything. He wants me to do all the talking, and he just sits back and never says a word.

Phyllis: Rock, you are supposed to talk, not him. He is there to understand and guide you. There isn't anything glandular about your homo-sexuality, it is only a freezing at an emotional state, and it's up to the individual to grow out of it. Everyone has to help themself Rock. No one can do it for you. Rock, your great speed with me, sexually. Are you that fast with boys?
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:00 am

Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.: Gay & Bisexual Men of Importance
by Terry, Gay Influence gayinfluence.blogspot.com
January 1, 2018

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Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

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Automotive industry heir Walter P. Chrysler Jr. (1909-1988) was the son of a man who had amassed a great fortune in founding the Chrysler Corporation. Walter Jr., knowing that he would inherit vast sums of money, could thus indulge his passion for collecting art, an obsession that resulted in transforming a minor provincial museum in Norfolk, Va., into one of the nation’s best, the Chrysler Museum of Art.

Walter Jr., who was a theatrical producer*, hung out in locations that had strong ties to the homosexual community. Although throughout his life he attempted to appear as a straight man, he had a home in Key West and displayed his growing art collection in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in a 19th-century church building he bought from the Methodists. The museum was nicknamed by locals as “The First Church of Chrysler” or “St. Walter’s”. The structure today serves as the Provincetown library.

*Among many others, he produced New Faces of 1952, which launched the careers of Eartha Kitt, Paul Lynde and Carol Lawrence. Chrysler also produced the film "The Joe Louis Story."


In 1956, Chrysler retired from business to devote his full-time attention to the arts. Soon thereafter an article appeared in Confidential magazine that exposed his homosexual activity, and there had been persistent reports that he had been discharged from the Navy because “he was found to be homosexual.” It was extraordinary for a healthy man to be discharged from the military during wartime.*

"Walter was transferred to Key West, and the rumors were flying. He got out of the navy. Now, we should have known that that was a strange thing, to be released from the navy during wartime."

Those rumors were spelled out in a 1955 Confidential Magazine article entitled "The Strange Case of Walter Chrysler Jr." It claimed Chrysler was forced to resign by the secretary of the navy because he'd been having "notorious wild parties" in his private Key West Home. R.L. Blazevig, a retired naval aviator who was also based at N.A.S. Key West during World War II, remembered instead that Chrysler was discharged because he was "found to be gay." Chrysler's own explanation for his December 5, 1944, departure was a recurrence of his ulcer problems.

Soon after Chrysler resigned his commission, Jean was invited to North Wales for the weekend. It was there that Chrysler proposed marriage to her. The wedding took place on a Saturday morning, January 13, 1945, in a simple ceremony at Norfolk's Freemason Street Baptist Church. The bride had no attendants and wore an aquamarine wool crepe dress.

"Nobody knew it was going to happen," Smith said. "It was a big secret. That was Walter's wish." Smith recalled that the Chryslers honeymooned at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, but wondered, "Why go anywhere when you've got North Wales? They had an absolutely wonderful staff; they built a swimming pool and a tennis court. It was a dazzling place," Smith said. Jean Chrysler's siblings were invited to the estate on several occasions and were amazed by the art on view. They played bridge under a Velazquez; there was a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington over the mantel and a Degas in the dining room. In the North Wales drawing room hung the Picasso of two women at a bar that Chrysler had bought as part of his and Gertrude Stein's scheme to help the young Parisian gallery owners.

-- Legacy: Walter Chrysler Jr. and the Untold Story of Norfolk's Chrysler, by Peggy Earle


Again, according to Earle, “That Chrysler led something of a double life was widely acknowledged. The fact that he was gay was noted by many of those who knew him professionally and personally. As Chrysler biographer Vincent Cursio mentioned, ‘...in 1938 there was enormous social pressure on gay men to marry and give the appearance of living a normal life.’ ” Walter Jr. married twice, but there were no children. His first wife, Peggy Sykes, whose marriage to Chrysler lasted less than two years, left a man with few friends. She noted that the major love of his life was "art collecting." Peggy stopped inviting people to their home for socializing, because Chrysler would usually freeze out everyone, often refusing even to speak to their guests. Further alienation arose from his tendency to pay bills late, or not at all.

*Peggy Earle, “Legacy, Walter Chrysler Jr. and the Untold Story of Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum of Art.”


While a 14-year-old boy attending prep school, Walter Jr. purchased his first painting, a watercolor nude, with $350 in birthday money from his father. A dorm master considered the piece lewd and destroyed it – a Renoir! Undeterred, he continued to collect art, but there were scandals along the way. Many of the artworks he purchased and displayed were called out as fakes. For that reason, Newport, RI, refused to accept the gift of his collection, which had outgrown its home in Provincetown. In spite of such notoriety, Walter Jr. had impressive credentials – he had been a key figure in the creation of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. However, much of his personal collection had to be stored in warehouses and lent out to museums across the country.

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Walter Jr.’s second wife was from Norfolk, and he had himself been a Navy man stationed there, so he ultimately found success in 1971 when he presented Norfolk, Va., with his impressive collection of 10,000 art objects, to be housed in the Norfolk Academy of Arts and Sciences, which had been built in 1932. A condition of the gift was that the academy be renamed the Chrysler Museum of Art. As New York Times art critic John Russell said, "It would be difficult to spend time in the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, and not come away convinced that the most underrated American art collector of the past 50 years and more was the late Walter P. Chrysler, Jr." Chrysler's collection is especially strong in art glass and incorporates a large body of Tiffany lamps. Louis Comfort Tiffany had been his neighbor when Walter Jr. was growing up on Long Island.

http://www.chrysler.org

Walter P. Chrysler Jr. enjoying a light-hearted moment with artist Andy Warhol:

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Update: New photos of of the North Wales estate have become available, so I added them to this previous post.

Your blogger’s determined effort to enjoy a glorious fall day resulted in a drive to Warrenton, VA, a sleepy town in the center of fox hunting country. A brief conversation with locals informed me that North Wales, the estate formerly owned by Walter P. Chrysler Jr., had been sold recently. This morning I enjoyed researching the estate’s history to provide an update to this blog post about Mr. Chrysler.

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In 1941, one year after his father’s death, Walter P. Chrysler Jr. used a portion of his recent inheritance to buy North Wales Farm (above), a fabled estate just outside Warrenton, Va., 45 miles west of Washington, DC (and a mere 30 miles from the home of your blogger). With a purchase price of $175,000, the property soon saw further expansion and improvements. The recently divorced Chrysler spent an additional $7.5 million on the estate, expanding the property to 4,200 acres. At the epicenter was a 56-room stone mansion (38,500 sq. ft. including 22 bedrooms, 17 baths and 16 fireplaces), formal gardens, tennis courts, ponds, bridges, fountains, not to mention miles of stone and board fences enclosing an estate that boasted more than 35 out-buildings.

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The oldest part of the house, dating back to 1776, was a mere 5-bay two-story stone manor house (above) built for William Allason. In 1914 North Wales was bought by Edward M. Weld of New York. In 1930 Fortune magazine noted that Weld "stretched the house to 37 rooms, built a riding stable of 40 stalls and a six furlong race track, stocked the cellar with $50,000 worth of liquors and went broke." North Wales was then converted to an exclusive private club for the fox hunting and horse breeding set. In 1941 Chrysler returned the mansion and estate grounds to private use. At the time of Chrysler's residency the expanded mansion numbered more than 50 rooms, providing plenty of space for Chrysler to display highlights of his vast art collection of Monets, Picassos, Rodins, Braques, Matisses and the like. He then set about constructing more than 35 miles of internal, paved roads while adding a conservatory to the mansion (for his mother’s orchids), a swimming pool, an arcaded entrance to the equestrian center and a brick isolation barn.

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Under Chrysler’s ownership, North Wales, with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge mountains, essentially functioned as its own community, home to a commercial poultry operation and various agricultural enterprises. Although he also raised cattle and sheep, Chrysler ensured that the estate retained its fame as a center for fox hunting and thoroughbred horse breeding. The splendidly furnished mansion was the site of many lavish charity events. Chrysler remarried in 1945, and his new bride used North Wales Farm as a center for raising champion long-haired Chihuahuas. However, in 1957 Chrysler sold North Wales Farm, a year after he retired from business in order to devote himself full time to the arts. The following year he opened the Chrysler Museum of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in a former church.

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Now reduced to 1,470 acres, North Wales was purchased in 2014 by former Goldman Sachs partner David B. Ford of Greenwich, CT, for $21 million. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mr. Ford had made headlines eight years earlier when he purchased the 30,000 sq. ft. French neoclassical-style Miramar mansion in Newport, RI, built in 1915 for the widow of Philadelphia mogul George Widener. Ford currently owns both mansions, all the better to avoid a cramped lifestyle (38,500 + 30,000 = 68,500 sq. ft. of luxe living). Impressive. Ford is also Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association and Chairman of the National Audubon Society.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:29 am

Encounters With a Man of Mystery
by Carla Hall
July 23, 1986

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It was a crazy day, the kind that made her ask what she had gotten herself into, she confesses in the book. The gardener is making an ice cream sundae in the kitchen, the butler is scurrying across the patio wearing only a towel, the ex-lover is washing his vintage car out front, and Rock Hudson is sitting at the kitchen table reading his mail.

"The first question I asked him was, 'Why do you want to do this book?' " says Sara Davidson, the 43-year-old author of "Rock Hudson: His Story." "It seemed odd," she says. "There I am walking into the house of a man dying of AIDS and he wants to start a book."

She had never written about celebrities. Beverly Hills was, from Davidson's perspective, far from the milieu of "Loose Change," her bestselling book about three women growing up in the 1960s.

According to Davidson, "He said, 'So much expletive has been written about me. It's time to set things straight.' Those are his exact words. I have them on tape. He said, 'It's time to tell the whole story. It's time to tell the truth about me.' "

The statement is part of the controversy surrounding this biography of Hudson -- the number one box office star of the late '50s and early '60s, a matinee idol who hid his homosexuality from the public until he collapsed in a Paris hotel last summer and revealed an even bigger secret -- he was suffering from AIDS.

At issue is whether Hudson was in any condition to cooperate with Davidson on a book that is supposedly their collaboration and bears his name as coauthor. Since last summer, there have been allegations that all this was being done while Hudson was too sick to know about it. After Burt Lancaster read a statement in Hudson's name at an AIDS benefit in Los Angeles last summer, it was revealed that the actor never wrote it -- although he did approve it, according to his publicist, Dale Olson.

*"I don't want to make any false pretenses," Davidson says. "I did not have an enormous amount of time with him. I'm not claiming that I did."

What time she did have was valuable, she says. "About whether he was lucid or not, it was not a thing where he suddenly went snap," Davidson says, snapping her fingers, "and he was a vegetable. It was absolutely not like that. He had good days -- the first day I met him he was downstairs talking to people, telling jokes, entertaining, sharp. He looked me right in the eye. We sat . . . with the tape recorder going and did an interview for 45 minutes. I said to him, 'Are you getting tired?' He said, 'Yeah, a little.' I said, 'Well, I live nearby and I can come by day or night whenever you're up to it.' He said, 'Oh, it's great to have that freedom.' "

On his worst days, "he was asleep, he opened his eyes, smiled . . . or on the other days he would start a sentence and then kind of in the middle lose his train of thought, and up to the end he'd have a great day and then a terrible day."

*She met him Sept. 4, 1985, and until his death Oct. 2, at 59, she went to his sprawling Beverly Hills home -- dubbed The Castle by Hudson's friends -- almost daily, sometimes asking no more than one question or requesting a point of clarification. "You know, he was not an easy interview... He did not like talking about himself," she says.

What she found was a "sphinxlike" man, who told different stories of his life to different people. The system may have forced him to lead a double life
, but he rarely chafed at Hollywood. He thrived there. "It was his kingdom," says Davidson.

He had a funny retort for everything and he made everyone laugh -- from friends to fellow actors on the set. He was almost childlike in his love of games and skits at parties. He gave pet names to friends as well as the rooms in his beloved Beverly Hills home where he kept lots of dogs and treated the staff like his family.

Davidson longed for enough time to get to the point where she could joke with him. She says she was told by Hudson's associates that he specifically wanted a woman to write his story. "He felt that if a gay man did it, it would be a gay book," Davidson says, " . . . and he felt that if a straight man wrote it, a lot of it would have been threatening and disturbing and that he wouldn't have been able to write with sympathy."

In the end, she says, she had three good 45-minute interview sessions with Hudson. There are few quotes from Hudson to Davidson; she re-creates his voice from recollections of friends and associates and excerpts from the extensive oral history Hudson gave a Southern Methodist University professor three years ago.

*Davidson and Hudson never discussed his feelings about being gay. They only peripherally discussed AIDS.


"When you begin a book with someone you don't just go in there the first day and start firing off the most blunt horrible questions like, 'When did you know you were gay?' 'Why didn't you tell Marc Christian one of his last lovers you had AIDS?' You don't start like that or the person turns off. You have to establish a relationship of trust and openness . . . If I was there long enough and he saw me, we would develop this relationship where he would begin to open up." She pauses. "I didn't have time for that."

And Hudson knew she wouldn't. During one of her early visits to his house, she recalls, in the presence of his longtime friend and secretary, Mark Miller, "he turned to Mark and said, 'You know the whole story. You're going to have to do it for me.' "

The day he died, Davidson was in New York with Miller, interviewing Yanou Collart, the French publicist who made the announcement of Hudson's illness last summer in Paris.

*The last day she saw him, Sept. 30, she was told before going into his room that he was in terrible shape. "I went in and he was sleeping and as I just stood there he opened his eyes and looked at me with clear recognition. And he smiled this smile of such radiance that it absolutely stunned me. It was like there was nothing left in his body . . . He looked right into my eyes -- it wasn't an unfocused thing -- and smiled at me as if there was really a connection there. I said something like 'Rock, we're all praying for you' -- I don't know what I said. And he said, 'Thanks.' "

Despite the joint byline, the book (now No. 3 on The New York Times best-seller list) was really a collaboration with Mark Miller and George Nader -- a longtime couple and 30-year friends of Hudson's -- and Tom Clark, Hudson's former lover who came back to be with Hudson at the end.

As something of a counterpoint to Davidson's book is an "unauthorized" biography called "Idol: Rock Hudson, The True Story of an American Film Hero" by Jerry Oppenheimer and Jack Vitek.

Both books reach many of the same conclusions. But Davidson had extraordinary access to the friends and lovers of a man who had zealously guarded his private life, and she sees this as a key to uncovering Hudson.

Oppenheimer has the opposite view. "Miller is a defendant in Marc Christian's lawsuit," Oppenheimer says, referring to the suit by Hudson's lover from whom Hudson withheld information of his illness.

Nonetheless, Davidson has much more about his romantic relationships, more poignant details and more explicit ones, too.
Ironically, the overall portrait in the Oppenheimer/Vitek book -- which comes with a slip of paper wrapped around it ominously warning "UNAUTHORIZED" -- is rather gentler than Davidson's. With some exceptions.

Oppenheimer and Vitek contend that Hudson continued to have sex after he was diagnosed as having AIDS.

Davidson portrays Hudson -- especially as the illness progressed -- as ashamed of his disease and disinterested in sex. "I'm not saying he did or he didn't" have sex after his diagnosis, she says. "I couldn't find any evidence." Davidson writes that Hudson was mortified that he had to kiss actress Linda Evans on the set of "Dynasty" and that day used every mouthwash he could get his hands on.

Oppenheimer relates a different story. "There were eight or nine takes," Oppenheimer says. "Rock later boasted to someone that he planted a big fat juicy one on her. I think it was not that he had no concern for this woman but that his mind had just gone up in space by that time."


But the texture of Hudson's life as Davidson portrays it has less to do with AIDS and more to do with the Hollywood star system that molded him and forced him into a double life while making him rich and famous.

"I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was a little boy," Hudson said in the SMU interview. "But living in a small town in the Middle West, I didn't say so, because that's just sissy stuff."

So after a boyhood in Winnetka, Ill., just north of Chicago, and a stint in the Navy, Hudson went off to California. He started out an awkward, not particularly handsome, amateurish actor. One of his screen tests at Fox is still shown, Davidson writes, as an example of how far one can go from bad actor to star.

In the end, his first dramatic stumblings didn't matter -- "He had a face which the camera loved," a friend told Davidson.

There were starring roles in B movies and then his first major film, "Magnificent Obsession," in 1954 with Jane Wyman. Hudson and his lover at the time slipped into a sneak preview unbeknownst to the other moviegoers. When the film was over, Hudson ran to his car and sat there sobbing. "He knew at that moment he was a star," Davidson writes. Two years later, George Stevens' film "Giant" won Hudson an Academy Award nomination.

Hudson basked in his stardom. He imperiously set the time when he wanted to see friends, he was rude to waiters and at home, when entertaining guests, he made conversation stop when he answered the phone.

Even so, in Hollywood, Hudson was always considered a generous man. He went wild at Christmas buying gifts for friends. When Watts was burning, Hudson -- never politically active -- drove his housekeeper through riot-torn streets to get a friend of hers and take her back to his Beverly Hills home.

All during this time, Hudson kept his private life and his acting life separate. "This was the 'Dark Ages' when there was no such word as 'gay,' " Davidson writes. "Homosexuals were 'fairies' who were ridiculed and shunned."

One of Hudson's closer calls came in 1954 when the magazine Confidential wanted to write an expose' of Hudson's homosexuality. (The story was never written.) Another close call came in 1971 when a group of gay men sent out gag invitations to a party in honor of Hudson and Jim Nabors' "wedding." The invitation reached a gossip columnist and eventually the false rumor that Hudson and Nabors were a "couple" spread like a brush fire that both Hudson and Nabors had to put out with public statements. According to Davidson, Hudson and Nabors were only casual friends, but the damage was done: Nabors' variety show on CBS was canceled.

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-- Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors


All this never quenched Hudson's sexual thirst -- which, as he got older and his career declined, became almost insatiable, the author writes.

"My understanding was that he liked to have one main person and he liked to have other people," Davidson says. " . . . He liked threesomes. He was very interested in sex. He liked the challenge of a new person."

*Sometimes, he asked friends to arrange "beauties parties" for him where 50 beautiful young men -- most of whom Hudson didn't know -- would be invited to the actor's house.


What's amazing was that he never got "caught" in a public sense. "If you . . . invite 50 strange young guys into your house, how do you know one of them isn't going to go right to the National Enquirer and make $10,000 and say, 'I went to this party at Rock Hudson's house and there were 50 young men.' Why didn't anybody do that?" Davidson says.

He also liked women -- and they found him sexually magnetic. Susan Saint James his costar on the popular television show, "McMillan and Wife" told Davidson that she found it hard to believe that Hudson was gay: "I could hug Rock and get goose bumps," she said.

Similarly Doris Day told people who asked, "He seems very straight to me."

There's no better example of this than Phyllis Gates, who married Hudson in 1955. After their divorce three years later, it became Hollywood legend that theirs was the classic studio-arranged marriage. Davidson concludes that no one -- not even Gates herself -- will ever know. She writes that friends who socialized with the couple said they delighted in each other's company, and that Gates was in love with him.

And the marriage appeared to sour for common reasons -- he complained she was nagging and possessive; she said he was never around. "I don't believe he acted with cold calculation; he was a romantic," Davidson writes.

Shortly before he died, Davidson says, Mark Miller asked Hudson who in his life he had really loved, and he mentioned a man named Lee Garlington -- whom Davidson interviews in the book -- and Phyllis Gates.

Hudson never seemed tortured by the burden of two images. "When I started this," Davidson recalls, "my first question was, 'God, how could he have done this? Didn't it cost him? Didn't it hurt him inside? Didn't he pay a price for it?' And finally after three months, everybody saying, 'No,' I thought, 'Well, maybe they know something I don't."

Davidson says Hudson's torment began when his box office slipped in the late '60s. In the '70s, he would end up doing television -- which he had always disdained. Even "McMillan and Wife," a financial and popular success for Hudson, never satisfied him.

According to Davidson, there was some initial awkwardness between Hudson and Saint James, 20 years his junior. He saw her as a flower child who nursed her babies on the set; she saw him as an old-guard movie star who ate steak all the time and made fun of the environmental movement. But they eventually became friends, and their chemistry on screen was dynamite.

"I worshiped that man," Saint James told Davidson. She and her husband went to Hudson's house on Sunday nights to watch the show, and he cuddled her babies on the set.

But depressed by his work, Hudson went through a personal decline, drinking almost constantly. A quintuple heart bypass in 1981 reformed his drinking habits somewhat and gave him a restored outlook on life. Three years later, after a White House dinner, Hudson received a photograph of him with the Reagans, signed warmly by the couple. In the photo, Mark Miller noticed a large pimple on Hudson's neck that had been there for a year. Miller urged Hudson to check it out. The diagnosis came in June 1984. The lesion was Kaposi's sarcoma -- AIDS.

The attention that followed the announcement of his illness stunned him. There were reams of letters, offering support and medicinal cures. An affectionate telegram from Madonna -- he'd never met her -- left him baffled.

"Don't forget Rock was already a star who had waned . . . ," Davidson says. "He was already a has-been . . . suddenly he was in the headlines and on the covers of magazines. He was tickled. He was kind of enjoying the notoriety."

What Hudson did in the year between finding out he had AIDS and telling the world was risky to himself and others: Fortified by the experimental treatment HPA 23, he accepted a role on "Dynasty" even when his Paris doctors advised him to stay in France and receive more treatments.

His lover at the time of his diagnosis -- Marc Christian -- has been examined and shows no signs of the virus; he has, however, filed a suit against the estate. Davidson writes that Hudson never told Christian that he had AIDS because Hudson was afraid Christian would go to a newspaper with the story.

Christian's lawyer, Marvin Mitchelson, says that because the book relies mostly on Nader and Miller, "It's very colored by the fact that they're trying to protect Hudson. It does contain slander."


As for Christian's suit, "The simple fact is that he wasn't told and they continued to have a relationship for almost a year after he was diagnosed . . . Every day of Marc's life if he has a cold or anything, he'll think he has AIDS."

Reaction from Hudson's friends is mixed. "I like the book very much," says Hudson's business manager, Wallace Sheft, who is involved with the AIDS foundation, set up in Hudson's name, that will get a portion of the book profits. "There probably could have been some more compassionate anecdotes."

Dale Olson, Hudson's publicist at the time of his death, said, "I hate it. It's not about the man I knew." Olson does not fault Davidson -- "I think Sara is a good reporter and writer" -- but the people who talked to her. "When I finished reading that book I thought to myself they painted a picture of an egotistical, self-centered, promiscuous, narcissistic faggot. And he wasn't."

Hudson's friend, producer Stockton Briggle, who was at The Castle the day Hudson died says that Davidson "does capture him to a certain extent." But as for his promiscuity: "I was never witness to any kind of sexual excesses," Briggle says. Davidson writes about Hudson making the rounds of gay clubs with a friend in San Francisco. "I never knew him to do anything like that," Briggle says. "I was with him in a number of cities and he never expressed any interest."

Davidson calls her own experience working on the book "just a nightmare . . . " The prospect of the other Hudson biography in the works turned her own project into a "horse race," Davidson says. "I hated it. I gave up a year of my life," she says. "I didn't see my husband for a year. I didn't see my kids."

At the beginning she felt little for Hudson. "I'd never been a big fan of his," she says. " . . . and I was so nervous and uptight at being with a dying man." But after his death, "something strange happened as I began to do the research. I began to fall in love with him. It was almost like from the grave he was charming me."
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:07 am

Walter Liberace
by K.J. Evans
Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 7, 1999 - 12:32 am
Updated September 12, 1999 - 1:00 am

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As he strolled down Fremont Street, the cherub-faced young man with the dark, wavy hair offered passersby a broad grin, his hand and a handbill that introduced him.

“Have You Heard Liberace?” it asked. If they hadn’t, Walter Liberace would first correct their pronunciation of his name, “It’s Liber-AH-chee,” then ask them to come to his show at the Hotel Last Frontier.

It was November 1944, and the young pianist was making his Las Vegas debut. The city would become the entertainer’s home — one of many around the country — but more important, it would become the place he would develop his spectacular stage persona. Liberace would pack Las Vegas showrooms for the rest of his life, and after his death, his collection of antiques, custom cars and elaborate costumes would fill a museum that is in itself one of the city’s more popular tourist attractions. The museum is the financial wellspring that funds scholarships for aspiring musicians and artists.

Asked in a 1985 interview how he wished to be remembered, Liberace replied: “I’d like to think that the most enduring quality about me will be the music, because everything I’m doing … is to promote the music of future talent.

“My foundation is based on promoting new talent, and I feel that my longevity will survive through other people in this business because I’m going to provide a lasting support and a foundation for artists.”

It was, after all, a scholarship that provided musical training for the boy who would become “Mr. Showmanship.”

Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born in 1919.

His father, an Italian immigrant who played French horn in orchestras providing background music for silent movies, required his children to learn music. Walter was capable of picking out tunes at age 4.

But he had difficulty speaking and had speech therapy, concentrating on giving his speech a smoother flow, eliminating the effect of listening to one parent who spoke with an Italian accent and another with a Polish accent. The result was a slow, deliberate style of speech.

The year 1929 marked the onset of the Great Depression and talking pictures. Mom worked in a cookie factory, brother George drove a a grocery truck and gave piano lessons, sister Angelina worked as a secretary and nurse’s aide. And Walter, still a pre-teen, played the piano for dance classes and washed dishes.

“Except for music, there wasn’t much beauty in my childhood,” he later recalled. “We lived in one of those featureless bungalows in a featureless neighborhood. I hated shabbiness. I’d walk 27 blocks and pay 15 cents to sit in a new, clean movie house when I could have walked five blocks and paid 5 cents to sit in an old, dirty one.”

He excelled academically at West Milwaukee High School, and was active in extracurricular activities, excluding sports. (He couldn’t stand to get dirty.) One of the school’s traditions was “Character Day.” Every student was supposed to dress up as a famous character from history, and Walter nearly always won. He appeared one year as Emperor Haille Selassie of Ethiopia, another as Yankee Doodle Dandy. One year, he came in full drag as Greta Garbo.

His big break came in 1939 with an audition for Dr. Frederick Stock of the Chicago Symphony. His audition was flawless, and he was invited to play at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee. In the meantime, he found a spot with the Jay Mills Orchestra, a popular dance group. When the band went on a radio show, and Walter was introduced, the manager of the Chicago Symphony heard it, and complained to Stock.

“I don’t care if he played on a street corner with the Salvation Army Band,” said the maestro. “He will play with us.”

The symphony asked only one thing of Liberace; that he change his name until after the concert. That was why, for the next six months, Walter Liberace performed as “Walter Buster Keys.”

Sometime in 1942, perhaps emulating his idol, the great Polish pianist Paderewski, Walter Liberace dropped his first name altogether. His friends would thereafter simply call him “Lee.”

Liberace was moved by the film “A Song to Remember,” about the life of Polish composer Frederic Chopin. He was especially impressed by the elegant candelabrum atop the piano whenever Chopin played. He decided to borrow the image.

In 1944, while performing at the Mount Royal Hotel in Montreal, Liberace received a phone call from Maxine Lewis, entertainment director at the Hotel Last Frontier. She asked him if he would be interested in playing Las Vegas. He would. She asked how much he was currently making.

“Seven hundred and fifty a week,” he lied. His salary was $350, but Lewis agreed to $750 per week.

Liberace sized up his first-night audience, and decided to delete several of the classical pieces, concentrating on boogie-woogie and popular tunes. The audience went wild, and Maxine Lewis called him to her office, where she tore up the $750-per-week contract and gave him a new one for $1,500. Later, he would sign a 10-year contract with the hotel at an even higher salary.

In later years, Liberace never failed to recall for interviewers one rehearsal in particular. One afternoon he arrived for a rehearsal and found no one in the room to assist him except a tall, thin disheveled man standing next to a lighting board. Liberace walked up to him and began instructing him in what lights he wanted for which numbers. As he was delivering the spiel, Maxine Lewis walked up to the man, who nodded to her. Then she turned to Liberace: “I didn’t realize you knew Howard Hughes.”

His next encounter with a Las Vegas legend would be less embarrassing and a bit scarier.

In 1947, Liberace made a return engagement at the Last Frontier and, as usual, the audience loved him. After the show, he milled in the casino with the crowd, chatting and signing autographs. As Liberace biographer Bob Thomas tells the story, Liberace felt a hand grip his arm, and a gruff voice say, “Hey kid, I want to talk to you.” Liberace protested and moved away. The man followed. Liberace asked a security guard, “Who is that creep over there, the one who looks like a gangster?”

“He is a gangster,” said the guard, “That’s Bugsy Siegel.”

Terrified that he had offended a known killer, Liberace went to prepare for his second show. After, he received word that Siegel wanted to see him in the lobby. The Bug wasn’t angry, just trying to steal the Last Frontier’s headliner for his new Flamingo Hotel. He offered to double Liberace’s $2,000 per week salary.

“A classy act like you should be playing the Flamingo, not this cheesy dump,” said Siegel, who then left Liberace to fret over whether to accept the offer and insult his current benefactor, or refuse and risk a very abrupt end to his career. The problem solved itself a few months later when Siegel was shot dead in his girlfriend’s Beverly Hills, Calif., home.


George Liberace had become his brother’s road manager when he was discharged from the Navy, and Liberace also had hired a press agent, Sam Honigsberg. Together, their efforts saw Liberace’s name recognition rise dramatically. In 1948, he headlined at some of the most prestigious hotels in some of the largest cities in the nation — plus Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Orchestra leader and violin virtuoso George Liberace, brother of the flamboyant entertainer-pianist Lee Liberace, died Sunday at his home of leukemia at the age of 71.

George Liberace, who also was a business partner with his famed brother, was manager of the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas and administrator of the non-profit Las Vegas-based Liberace Foundation for Performing and Creative Arts.

A native of Menascha, Wis., Liberace studied violin at an early age. He played with the orchestras of Anson Weeks, Orin Tucker and Eddie Stone before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II and conducting a 30-piece military band entertaining allied troops in the South Pacific.

Liberace also was conductor of several Las Vegas resort hotel bands, including those at the Riviera Hotel and the Sans Souci Hotel, and he conducted for his brother's musical variety show on television.

He retired from music in the late 1970s and moved to Las Vegas from Sacramento, Calif., to devote his time to the Liberace Foundation and Museum.

A funeral Mass will be conducted Wednesday at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Las Vegas with burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. He is survived by his widow, Dora; brother Lee; and sister Angie Farrel.

-- Liberace's brother dies, by UPI


Liberace’s public persona, that of an effeminate mama’s boy, often brought caustic comments. At a concert in San Francisco, Liberace responded to his detractors with characteristic wit, “I don’t mind the bad reviews, but George cries all the way to the bank.”

The question of Liberace’s sexual orientation can still start an argument. But it is fairly certain that he was, indeed, gay.

“In fact,” wrote Thomas, “Liberace was confused about his sexual identity.” He explains that his first sexual encounter, with a female blues singer who practically raped him in a car, had “obliterated any boyish notions he had about romance.”

Aside from the occasional one-night stand, he seems not to have had a regular gay partner, at least in his early days. Publicly, he steadfastly maintained that he was just waiting for the right woman to come along, and even had some high-profile courtships to quell the rumors.

His most devoted fans, middle-age and elderly females, were, in his mind, the group most likely to desert him if he stepped out of the closet.

In the fall of 1956, Liberace toured Great Britain. Adoring crowds of women swarmed him at every stop, and groups of male homophobes screamed things such as “Queer go home” and “Send the fairy back to the States.”

A scribe for the tabloid Daily Mirror, William Connor, writing under the name “Cassandra,” wrote perhaps one of the nastiest reviews ever suffered by Liberace, called him “the biggest sentimental vomit of all time,” and went on to describe him as “this deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love.”

It was that crack about “fruit-flavored” that prompted Liberace to sue the paper for libel, and caused him to bluster, “If … my appearances didn’t depend on my hands, I would knock Cassandra’s teeth down his throat. And I ain’t kidding.”

The British High Court ruled in Liberace’s favor, and a jury later awarded him $22,400 in damages.

But by the late 1950s, Liberace was letting his guard down more, inviting young men to his homes in Malibu, Palm Springs and Las Vegas. While few of his business associates ever recalled seeing him in the company of a male paramour, one person knew all too well of Lee’s secret dalliances; his brother, George. One day, he confronted his younger brother.

“Goddammit Lee,” he said, “how can you keep saying in public and in courtrooms that you’re not a homosexual and then hang out in the Springs with a bunch of faggots? You’re gonna get nailed someday.”

Furious, Liberace fired him, then rehired him under pressure from their mother, who boycotted Lee’s concerts until they reconciled. However, according to Thomas, it would be many years before they were friends again.

In the early 1980s Liberace hired an 18-year-old named Scott Thorsen as his private, live-in chauffeur, bodyguard and secretary. In 1982, Liberace had Thorsen bodily ejected from his house, ostensibly because of his drug use, and because he had made a death threat against the entertainer.

Thorsen filed suit for palimony, asking for $380 million, and claiming that part of his initial agreement with Liberace had been that sex would be part of his job description. Thorsen asserted that since he had been Liberace’s de-facto spouse, he was entitled to half of his assets. After some lurid testimony, a few spicy tabloid articles and some unnerving interviews by the media, a California judge ruled in Liberace’s favor, dismissing the palimony claims as being void because they were essentially a contract to perform an illegal act — prostitution.


Later, he would find a more suitable companion in 19-year-old Cary James, who was content to remain quiet.

Liberace was perhaps the most ardent collector of art, antiques and curios since William Randolph Hearst. Everywhere he went, he sought out antique stores, junk shops and garage sales. He bought rare pianos, one owned by Chopin, another by George Gershwin. Soon, like Hearst, he had filled warehouses to the ceiling with the objects he called his “Happy Happys.”

However, unlike Hearst, he wanted to display his goodies — all of them. So he bought houses, and incorporated his collections into their startlingly elaborate interior schemes. As his fortune grew, so did the number of customized houses he owned. He explained that while his profession required him to travel, he preferred to own homes in the cities where he worked most. In his life, he owned homes in Sherman Oaks, Hollywood Hills, Palm Springs, Malibu, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Lake Arrowhead, New York and several in Las Vegas. When he was forced to stay in a hotel room, he often re-decorated it.

Always a fop, Liberace had, in his early years, appeared clad in the concert pianist’s uniform — black tux and tails. When he appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in the early 1950s, he had been concerned about being visible against the black-suited orchestra and had gone onstage in a white tux. At the conclusion of the show, someone asked him what he would wear at his next appearance, in Las Vegas. Standing next to him was a woman in a gold lamÈ dress.

“I’ll be wearing a gold lamÈ dinner jacket,” he answered offhandedly. He did. For Liberace, the fact that the audience responded to gay apparel was all he needed to know. Next came the diamond shirt studs, the multicolored tuxes, the capes and furs and boas and rhinestones and sequins, the dashes backstage with the parting quip, “Pardon me while I slip into something more spectacular.”

“I hate to admit it, but I just keep piling things on and on,” he later said of his act. Las Vegas, he found, was the perfect venue for his increasingly elaborate productions.

“These extravaganzas are a form of vaudeville, really, and I love doing them. There are only a few places left, like Nevada, where you have places that can handle them. In the other places, I have to simplify things a bit, like cut out some of the cars, or the dancing water, you know.”

He also noted that he had some competition in the garish costume sweepstakes. Elvis Presley, who had bombed in Las Vegas during his first appearance in 1956, was appearing regularly at the Las Vegas Hilton, and had abandoned his modest slacks and sport coat for garish costumes festooned with, of all things, rhinestones and sequins.

Liberace opened at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1972, lured by a salary of $300,000 per week. No other Las Vegas headliner made more. Las Vegas became his legal residence, and he played here about 16 weeks a year, four in Reno and Lake Tahoe. He decided to find a suitable Nevada home. He purchased an unremarkable tract home, then the adjacent house, and linked them together into one mansion. He then set about giving them the Liberace touch. A reproduction of Michelangelo’s painting of the roof of the Sistine Chapel loomed over his bed, an indoor lagoon had a miniature version of the “dancing waters” show and everywhere were marble, mirrors and gold.

He also decided that his collection of “Happy Happys,” which had grown to include several rare autos, works of art and a desk once used by Czar Nicholas II, constituted the raw material for a museum.

He found a moderately-priced shopping center on East Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas and opened his museum personally on Easter Sunday in 1979.

The museum is a significant Las Vegas tourist attraction, drawing well over 100,000 visitors a year.

In August of 1986, Liberace returned to Caesars Palace for a two-week engagement. It was his final Las Vegas show. His friends, staff and the Caesars stagehands noticed that the normally ebullient and gregarious Liberace was quiet and spent most of his offstage time in his dressing room.

His obviously deteriorating health prompted many inquiries from the media. Liberace laughed them off, explaining that he had gone on a “watermelon diet” that had made him ill. But he was recovering nicely, he added.

He remained secluded in his Palm Springs home until he died Feb. 4, 1987, at age 67. The rumors that he was dying of AIDS began even before his passing, but were all dismissed by his staff and family. His Las Vegas physician, Dr. Elias Ghanem, would not comment.

His Palm Springs physician, Dr. Ronald Daniels, filed a death certificate stating that Liberace had died of heart failure, brought on by a brain inflammation.

However, before the pianist could be put to rest, his body was seized by Riverside County Coroner Raymond Carrillo and autopsied. Carrillo announced that Liberace had indeed been carrying the HIV virus.


Liberace was buried in a 6-foot tall tomb at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills. The tomb stands between a pair of flowering pear trees trimmed to resemble candelabra.

He was eulogized in Time magazine as “a synonym for glorious excess,” and the writer went on to say, “Liberace was a visual, rather than an acoustic phenomenon. He charted a path followed by the unlikeliest of proteges, from Elvis Presley to Elton John and Boy George: the sex idol as peacock androgyne.”

Liberace was nothing if not an astute businessman, and he knew this of himself.

“I have more or less made Liberace a person other than myself,” he explained. “I’ve created a product for the public that the public has continued to buy and to remain interested in. I treat it as a commodity or product. Like General Motors creates a car.”
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:54 am

Al-Anon Family Groups Welcome Gays and Lesbians: Al-Anon Is For All Families and Friends of Alcoholics
Outreach
Al-Anon Family Group
Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

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“When I attended my first Al-Anon meeting, I was afraid for two reasons. The first was what everyone else experiences-that my family would never again be normal, and that my last resort, Al‑Anon, would not be able to help. But my second reason was that I was gay, coming into a room of straight people who might judge me for being who I am, and they might reject my plea for assistance. Both fears were unfounded.”


Unique Lives, Common Experiences

Al-Anon Family Groups is for anyone whose life has been affected by someone else’s drinking. It is a fellowship of families and friends of alcoholics who come together to share their experience, strength, and hope to recover from the effects of alcoholism.

One of the things we find by sharing in meetings is that while each of us is different, we also have a lot in common. It is, in fact, in the sharing of our diversity and unique experience that we break down our walls of isolation, grow in understanding, realize we are not alone, and learn we deserve full, happy, and productive lives.

“When I first came to Al‑Anon, I thought if the members knew I was a lesbian, they would reject me, and I needed their help. I would use ‘he’ or ‘they’ to refer to my partner and then cry because I couldn’t be honest. One night after a meeting when three of us were talking, I was asked a question I couldn’t answer truthfully without giving myself away. Shaking and scared, I took a chance and said my relationship was with a woman. I was a lesbian. What I got back was acceptance and support. One of these women became my Sponsor and both are part of my support system.”


What we find in Al-Anon is acceptance, love, and a place to heal. We find loving voices and caring people who guide us gently along the path to recovery. Regardless of our individual personalities, backgrounds or opinions, we are welcomed.

“I kept coming back for several reasons. The group asked me to come back. I can’t ever remember feeling that kind of warmth and acceptance before. Although I was afraid they wouldn’t relate to me, I knew I related to them. While our external situations and circumstances were often different, our feelings were the same. Also, at that point I was desperate and totally void of hope. The mere fact that these people were dealing gracefully with their situations let me know it was possible.”


How Al-Anon Works

In sharing our experience, strength, and hope, we cannot help revealing some details and particulars of our lives. It is important that we feel free to do so, for only in an environment in which we can shed our fears are we able to grow. Regardless of our sexual orientation, there are certain matters that are better shared one-on-one with a trusted friend. By keeping our meetings focused on our Al-Anon recovery, we are able to put our problems into perspective and, by listening to the sharing of others, we learn how to make our own lives more manageable.

“After a few meetings, the idea slowly formed that maybe my being a gay man wasn’t really the problem after all, that maybe the problem was alcoholism. I kept coming back and slowly, one day at a time, the unconditional love of the Al-Anon fellowship enfolded me. I was accepted exactly as I was, perhaps for the first time in my life. The members continued to share their experience, strength, and hope with me and to look beyond my being gay (where my focus kept returning) to my being affected by the family disease of alcoholism. Gradually I began to heal: the group members accepted me and that gave me permission to accept myself; they said they loved me and that gave me permission to love myself.”

“I’m not in Al-Anon to talk about my sexuality as such. I’m there because somebody else’s alcoholism has affected my life. Being gay is a part of me, so it’s inevitably going to be a part of my story.”


Each Al-Anon meeting is slightly different and, since we are all individuals, we may well visit several meetings before we find at least one at which we feel at home. Some Al-Anon meetings may be designated as “gay and lesbian,” where newcomers may feel more comfortable sharing with other gay and lesbian members. However, every Al-Anon group welcomes all families and friends of alcoholics. Alcoholism is our common bond, and we come together with willingness to listen and learn and to share the message of hope with others in the fellowship.

“What I love about Al-Anon meetings is that I am getting close to people who normally I would not be able to know so well, for most of my friends are gay or lesbian. And I hear from my Al‑Anon brothers and sisters in meetings that they enjoy getting to know us, as they might not otherwise be able to. Walls are disappearing, and love and community are growing and expanding.”


An Open Door

Al-Anon has continually offered an open door to all of us who have suffered from loving someone—partner, relative, or friend—who is an alcoholic. Diverse as we are, it is inevitable that we will sometimes disagree, but we recognize that in order to recover from the effects of this powerful disease, we need to look beyond our own narrow individual limits for help, understanding, and support. We strive always to place principles above personalities.

“I focused less and less on being gay as I grew in my understanding of the family disease of alcoholism and truly saw how it had devastated my entire life.”


No matter what our life experience may be, we are united in our gratitude for the countless open doors that welcome us to the rooms of Al-Anon, where we find peace, understanding, contentment, and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.

“I am continually awed by the humbling equality of the recovery we are all seeking under the one big roof of worldwide Al‑Anon.”


The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.

Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.

Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

Suggested Al-Anon Preamble to the Twelve Steps

For meeting information call:

1-888-425-2666 (1-888-4AL-ANON)

Al-Anon/Alateen is supported by members’ voluntary contributions and from the sale of our Conference Approved Literature.

Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
1600 Corporate Landing Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617
Phone: (757) 563-1600
Fax: (757) 563-1655
www.al-anon.alateen.org
wso@al-anon.org

Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters (Canada) Inc.
275 Slater Street, Suite 900
Ottawa, ON K1P 5H9
Phone: (613) 723-8484
www.al-anon.alateen.org
wso@al-anon.org

Al-Anon may be listed in your telephone directory
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:01 am

BBB Community Member: Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce
by bbb.org
Accessed: 1/7/18

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(520) 615-6436
Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 14312
Tucson, AZ 85732-4312

BBB File Opened: 04/09/2009
Started: 01/01/1998
Type of Entity: Referral Agency
Contact Information: Principal: Ms. Jane Kaskel, Administrator; Principal: Mr. Chad Froeschke, President
Category: Chamber of Commerce
Alternate Names: Tucson Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Chamber of Commerce; TGLBTCC

Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce

BBB COMMUNITY MEMBER SINCE 09/03/2014

This organization is a community member of BBB, which means it supports BBB's services to the public.
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:54 am

Jerome B. Bookin-Weiner
by zoominfo.com
Accessed: 1/7/18

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Director at Study Abroad & Outreach
Company: Study Abroad & Outreach
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General Information

Experience


Executive Director of International Programs - Colorado State University
Partner - Host Institution
Director of Education Abroad - AMIDEAST Inc
Vice President for Academic Affairs - The Scholar Ship

Education

B.A. - history, Dickinson College
Ph.D. - modern Middle Eastern and North African history, Columbia University
doctoral degree - modern Middle East and North African history, Columbia University
master's Degree - modern Middle East and North African history, Columbia University

Affiliations

Board Member - Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies
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Former Board Member - Tangier American Legation Museum Society
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Dr. Jerome B. Bookin-WeinerDirector of Study Abroad and Outreach, Director of Study Abroad and Outreach, AMIDEAST, 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Has also served as Academic Vice President of The Scholar Ship (2005-07), Executive Director of International Programs at Colorado State University (2001-2004), Dean of International Education at Bentley College (1987-2001) and Director of the Center for International Programs at Old Dominion University (1977-1987). He has written on the origins of US-Moroccan relations. Former Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco (1971-73). PhD. Columbia University, 1976.

Staff | AMIDEAST

Jerome B. Bookin-Weiner, Ph.D. Director of Study Abroad and Outreach

AMIDEAST Senior Staff

Jerome Bookin-Weiner, Director, Study Abroad and Outreach
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Re: Mrs. Kay Griggs on How the Government Works

Postby admin » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:02 am

Big news at the Port of Virginia
by J. Robert Bray
The Virginian-Pilot
Oct 9, 2016

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Stephen M. Katz | The Virginian-Pilot
A view from the window during Wednesday, September 21, 2016, afternoon's announcement of the long-awaited lease of the Virginia International Gateway container terminal by the Virginia Port Authority. The deal provides for an expansion of the facility, which will roughly double its capacity.


THE PORT OF VIRGINIA, quite possibly, had the most important day in its history on Sept. 21. On that day, the governor and the leadership of the port signed a new lease agreement for Virginia International Gateway and in doing so set this one-of-a-kind, state-owned maritime asset on a path to be the leading venue for trade on the East Coast.

Image
J. Robert Bray, Port of Virginia

The news, however, was lost in the pages of The Pilot. That’s too bad, given the importance of the moment and what this means for the commonwealth’s economy for decades to come.

A growing port means jobs and not just in Hampton Roads, but across this state. It is estimated that this lease agreement will generate 166,000 new jobs in Virginia, in addition to the 375,000 jobs the port already generates. Moreover, the lease will spur an estimated $22 billion in spending and result in $630-plus million in state and local taxes. Those estimates would be on top of the billions the port and its related industries and jobs already generate for the state.

This new lease agreement clears the way for developing the second phase at Virginia International Gateway. Combine that project with the renovation of Norfolk International Terminals’ South Berth, and by 2020 we will have the capacity to handle more than 1 million additional containers annually. These projects keep us competitive with our East Coast peers and give the big ocean carriers the assurance that we will have the capacity and facilities to handle their ships for years to come.

Most importantly, these strategic investments provide ample time to develop the fourth state-owned marine terminal at Craney Island.

The table is now set for growth at the Port of Virginia, and when this growth phase reaches its limit – and it will as the ships get bigger and we continue to consume – we will be prepared for the next phase, at Craney Island. The state’s investment of today is creating the necessary capacity buffer for reaching tomorrow without a panic. That is why it is called strategic growth.

In 10 years or so, when that tomorrow comes, we will be having a similar discussion about the positive economic benefits – job creation, new tax revenue and investment – that Craney Island Marine Terminal will have throughout the commonwealth.

For nearly 30 years I was fortunate enough to lead the Port of Virginia. During that time, our effort was to grow the port and do our best to look forward and see what was needed for it to become truly great.

Our work resulted in an expanded and modernized Norfolk International Terminals, channels that today are 50 feet deep, the rail corridor in the median of 164 in Portsmouth and the start of the federal funding to begin the long-term project of developing Craney Island.

The team that led the port during that period is proud of those accomplishments, but the VIG news outweighs that work because the path to the future is now clear, and all of the pieces are in place.

No other port on the East Coast has the natural or manmade assets the Port of Virginia does, and no other port has the opportunity to expand and help drive their state’s economy like we do here.

J. Robert Bray is executive director emeritus of the of the Virginia Port Authority.
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