Letter D- Dinner Interruptus and Dumpster Diving- Part Two

Let’s leave the College Admission Scandal alone until I can wrap my own insanity around that insanity.

That brings me to a somewhat related story about what parents will do for their children with mixed results.

Bring on Legendary/Notorious Former Governor of Massachusetts, and former United States Congressman of the Commonwealth, Rouge, but most of all, former Mayor of Boston; James Michael Curley.

The story goes that there was a “Yankee Titan of Industry” in Boston who had a son who was a doctor. The Titan wanted his son to become the Chief of Surgery at the Boston City Hospital. There was only one way to get that appointment. It was not from any medical avenues or merit-based achievements, but directly from the fiercely protective Arc Angel of the hospital himself; Boston Mayor James Michael Curley. The Titan invites the Mayor over to his plush Back Bay Townhouse to “wine and dine” him. After initial cocktails and chit-chat, they sit down at the elegant table for dinner. The Titan begins; “Mr. Mayor, I am a man of action and decisiveness, so I’ll get right to the point.  I want you to appoint my son the Doctor to the Chief of Surgery at Boston City Hospital.” The Mayor replied; “Sir, I am also a man of action and decisiveness and since the Hospital already has a Chief of Surgery who is doing a fine job, my answer is no; I will not appoint your son to that position.” Titans and bullies seldom like the word no, so in a puff of rage, as he stood up and began to storm out of the room said to Curley, “show yourself out.”

Well, for most people, this would have been extremely awkward and problematic……Not for James.  It’s not like he could “drop down” to the corner for a few slices of pizza in place of dinner. First of all, such establishments didn’t exist in those days, and if they did, Irish People were not known to easily partake in something as “foreign” to their pallet as Italian Cuisine. That may sound funny and absurd, but check your history, and you will find a time when “Spaghetti Houses” were the rage in culinary adventure. Second of all, he was invited to dinner; a dinner he intended to finish. The servant, noticing that he had no intention of leaving, continued to serve the roast lamb dinner. Curley took his time and finished his whole meal including dessert. When he finished that, he requested a fine cigar and the best whiskey in the house.

Sometimes a fine dinner alone is soothing on the soul.

Now back to the Titan. Maybe he was just trying to do the best thing for his son, but I’m sure the thought crossed his mind more than once that in the future if he wished to bribe someone on behalf of his son, it would be best to meet that “someone” down the street at the local restaurant. Of course…….there is one more part to this blog that the Curley and Parental Corruption story remind me of.

Years ago in Rhode Island, the Governor and his son were running a criminal enterprise. One day a contractor met the Governor at the Walt’s Roast Beef Restaurant to bring a cash kickback. In all the confusion and excitement of running a bribe scheme out of a fast food joint, the Governor threw out the wrong wrappers of mustard and mayo, and the cash wound up inside the dumpster. The Governor had to climb in the dumpster and dig out the $10,000 wrapped in an envelope.

This is a true story and a possible blog down the road. Bribery is a tricky business.




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