By Jim Stasny, House, 1962
John Lindsay was a newcomer from New York, a second-term Congressman with a firepower smile. He was still new enough not to ignore the pages completely, so he often talked to us. And he did unexpected things.
Once, he poked his head out the cloakroom door and said: “I need a couple of pages.” He got more than two and I was one of them. He had a fifty-cent piece in his hand.
“Want to have some fun?” he asked. “Go outside in the hallway and stand this on end.”
One of us (not me) did. “Now,” said Mr. Lindsay, “watch this.”
The hall behind the cloakroom was a main highway to the gallery for guided tours. A tour wasn’t long in coming and, as Mr. Lindsay clearly expected, a kid went right for the coin.
That’s when Mr. Lindsay whipped open the slightly ajar door and said loudly: “HEY! Don’t do that!”
The adult female with the child didn’t see the money. She just saw trouble and whacked the kid on the spot saying: “I told you not to touch anything.”
I wonder how the kid remembers that day. The pages certainly kept it in mind remembering that like Mr. Lindsay’s “victim,” we, too, were all kids.
Jim Stasny, House, 1962, has compiled some of his memories of adventures on Capitol Hill as a 16-year-old from Whiting, Ind., and has shared them with the USCPAA. From the page corps, Jim went on to school at John Carroll University and then the Kennedy School at Harvard. He was a staff member for Sen. George McGovern, worked for six years on the Senate Budget Committee, and was a speechwriter at Fannie Mae.