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Constance C. Stuart Exit Interview

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Constance C. Stuart served simultaneously as staff director and press secretary for the First Lady starting in October 1969. Ms. Stuart described the operation of her staff whose duties included managing press relations, correspondence, scheduling, and social events for Mrs. Nixon, Tricia and David Eisenhower, and Julie and Edward Cox. She also talks briefly about her relations with the Presidentís staff.

A transcript of the exit interview conducted on March 15, 1973 is available below. You may also download a scan of the original typed transcript in Adobe Acrobat PDFpdf format.

Transcript

Exit interview with Constance C. Stuart
conducted by Susan Yowell
in Mrs. Stuart's office in the East Wing of the White House
on March 15, 1973

SY:

[Unintelligible] your book that Martha Doss had sent over, because I figured that your job description in here would probably cover an awful lot, and that you might even just want to kind of go down and mention things which should be expanded, either now or at some later time, as far as discussing particular events or areas which would be of historical significance, which are probably not well documented in the paper files.

   
CS:

All right.

   
SY: Or what you [unintelligible].
   
CS:

Those job descriptions are pretty darn complete.

   
SY:

Right.

   
CS:

We did that with the idea we'd rather be too wordy than not wordy enough. We'd rather ...

   
SY:

Right.

   
CS:

...leave something...

   
SY:

Right.

   
CS:

...and that's why we provided you all with a copy.

   
SY:

Well, this, you know, the requirement for the White House staff to come up with these job descriptions was just fantastic from the library's point of view...

   
CS:

Hm hmm.

   
SY:

...because this is one area which, talking with people in the other libraries, is just not well documented at all.

   
CS:

Hm hmm.

   
SY: And, as you know, probably most of the things that come out of this office either go with your name on it or mrs. Nixon's name.
   
CS:

Right.

   
SY:

And the staff under you, the distinction as to who does what, is not clear...

   
CS:

Uh huh.

   
SY: ...when you try and go back to it.
   
CS:

Uh huh.

   
SY: You know, actually know how things functioned. So that's what we're trying to do.
   
CS:

Sure, anyway you'd like to do it.

   
SY:

Is talk to people when they leave the staff, and very briefly....

   
CS:

Two points. Do you want me to say what's already in the job description because you want to keep...

   
SY:

No.

   
CS:

...orally recorded? No, no, you want me to talk about things that may not be indicated in that book.

   
SY:

That may not be indicated in it. We're not trying to....

   
CS:

Vis-a-vis what? Operations, or how the event actually happened, or what is it you are looking for here, hon?

   
SY:

Well....

   
CS:

Just so I'll know in my own mind.

   
SY:

Well, we have...

   
CS:

You're more concerned about staff operations.

   
SY:

...the staff, very, staff operations at this point. As I said, one thing we're not trying to do, at this point, is to go into policy areas which might be sensitive now, but which could be talked about at a later time, when a future Nixon oral history project, in a more in-depth study. We're really just trying to do this background, and then, at this time, mention things, or however much you want to expand.

   
CS:

O.K. But, I mean, you're not looking for colorful stories of what happened when we were on the African trip kind of thing?

   
SY: No, no.
   
CS:

No, it's not that kind of recording for history.

   
SY:

Hm hmm, hm hmm.

   
CS:

It's much more how the staff operated.

   
SY:

Well, in the first place, that, there's so many things like that that right now we couldn't begin to cover that type of thing in the short time that we have.[Unintelligible].

   
CS:

I'm not trying to belabor the point...

   
SY: Right.
   
CS:

...it's just I can, you know, start yakking about...

   
SY:

I'm sure you could.

   
CS:

...seventy million things, and I want to just do what it is you want.

   
SY:

Yeah. Well, you're one of the people that, I'm sure, would be contacted in a later oral history project for this type of thing, and then for the more policy areas.

   
CS:

All right.

   
SY:

So....

   
CS:

O.K. Well, we're talking about kind of the four years of the Nixon administration.

   
SY:

Right.

   
CS:

Or do you want who does what now, today, March fifteenth?

   
SY:

I think maybe the best thing....

   
CS:

Because some girls, you see, have been transferred from one job to another.

   
SY:

Right. I think the best from your point, you've been here since the beginning.

   
CS:

No, I missed the first nine months.

   
SY:

Oh, sorry.

   
CS:

O.K.?

   
SY: [Unintelligible].  Right.
   
CS:

I came in October '69.

   
SY: That's right. But just kind of how the office has evolved under you.
   
CS:

So, in other words, rather than just doing what it is I do...

   
SY:

Right.

   
CS:

...I can give you a little description...

   
SY:

Right.

   
CS:

...of what happened when I came in in October, and how we set it up at that time.

   
SY:

Right.

   
CS:

Basically it stayed pretty much with the way we set it up, it didn't change too much.

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

It has changed a little now as [unintelligible] operations, so I can do a little kind of background history, if that's what you'd like.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

And then get into, well, you ask questions and I answer, is that sort of what happens?

   
SY: Well, no. Well, you go ahead if, you know, if you can take it from there it would be....
   
CS:

O.K.

   
SY: I think we're [the recorder is] on [laughter].
   
CS:

O.K. [laughter]. Well, I came into this job in October of 1969. And at that time, although I'm not the expert on this, I can give you what my view was at that time, of how this office operated. And it may not quite be accurate. When I came in, in October, the basic structure was that there was a press secretary and a social secretary, who reported to Mrs. Nixon. The other staff people along the hall either reported to the social secretary, or the press secretary. And those two women then reported to Mrs. Nixon.

There seemed to be a feeling, when I came in, that perhaps it would be better if there were a staff director to whom all would report on administrative matters, and that there would be more of just a central point of responsibility here on the staff. So I came in as both the staff director and the press secretary. And I set up Mrs. Nixon's staff, of course with her concurrence, I mean, with many discussions with her, somewhat along the lines of how the President's staff was set up. Simply to provide good links of communication between corresponding offices.

For instance, there was, of course, the press office. And the responsibilities in this press office, of course, were quite similar to those of the President's press office. The briefings were held for reporters, press releases were released, arrangements were made by this staff for coverage of the various events that Mrs. Nixon and her two daughters were involved in.

Then there was also an appointments office, and this was a very small version of several offices over on the West side that would have corresponded to the President's appointments office, plus also the tour office on the President's staff, that was charged with the responsibility of handling advance arrangements for travel and for those times that Mrs. Nixon or her daughters would be outside of the White House. The appointments office was responsible for calendars and scenarios and scheduling, and, as I say, advancing.

There's a correspondence office on Mrs. Nixon's staff that is very comparable, of course, with the President's correspondence office. To handle all those letters that come in addressed to Mrs. Nixon, Tricia [(Nixon) Cox], or Julie [(Nixon) Eisenhower], David Eisenhower and Ed [Edward R. F.] Cox. And many times that come in that are purely social invitations that are to both the President and Mrs. Nixon, this side is responsible for handling them.

Now, the social secretary's office is a little unique, in the sense that really the social secretary is the social secretary for the whole White House, not just for Mrs. Nixon. So, Lucy Winchester, in the role of the social secretary does, in a sense, report to both Mrs. Nixon and the President, because often if he's having a stag dinner, for instance, and Mrs. Nixon's not involved, Lucy, of course, is still responsible for the event as far as, you know, the menu and the flowers and the seating arrangement, and all that kind of thing. So, from an administrative point of view, as far as staff and typewriters, papers, pencils, and all that kind of thing, I was responsible for the social secretary's office. But in a larger sense, Lucy really reports to the White House at large, as far as social events are concerned.

And in that context, there is what's called the social entertainments office here, and that's handled, that's headed up by Sanford Fox. And, of course, Sandy and his people are responsible for all the lovely engraved invitations, the place cards, and all the social amenities that go along with inviting someone to the White House, and seeing that they are royally treated as a guest. So that office, of course, works very closely with Lucy. Once again, from an administrative point of view, I would become responsible for that office, but from an operations or a functions point of view, they worked with Lucy and/or various other offices in the White House.

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

And those basically were the offices--appointments, press, social, social entertainments, correspondence, and then, such as it was, the executive office as such, or the administrative office, which was sort of me and the secretary.

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

And that was the structure when I came in, and technically still really is the structure now. There've been changes in personnel, depending on what it was we were doing and what particular phase of the administration we were in, a certain office would perhaps gain an extra person, or lose a person. For instance, during the campaign year, when scheduling was very heavy, and there was a great deal of travel and that type of thing, the workload of the appointments office on this side would be particularly heavy. But in non-campaign or non-political years, when the President and Mrs. Nixon were entertaining more, for instance, in the first year of any administration there is a fair amount of entertaining. You're entertaining the new Congress, heads of state want to come visit the "new" President, that type of thing. You have a very heavy social schedule. So then the social office is particularly heavy at that point.

At the time of Tricia Cox's wedding, with the particularly large and mammoth event that was handled here at the White House. It never ceases to amaze me how much work and effort [laughter] went into one girl's wedding. But we even had a couple of volunteers that worked here in the office, simply because the mail load was so heavy, the press requests were so heavy, etc. So we, like any other office, depending on the work load, will occasionally have to, on a volunteer basis, increase the staff. And that's sort of the history of the operations, in a nutshell.

I think we'll find in the next four years, the structure will stay basically the same, although we are one less in the appointments office at this particular point. And all the rest of the offices are about the same in size and scope of work.

   
SY: And you would expect that to [unintelligible]...?
   
CS:

Jell, quite obviously I am leaving my job and there very possibly may be changes in the structure and the organization. I wouldn't think there'd be too major changes as far as the organization chart is concerned. Maybe in personnel or the numbers within the offices, that might change, but not significantly, I don't think.

   
SY:

Hm hmm. Is your replacement been, oh, well Helen Smith is...

   
CS:

Helen Smith will be...

   
SY:

...going to come over then.

   
CS:

...the press secretary, that's right.

   
SY:

Then who is going to replace you then?

   
CS:

Actually, what is sort of happening here, is my role as the staff director is not being replaced. Helen will be the press secretary and the staff that she has is the staff we have operated with pretty much along the line. And that won't increase. Several factors are at work here. All of the girls who are in that press office nave been here a year and a half or more, except for the secretary who's been with us about eight or nine months. And the operation has been operating for such a long period of time that it's a pretty smooth operation and the women are all experienced in it. The press long ago became accustomed to the way that the Nixon administration would be handling press matters. I think we'll be able to, with the people in that staff, maintain the press operation at its current level, with basically about a half less person, that half being me.

And as you may know, Julie Eisenhower and her husband will be living in the area, and Julie has said she would like to be assisting her mother in some of her activities and her programs and in helping with the staff too. So, Julie will kind of be working with her mother and occasionally fill in some of the roles that I held here. Not as a paid member of the staff or anything, but Julie will kind of be working with her mother on plans and decisions and policies, and this, that and the other thing. She's a volunteer [laughter] in the office.

Now, Mrs. Nixon wants to try for awhile having a press secretary and a social secretary and not really a staff director. She wants to serve as her own staff director, with Julie as kind of an assistant.

   
SY: Well, this would be kind of going back to before you came then, in one sense.
   
CS:

In one sense yes, and in one sense no. The sense that there would not be a staff director, yes. And that there'd only be a press secretary and a social secretary, yes. But, as I say, Julie, for awhile here, is going to be filling in in some of this role as kind of the central point for the staff to report to, and as kind of a liaison with the West side. But, as I say, she's not going to be on the payroll or anything. She'll be in a, as her mother says, a volunteer capacity.

   
SY:

Hm hmm. She won't be doing any of the press...

   
CS:

No, no...

   
SY:

...[unintelligible].

   
CS:

...Helen Smith will be.

   
SY:

Hm hmm. Well, it should be....

   
CS:

It's going to be interesting [laughter].

   
SY: Who could be more appropriate?
   
CS:

Well, Julie, of course, knows her mother and her father very very well and will lend a very valuable judgment factor into some of the activities that will be going on. Although she, of course, will still be operating as a principal. She'll be traveling and speaking and [unintelligible] and other things, so....

   
SY: Yeah.
   
CS:

The size of the staff is being cut down by one or two bodies from its peak during the campaign period, as would be expected.

   
SY:

Hm hmm. Well, could you, I don't know how you would prefer to do it, but, possibly by going through your job description as it's written up in here,...

   
CS:

Hm hmm.

   
SY:

...expand on areas which,...

   
CS:

I haven't expanded on already [laughter].

   
SY: ...which you haven't expanded on already, right. Or areas which would have items either, you know, one time items, or areas which should be documented.
   
CS:

O.K. Well, in my introduction I had indicated that the role that I had here, at the White House, was kind of two-fold, or that I wore two hats. One as the staff director, and that was administrative. And I was responsible, as I have mentioned, for the administration of the office. Hiring, changing of personnel, signing requests for automatic grade increases, and that type of thing, I mean, or administrative increases in salary and that type of thing.

And I also was sort of the focal point for contact with the West side, both in schedule and press, and coordination of Family calendars with the President's calendar. And then, of course, as the press secretary, I was the official spokesman for the Family. I conducted the briefings.

We might talk about the briefings for a moment. Prior to my coming into this job there hadn't been regularly scheduled press briefings for the press. And when I first came in, there seemed to be a need for it. That is, there were so many reporters with so many requests for information that the telephones were just ringing off the hook all the time. And it seemed the most sensible thing to do was to have an organized way in which to get this information out to everybody at one time. So I set up a schedule of briefing twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Monday in the morning, Thursday in the afternoon.

Now, as time went on, and depending on the amount of activity, sometimes I did not brief twice a week. Perhaps we'd just brief once a week. At the time of Tricia's wedding I was briefing almost every day. So briefings were based on the reporters' need to know, and how many needed to know what. At this particular time we're not briefing. The Family schedules, simply because of Tricia and Julie's personal plans at this particular time. David Eisenhower's in the Navy and Julie and David's home was in Florida. And Julie was not here a great deal. And, as I'm sure you know, Tricia and Ed Cox will be moving to New York, and he's taking a job with a law firm, and Tricia will not be living here in the house. So when the girls aren't living here and maintaining schedules of their own, and it's just Mrs. Nixon's schedule, there is not, obviously, quite as much "news" to get out on a regularly scheduled basis.

Plus, the press corps has finally gotten all of the facts and figures finally in their heads and the operation procedures about how things are going to be done. Things have become much more routine than they used to be. And the requirement simply is not there to brief like it used to be. We find that we do better now on a twenty-four to forty-eight hour basis. To simply call the local wire services and call those reporters we know would be interested in covering an event, and simply giving them the information.

Most of these press women cover many beats and have many responsibilities, and frankly it's often easier for them to do business on the telephone, rather than to bring them in for a briefing and go through it all and, etc. So we're not briefing at this particular point, and I would anticipate that probably Helen Smith won't be briefing as regularly as I did, and as a matter of fact, may not even brief at all, except on special occasions, when special trips come up, or something like that. So that function will change a little bit.

The appointments office, because it is such a small operation here, and it's really been basically two girls and a secretary, and now it's one girl and a secretary. I became involved in the scheduling of certain events. The more routine things were handled by the appointments secretary, but more major events, I took the responsibility for planning with Mrs. Nixon. Particularly trips she would be taking around the country; or foreign trips; major presentations here at the White House, let's say the opening of the Green Room or the Red Room, or something like that. I would become involved in both the scheduling and the press on that, because that way it was only, it was one person who had knowledge of both offices who was dealing with Mrs. Nixon in organizing them. And then, of course, I oversaw the responsibility of the appointments office to get out scenarios and calendars and this, that and the other thing. I think I've belabored the press office enough [laughter]. The correspondence, oh, I'm sorry, go ahead.

   
SY: What, one thing that's not well documented is how various offices have worked together and the relationship between your office, or the office under you, and the operations in the West Wing. At any point that there is, you know, some significance [unintelligible] there, you might mention which offices you were working with, and how closely you really coordinated with them.
   
CS:

All right. I made a list of that at one point. Let's see if I can find it [laughter]. Well, the types of offices that I would correspond with, and then as I go through this I'll break down--I was in touch with all of them, because they'd all end up being in touch with me. They'd find it was easier to come to a central point, and then I would delegate it down through this staff. But, as I go through this, I'll indicate which one of the [East Wing] offices were also kind of the second figure that would coordinate with the [West Wing] office.

We do a lot of work with the visitor's office. This is the office, here in the East Wing, that's responsible, basically, for the tours that come through the White House. But, often it would be, often Mrs. Nixon would host a tea and a reception for a group and she would ask that they would have a tour of the white House prior to her seeing them. So, I would work with John Davies for two years, and then Mike [Michael J.] Farrell for two years, in simply coordinating, whether it was a group that asked for a tour and then asked to see Mrs. Nixon, or whether it was a group that asked to see Mrs. Nixon and she said, "Let's give them a tour while they're here."

Now the logistics of the tour, and the timing of it, and the arrival of the people, would be worked out between, usually, the social office. In other words, Lucy Winchester and her people would then work out the details of these people coming in. Because usually Mrs. Nixon was actually hosting them at a social function.

We do a lot of business with the White House photo office. At a policy level--do pictures need approval? --because Mrs. Nixon does like to see the photographs before they're given out to the press or private organizations. At a policy level I would deal with the photo office. At the operating level, that is, actually ordering the pictures, determining the size of them, or whether they're in black and white or color, and how many copies we need, actually my assistant dealt with the photo office. Although, so does the press office, so does the correspondence office.

The requirement for photographs sent out of the white House is almost unbelievable. You get everyone from, you know, the little old lady in Des Moines that wants an autographed picture of Mrs. Nixon, to magazines who are doing major layouts and want a variety of pictures. So there are a number of people that deal with the photo office on a variety of requests. I have to say, frankly, that almost every office on Mrs. Nixon's staff, at one point or another, needs to deal with the photo office.

We tried to centralize the ordering of those pictures through my assistant, just to make it easier. And basically it would boil down to, my assistant ordered the majority of the pictures that were for other than the "official" picture. That is, the pictures that the Family signs to autograph, signs for autographs. And those pictures are ordered through the correspondence office, 'cause, of course, they get the letters requesting them.

Of course we deal with the Secret Service, particularly myself and the appointments office. Simply to alert them that events are coming up on the calendars and that they would want to make the normal security arrangements for whatever those events are.

We deal with the usher's office in the White House, because this office, quite obviously, schedules many events in the White House itself, for Mrs. Nixon and her daughters, and the usher's office is, of course, they're kind of the hotel managers here, they and the people who make sure that the House is clean, the tables are set up, and this, that and the other thing. So this office, from a scheduling point of view, and of course Lucy Winchester's office, the social secretary, from an operations point of view, seeing that the House is set up.

Of course the press office on this side deals directly with the press office on the West side. And taking the people in order of rank, everybody has a counterpart over there. Of course I do a lot of business with Ron [Ronald L.] Ziegler. Helen Smith, who's my assistant, did a lot of business with Jerry [Gerald L.] Warren, Ron Ziegler's assistant. Various people in the press office, Julie Robinson and Cindy [Lucinda] Shumaker would deal with Jerry Warren or Tim [Timothy G.] Elbourne or [J.] Bruce Whelihan. Penny [Penelope A.] Adams in my office is responsible for television set up and she would deal with Tim Elbourne, because he was responsible for television. The press office, pretty much, had counterpart for counterpart, although the President's press office is much larger than ours. So, usually, someone on my staff would have about two people they would deal with on the West side.

Then, of course, we dealt with the President's appointments office, and I would become the focal point for coordinating Family calendars, and the appointments secretary on Mrs. Nixon's side would deal with Mrs. Nixon on which events she wanted to do, and the girls also. So I was the coordinating point to coordinate the calendars and the appointments secretary for Mrs. Nixon would actually do the scheduling of the event, putting it on the calendar and getting the principal to agree for most of the routine events. As I say, on the larger events, I would discuss them with Mrs. Nixon first, coordinate it with the President's office, appointments office, and then it would go on the calendar.

   
SY: How frequently did the President's appointments office recommend events or recommend that an event, I mean an invitation, not be accepted?
   
CS:

Oh dear.

   
SY: Or was that [unintelligible]...?
   
CS:

...it's kind of hard to.... Oh, that's very much a part of the operation. I'm trying to put a finger on that...

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

...as to how often. There was regular coordination between myself and whoever had the major responsibility. At one point, of course, it was Dwight Chapin, early in the administration. And then Dwight became involved in some of the very major trips to China and Russia, and so I would end up dealing with David Parker, who was more involved in the day-to-day scheduling of the President. I would say, oh, out of the events Mrs. Nixon did, maybe fifteen to twenty percent of them would have been recommended by the West side. Based on the fact that it was something the President was asked to do, and he said he couldn't, and he suggested that maybe Mrs. Nixon or one of the girls would like to. And then after awhile, as the men became more and more used to what he felt he could not do, but the Family might, they might just send something over here in the way of an idea without actually asking the President.

Very rarely did they get into a position of saying they didn't think Mrs. Nixon should do something. If they didn't think she or the President would do it, they'd simply turn it down for the President and not even send it over here for our consideration.

   
SY: Well, did you send the proposed schedule to them...
   
CS:

No.

   
SY: ...for their comments?
   
CS:

No.

   
SY:

The proposed schedule for Mrs. Nixon.

   
CS:

No. Because she has always said that she would like to make the judgment as to whether she was going to do a a particular event or not. And if she had any questions herself, she asked the President [laughter]. And when she had his reading on it, then we had a decision.

Yeah, occasionally, simply because I had some idea that an invitation that was coming in, that came to Mrs. Nixon, had also gone to the President, 'cause often, you know, you'd get an invitation for Mrs. Nixon and it's a carbon copy of one that went to the President. Or it was something I had a little knowledge of some history about, you know, I had some background on it. I'd call to someone on the West side and just kind of bounce the idea off them, to get a reading from them, and often someone would be in a position to say, "Oh, the President's going to see that group. Don't worry about it." Or, "Oh, in our judgment it's not such a good idea. Do whatever you want, but in our judgment it isn't." So, that's the coordinating function that I served anytime I saw something that to me kind of was a little flag, that maybe I ought to check with somebody, I did. And sometimes it would be the appointments office, or sometimes it would be someone on the Domestic Council who knew something, who was a specialist in the area of health, or education, or something like that. So there was a good deal of coordination. And occasionally they would recommend that it wasn't such a good idea. Then I would simply let Mrs. Nixon know that here was an invitation, but for the following reasons perhaps she would prefer not to accept it. Sometimes she accepted anyway, and sometimes she didn't. The basic decision, though, was Mrs. Nixon's always. And there was never really a question of sending all the invitations or everything to the West side. Other than it's just good business to stay in touch with people who, you know, may have more knowledge about something than you do.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

We do a lot of business with the curator's office. The curator of the White House, as you know, is Clem [Clement E.] Conger, and his particular forte, while he has been here, has been his ability to find marvelous works of art and furniture and things that were in the White House, you know, a hundred and fifty years ago. And he is a fantastic scavenger. And, of course, Mrs. Nixon has taken a particular interest in the House. Because Clem basically works more with Mrs. Nixon than certainly the President, and because we've done a lot of work here in the House, redecorating rooms and new acquisitions, and all that kind of thing. There's a very close relationship between the curator's office and this office. Now, basically, I've been the link to the curator's office, until a major event was coming up and we were opening the Green Room, and then his assistants would be in touch with my press office to work out the details.

   
SY: Were you involved in actually, the actual planning for the redecoration of the rooms?
   
CS:

No, not really, because, as you know, there is a Committee for the Preservation for the White House here, and they are the official body that sort of gives its blessing to what's being done. Mrs. Nixon and Clem did hire several experts in various fields, riot really hire, I shouldn't say that, these people were very gracious and volunteered their services to act as consultants to the White House. And Mrs. Nixon was the one who guided all of that. I occasionally would sit in on meetings. I did sit in on Committee for the Preservation of the White House meetings, more for the sake of staying informed on what was happening, so that we could be prepared to handle press inquiries. I was really not in the policy making decisions in those areas. I'm not an expert in furnishings, or any of that type of thing.

We do stay in touch with the President's speech writing office, and this happens at many levels. Mrs. Nixon does not make lengthy and long speeches and we tend to draft remarks for her here, in our own correspondence office, or she writes her own speeches. occasionally, for Mrs. Nixon, we did call upon the President's speech writing staff for speeches for Mrs. Nixon, but in the last year, when Julie was actively out campaigning or doing things for her father (Julie does like to make speeches) and so there was a heavy requirement on the speech department for materials for Julie. So there was liaison between the appointments office and the speech writing office, simply to let them know an event was on the calendar and that remarks were required. And then they would prepare them. The remarks would go directly to Julie or Tricia, if Tricia were doing an event, with copies to this office so that we were prepared. There were some instances in which we wanted to release the speech ahead of time, which was a practice we discontinued after awhile, because we found that Tricia and Julie liked to revise their own speeches, or act on the spur of the moment, and to be very honest, as a press secretary, I had recommended right from the beginning we didn't release speeches ahead of time. Because that's exactly what happens [laughter].

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

And these gals liked to, and rightfully so, react to the spontaneity of the moment. And often we'd have, well not often, but a couple of times, we'd have a story that said, "Julie Eisenhower deviated from her speech, in which she was going to say such and such, but she didn't." And Julie preferred just not to have that. It always raises the question as to why didn't she say such and such? And it's just one more little question that just, there's just no sense having it raised.

So, basically, speeches were back--were guidelines for the girls on what they might like to say, and we kept copies on file just so we had what materials were provided to them. We had a very difficult time, and we never really did solve the problem, in tape recording the girls' remarks and providing transcripts for the record, simply because the technical facilities that we had available to us were limited. This staff is too limited over here to be involved in the business of transcripts. Julie would be out four and five days a week, making six or seven speeches, and we were just so limited in the way of staff to be able to make sure these things were tape recorded and that transcripts were made. That's something we don't have in the record. And it's probably a lack.

But, as you know, when the President goes out and makes speeches, he does have the support of White House Communications [Agency] and they do record those speeches, and transcripts are made available immediately. But the presidential daughters don't get the same kind of technical support. So it was always the question of asking to hire or contract out for the type of technical support, and we certainly didn't have the money here at the White House to do that, and sometimes it was difficult to ask a group to do that, so there is a lack in that area. There are not records of Julie and Tricia's remarks as given. O.K.?

We deal with the Navy photographic unit because they take motion picture film of many of these events. I'm sorry, you were going to ask something?

   
SY:

No!  No.

   
CS:

Oh, O.K. And I would deal with the photographic unit on the basis of telling them we thought we had an event they ought to cover, and requesting their presence. Then a member on the press staff would deal with them, logistically, about where they should be, and what the lighting conditions would be, and did we want sound, etc., etc.

And of course I had a liaison with Herb [Herbert G.] Klein's office, and that basically was myself and Herb Klein's office. And it was a question of just keeping each other informed and up to date. And, as you know, they had a capability of doing some mailings and keeping people informed in the media as to what certain programs were at the present, and occasionally we would do something involved with the First Lady.

Then, of course, the President's advance office, I've already mentioned that our appointments office was the liaison there. Although normally I would be the one that would be in touch with them to see if we could ask the good services of one of their people to do some advancing for us, if we were already strapped and didn't have somebody to do it. And then the appointments office would be in contact with them, to work out the logistics and the specifics.

   
SY: Hmm. That's one area you might expand on a little bit. Did the men in the advance office do most of the advancing for the First Lady? I know on the Legacy of Parks trip that was done mostly over here.
   
CS:

Well, we worked in a variety of ways. And, of course, it depended on need, it was based on need. I always felt, and Mrs. Nixon felt too, that on what we would call some of the more "simple" trips, that a member of her staff, who was trained in advance techniques, was perfectly capable of handling the arrangements. These would be luncheons and dinners and teas. The type of events that, perhaps, a man wouldn't have the natural instincts, just to know how to handle it. And it would probably be a group of eighteen hundred women anyway [laughter]. I felt that basically it was a lot easier for a woman to advance those types of things. So, we did have a gal on staff, Coral Schmid, who was trained in advance techniques and, of course, you always learn on every trip. And she continued, of course, to gain experience as she did these advances. And during the Legacy of Parks trip, which we took with Mrs. Nixon, that entire trip was done by this staff and by, and was advanced by members of her staff.

Quite frankly, this office is small enough that everyone needs to have some experience in almost every facet of what goes on here. And that was an attempt to give all the girls an opportunity to know what was involved when you're on the road, and what was required of staff, and how Mrs. Nixon operated, and kind of the problems that you ran into. And it was very beneficial for everybody. It trained a lot more women in how to advance, and it gave everybody that experience of knowing why we get those strange phone calls after sne's been out someplace, and how some little old lady wants forty-six pictures and ... [laughter]. And how to handle and answer those kinds of requests. And now valid they really are. So that now we have three or four girls here who are really quite capable of doing an advance.

However, on a major trip, Mrs. Nixon does prefer to have a good, qualified advance man do the trip, and so do the girls. And particularly on a foreign trip, we always have...

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

...someone from [the] State [Department] and someone from here. Now, during the campaign period, when Mrs. Nixon and Tricia and Julie were advancing we simply didn't, were traveling, we simply didn't have the staff here at all to cope with it, so a whole little operation was set up to advance the Family, and it was basically an operation of men.

   
SY:

Was that under this, under your direction?

   
CS:

No, it really was set up under a gentleman named Bill [William R.] Codus, and he and I worked together, but basically, he reported directly to Mrs. Nixon, because it was the most expeditious way of handling things. As I say, when the staff is as small as ours is, you don't really have the luxury of having your real staff organization, with everybody reporting to everybody. Everybody's scrambling [laughter]. You work together. You don't end up really working for somebody.

Now, depending on who has an area of expertise, as far as press was concerned, I made those decisions. But as far as an advance was concerned, Bill Codus made those decisions, on the logistics, simply because it was not humanly possible for one person to sit over here, during that period, and be on top of everything, and make everything, make all decisions. Because I had an operating responsibility to run the press operation.

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

So I couldn't just sit there and make judgments. I was out doing things. So, it was a, and in my judgment it worked very very well. We had a nice team and we all worked together very well. So, it was a nice, well, I don't find campaigns a nice experience, basically [laughter]. It was a good operating situation, I think. We had our problems in the beginning, straightening out the lines of communication, but other than that it worked, it worked very well.

And then, of course, we coordinate with the military aide's office, and that's on a variety of things: use of aircraft for Mrs. Nixon; from the social aspect, social aides; requirements for military bands; transportation with cars, and things like that. So there's a variety of liaison there, and every office on this side, in one way or another, ends up dealing with the military aide's office.

So, I suppose, to capsulize it, I would deal, on a policy level, with most of these offices, and each of the offices on Mrs. Nixon's staff would then, at an operational level, deal with all these offices.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

I don't think I probably need to get into, too much, the press secretary aspects. That's pretty well documented here, in my job description. The press secretary is the official spokesman. I did give a number of, I didn't personally, I set up a number of interviews for the Family, the girls and their husbands. And would occasionally give one myself, when it seemed appropriate. I tried not to give one on myself, per se.

I felt my job here was not to publicize myself, but to publicize the Family. So whenever I could give an interview that I thought would be helpful to the Family, I did. And when it was something which seemed to be more pertaining to myself, I chose not to do that.

Then, of course, there's all the mechanical things of running a press office. Making sure that your press files are good, that, you know, the press kits and background information are available on major events and trips. We also prepared, at certain points, when it seemed important that we did it, what we called news summaries, not like the President's news summary, which is a daily summary. But we would do ours based on events. A specific event would happen and we would--it was a laborious task too. We would get local people to call in with information of what was on the radio and the TV and in newspapers. And it was much harder getting it, because it was always local news coverage, not networks and, well, sometimes it was network, but it was a more gruelling task to get that kind of information.

Then, of course, there were special projects, and this I might expand on a little bit 'cause I didn't here [in the job description]. We considered Tricia's, or I consider Tricia's wedding a special project [laughter]. She did talk to Lucy and I, in January of 1971, to say that Ed and she were engaged and did plan to be married in June. And therewith started off six months of very intensive planning and coordinating and organizing, etc. And, of course, the press coverage of that alone was a massive thing to handle. There were seven hundred press, approximately, that covered it, and we only had four hundred guests, so the press out­numbered the guests two to one. Now these were not just reporters, of course, they were technicians and the various kinds of people that really are support people to the press. But we issued almost seven hundred credentials, a little over seven hundred credentials to cover that wedding. And it was a massive undertaking and a great deal of coordinating. We were removing press here and there.

And, of course, Tricia wanted to maintain, and rightfully so, a certain amount of privacy to the wedding, and so we had to restrict coverage of the actual ceremony itself. And, I have to say, the press did understand and were most cooperative about the whole thing. But I think we had something like thirteen different pools of reporters. And there would be, you know, six to ten reporters, and what we were trying to do was give everybody an opportunity to actually see some part of the wedding. So we really had to schedule it out on a minute to minute basis as to how long each aspect of the wedding would last, and how many reporters and photographers could be in the room, or in the garden, or wherever the devil it was. And I had to provide an escort service to move the pools, a number of them, and, oh, my God! What a business it was [laughter].

And then, of course, we had to take the White House tennis court and cover it over with a very colorful yellow and white striped tent in order to provide, really, a press room large enough to accommodate all the press that were here. And, of course, it rained the day of the wedding to complicate everything [laughter]. It was a very fun experience, it was a very happy occasion, of course. And it was a very lovely occasion, so all the work seemed worth it.

Now that would have been really the largest activity that we coped with, because actually we did handle all of those arrangements over here. Lucy, of course, as the social secretary, handled the details of the wedding itself, and then my office and the press office handled all those other peripheral things that were involved in the wedding.

We did, of course, have Prince Charles and Princess Ann visit here in July of 1970, and that was a rather massive undertaking also, because this office was responsible for all of that planning. And I think there was something like seventeen motorcades in three days, and they visited, I don't know, fifteen different locations. It was a question of not only moving the principals, but moving the press corps. And it was a logistics nightmare. And, of course, the Prince and Princess were not all that used to that type of press coverage, and it provided for certain problems in itself.

   
SY: Were you responsible for the logistics of their whole stay in the United States?
   
CS:

They only were here in, yeah, I'm sure, they only came to Washington and returned to their country, so it was just a visit here. They had been in Canada, I'm sorry, but they didn't visit anywhere else in the United States...

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

...on that visit. So we were responsible here. Of course, when a state visitor like that comes--it really, wasn't a state visit, it was a private visit--the State Department, of course, gets involved, because it's their responsibility too. So they were involved. And once again, it was a question of Lucy and I working together on that particular event, because she would be responsible for the social amenities, and the planning, really, of the social calendar. And then it was my responsibility to see that the press got there, and move them also. So I was in on both the planning, simply because, as you plan an event like that, you have to plan for the press contingency. Basically, Tricia and Julie made the decisions of where they would go and what they would want to do, and these things were conveyed to the Prince and Princess before their arrival, to see if that was the type of thing that they were interested in. And so there were a lot of people who got involved. And that was a very, well there were portions of that that were rather difficult, but I think the trip was successful and the Prince and Princess enjoyed themselves, and that's what it's all about. So it went fairly well.

And then there were other, smaller scale, special events that we do have here. Halloween parties for underprivileged children and, of course, the Evenings at the White House, worship services, and things of that nature, which really fall into a little bit of a special category. As opposed to a state dinner, which is obviously a function of the head of state. I've become responsible for, in the planning once again, because there are always press considerations, and then I'm responsible, operations-wise, to see that they are covered, and that the ground rules are established, etc.

And then there have been a number of television specials that we've done here in the White House, with the Family, that have been my responsibility. Tricia Cox, when she was Tricia Nixon, led a televised tour of the second floor of the White House. Mrs. Nixon did a special with ABC, that was an hour long, which was really a profile of the First Lady, and that was done both here in the White House, on the road, and in California. We did a Christmas special one year that involved all of the Family. One time we did a special on a state dinner for "60 Minutes," which is a television program that, it's kind of a magazine format. And that was the Italian state dinner several years ago. Those are the only ones that come to mind right off the bat.

But that involves, of course, bringing in the crews, and seeing that they are cleared, and that all the technical things are set up, and that the Family is well briefed on what their role is, and what it is we will be doing. And then working with the producers, afterwards, if any supplementary material be required, etc.

And then we've become involved in motion pictures, in the documentary sense, both motion pictures and still photography, documenting for history. And often we will provide, as I've already mentioned, still photographs in vast quantities to all kinds of people. And occasionally we will provide film footage from our historic files, over in the navy photographic laboratory, for film or television people who may be doing a special, or putting together some kind of program.

   
SY:

Did you review all of the footage,...

   
CS:

No.

   
SY:

...or did someone [unintelligible]?

   
CS:

What we tried to do, because I come from a film background, and I felt that rather than just having all of that footage stored away with no logical way to really look at it, after several of her major events we made an attempt to put a motion picture together. Not that it was intended to be any kind of finished, final, glorious production that would, you know, end up on the, you know, the screens of the local theatres, but that it would be a record of what she had done. And so we, we have produced a film on her volunteer trips, which is a good record of what she did in the voluntary action field. We produced a film on Trivia's wedding. We produced a film on Mrs. Nixon's African trip. We produced a film on her Peru visit. And that footage I did screen. And I worked with a member of my staff, Penny Adams, on that, so that she screened some of it and I screened some of it. And then we would sit in as the film was edited and came together, and we would provide the technical advice on the script, and this, that and the other thing. So that for history, there are some good recorded documents of what Mrs. Nixon did.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

And the daughters. Foreign travel--basically on foreign travel, I have accompanied Mrs. Nixon and made arrangements for those press who travel and cover her specifically. I'm not responsible, obviously, for the President's press corps, because Ron Ziegler handles that. And, of course, on trips like that you work with State Department people, USIA [United States Information Agency] people. The trip we had the largest press responsibility for was her African trip, because she went alone. And we took a press corps with us, and it was an extensive trip. I would say next in scale was, of course, her trip to Peru. She was traveling alone, we took a press corps with us, and the responsibility was mine. Now, when she accompanies the President of the United States, when she's both with him and by herself, then we simply coordinate with Ron Ziegler's staff. And in many instances kind of become almost a part of his staff, because we need to work together, on the road, to see that all the information gets out to the press. I think that about covers, basically, what I do.

   
SY:

Which of those areas do you think would be the most significant, I guess, from basically an historical point of view and also areas which are not as well documented, should be talked about, in more depth, at a later time? As far as specifics. You know, we're talking about...

   
CS:

Well,...

   
SY: ...more in the realm of individual....
   
CS:

...quite obviously, when she travels and when she's out doing things, that's well documented by the press.

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

So that there are all kinds of records that exist of what she did, and where she went. Although, sometimes the press records aren't necessarily the best [laughter] source of accurate information. [recording turned off]

[Recording resumed] Well, I would think, as other members of this staff leave from time to time, for a variety of reasons, that each one of them should be talked to, from an operating point of view, as to what they did. It's the staff operations, quite obviously, that doesn't get well documented, because people make jobs, jobs don't make people. And everybody brings something different and something new to a job out of their own experience and out of their own talents and interests.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

So that in my judgment, it would be important to, as you have already done I know, talk to people as they leave this staff, or even if they're not leaving, to get an idea as to what they did. Because they would see it differently, I'm sure, than I do.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

And it would be more, I think they should be more concentrated on what they did.

   
SY: What about your relationship with Mrs. Nixon and the girls? Did you have, literally, daily contact with the First Lady and the girls, when they were in town?
   
CS:

Yeah, they're very good people to work for, in my judgment, because they're very responsive to their staff, very available to their staff. So, yes, I'd say I had daily contact with Mrs. Nixon. Of course it all depended on how busy the schedule was, and what we were doing, because when Mrs. Nixon does personal and private things, I mean, that's her affair, her business. And, for instance, when she would go to New York shopping for clothes, or something like that, I certainly would not accompany her. There would be no need for my being there.

Our role was to deal with the public side of their life. But, in so doing, there are times when you can't help but avoid the private parts of it. That is, something like a wedding, which falls somewhere in between being private and public. And, of course, at certain times, when one of the girls got sick, Tricia got the measles once [laughter], and she would have preferred that, you know, her health record wasn't appearing in the newspaper, but the insatiable desire of the press to know all, you know, you have to be able to provide information even on the private life.

So, Mrs. Nixon and I have had a very close working relationship, and I'd say it would boil down to maybe, on an average, once or twice a week she and I would sit down for maybe an hour or two and try to go over a variety of things. And then, in between time, there'd just be daily phone contact, on a variety of major or minor questions that would come up.

   
SY: Hm hmm. Unlike in the West Wing, though, you had a close contact with, a close enough contact with the First Lady that you were really kind of carrying out her decision on social events, or on...
   
CS:

Oh, yeah.

   
SY:

...press coverage.

   
CS:

Yeah. I had a very close relationship with her.

   
SY:

Hm hmm. Whereas, when you had ...

   
CS:

She's my friend and ...

   
SY:

...so many, when you had so many events, you know, [unintelligible].

   
CS:

...she's become my mother [laughter] and, you know, we mother each other [laughter). And to a lesser extent with the daughters, simply because they weren't here all the time. Julie would be in school or down in Jacksonville, Florida, or.... Tricia's been here a great deal of the time, but their schedules just are not as heavy. The demands upon them are not as much. And Mrs. Nixon's the pro in the Family, and the girls, her daughters, will turn to her too.

Now, in the same respect, Mrs. Nixon has a good relationship with the rest of the staff too. I have never required, nor has she, that every idea, or thought, or question had to come through me before it went to Mrs. Nixon. For the sake of sparing her time, it was always kind of just an unwritten procedure that most people came to me and I would go to her. So that it was just one person dealing with her, rather than six or seven bothering her on various aspects of the same problem. But, in those instances when, you know, I was away, or if she had a direct question and knew one of the other girls would have the answer, there was good contact between the various members of the staff and members of the Family. Which was very nice.

   
SY:

Well, I think some members of the staff are really kind a, Cindy [Cynthia A.] Vanden Heuvel was really kind or assigned to take care of....

   
CS:

Yes, now that's a little bit of a unique situation. There's a young lady named Cindy Vanden Heuvel here, who really has grown into being almost the personal secretary for Tricia and Ed and David and Julie. Simply because the girls were not here a lot of the time, but they have mail that needs to be handled and this, that and the other thing. That sort of evolved, and was a very sensible thing that evolved. And she's kind of a personal assistant and secretary to all four of them, [laughter] which is pretty demanding. But that's kind of on the personal level. She's kind of a personal secretary to them. Cindy doesn't get involved, really, in the public scheduling and all that type of thing.

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

But it kind of gave the girls someone, here on the staff, that they could call for little, little things that they wanted done quietly and personally.

   
SY: Hm hmm. All of the articles and whatever that have been written on the First Lady's staff operation, are there any which stand out to you as being particularly accurate, or particularly good in a certain area?
   
CS:

No, not really, because the press is not really interested in staff and how it operates, other than it operate well enough that they can do their job. And if there's something a little sensational going on, they'd like to write about that too. That's not meant as criticism, that's just the nature of news. There isn't a reader in America who really wants to know all the details of how this staff operates. The press corps knows that, so they're not going to write about it.

There've been a couple of articles written on the staff and, in my judgment, they really weren't a fair representation of what went on here. It has been written that Mrs. Nixon has the largest staff of any First Lady. The press always likes to write that something is the most, or the biggest, or the oldest, or the worst, or the best [laughter]. This is not the largest staff. I took a look at Mrs. [Lady Bird] Johnson's staff when I came in here, and Mrs. Johnson, 1 think, oh, I'd have to go back and look again now, I think she had two more people, really, than Mrs. Nixon

does. Because Mrs. Johnson had a personal secretary and she had a couple of people on staff that handled her beautification program. So that she basically ended up having a couple of more bodies, really, than Mrs. Nixon does. And this is also supposed to be the highest paid staff in the history of the First Lady. Well, that doesn't really quite hold up either. Simply because the salaries of this staff are based on what's happening in the government and the natural increases that have happened in government salaries and this, that and the other thing. So, comparatively, I don't think it's the highest paid staff either. I think history should reflect that fairly. I think Mrs. Nixon has done a great deal on a very economical staff.

We've had people come through here doing little management surveys and things, and they were very surprised that as much work was done out of here with as few people, with as good a spirit and esprit de corps as we have here. In Allen Drury's book, that he wrote about the President, Hesita--, Courage and Hesitation, his [unintelligible] even say this is one of the busiest and active, (activist?), active shops in the White House. It is a busy and active place. Though we all work very closely together, nobody guards their prerogatives very jealously around here [laughter]. And it's because of the feeling we have for the lady upstairs.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

You know, we operate like she does. She's a very warm and generous and gracious woman. She's very efficient, she's very businesslike. But very down to earth, very open, so we like to think that's how we operate too.

   
SY:

Hm hmm. Where are your files, other than in the First Lady's file section of Central Files?

   
CS:

I'm not very good on knowing files.

   
SY:

Where's the....

   
CS:

I did not personally keep much up here in my office, specifically, at all. My assistant, of course, my secretary, kept all those files and she only has a little file cabinet there, and when it got too full she sent them all (quote) to Central Files (unquote). So I think that's where my files are, anything that would really be under my name, in Mrs. Nixon's section.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

So, my files are limited, really. Things that I do either ended up in the press office, or the appointments office, or the social office, or someplace else. And there wasn't a lot of need to maintain a lot of files here, in my shop specifically, because I always operated on the basis, off my desk and onto yours [laughter]. So that, you know, there was no sense my keeping terribly extensive files here.

   
SY: Will most of your activities be documented in the files and be attributed to you or to other staff members who worked on them?
   
CS:

I'd say, basically, yes, they would, in most instances I think you would.... You know, I have this dreadful fear. I don't type very well at all. But I write even worse. So I sit there and bang out all these little memos to the staff on my typewriter, and oh, my dear! The spelling is atrocious, and sometimes even embarrassing, because I come up with words that [laughter].... I have a terrible fear that all those little notes are sitting in files someplace--Oh! And somebody's going to discover them someday [laughter].

   
SY: Actually, those are types of little notes which are probably more valuable than the end product which goes out to the press.
   
CS:

On yeah, well, I'm sure they are, they're all on blue paper and dreadful [laugher]. But, I mean, I'd sit here and type something and it went out to somebody else on the staff. And invitations, or anything that I handled, I always, after the basic decision was made on them, I really had to, obviously, give them to somebody to be expedited. So the files would probably be in somebody else's name.

   
SY: With all those little blue notes, I hope. I hope they saved them...
   
CS:

Well.

   
SY:

...once they went ahead and did what....

   
CS:

[Groan] [laughter].

   
SY: Well, of course, the library would not, won't even be open for another four years, and then there'll be such a long time....
   
CS:

Well, there are some classics in there, I'll tell you [laughter].

   
SY: There'll be such a long time before everything is open to the public.
   
CS:

Hmm.

   
SY: But, we're hoping that, you know, the interviews that we have been doing, and these staff books that were done, will help that, you know, once somebody does go to the files, to know what's there.
   
CS:

You know we try to think of you as we do these various things. We just finished one off, which I believe you have a copy of,...

   
SY:

Uh huh.

   
CS:

...and that's that four year summary of activities, which should stand as, probably, the best document on what the Family did.

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

And when they did it. We do intend to kind of review that again and go back and check for sure, because things always slip between the cracks, things that are scheduled at the last minute, or cancelled because of an illness, or something else taking its place. But that's about as accurate as we can be right now, and we hope to even do a little better on that one.

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

So that, along with this book on operations, really is the best record of the first four years.

   
SY:

Hmm. What is your new position at the State Department?

   
CS:

I'm going to the State Department in the cultural affairs department and I will be the, if I can learn to say all this, it's the deputy director of the Office of the International Visitors Program.

   
SY:

International Visitors Program.

   
CS:

Hm hmm. These are the many people from foreign countries that come to the United States, for a variety of reasons, you know, because they're going to study here, or, you know, tour hospitals, or something in the educational areas. Also performers, entertainers, painter, artists, a variety of people who come to this country. And, of course, the hope being that, by their being here and our giving them the best possible opportunity to see the United States that, when they return home, their impressions of the United States have got to be better than any press release, or booklet, or movie or anything we can produce. So I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be another aspect of the government and, you know....

   
SY:

Right. One thing I didn't ask you: how did you first join the staff here?

   
CS:

My husband went to work on the campaign in 1968.

   
SY: Hm hmm.
   
CS:

And he started as volunteer one day a week, and six months later left his job, [laughter] on a leave of absence, to join the campaign full time. And when I and time from my job I would volunteer. I was traveling with the, for the telephone company at the time, doing some work in the motion picture field and in television. And occasionally we'd link up in the same city at the same time, like in Boston, or Cleveland, or something like that. And so I'd dive in for the weekend and, you know, pick up Julie and David at the airport, or get somebody someplace. So I came to know the Family and the other members of the staff, who then became part of the White House staff. My husband, after the election, was asked to join the staff, which he did. My husband, my company transferred me down here, and after I'd been here awhile, and working in the Washington area, I was asked if I'd like to come over and chat with Mrs. Nixon about the possibility of my coming on the staff. And since I had met a variety of people during the campaign, and then there was my background, my skills, etc. So, that's how it happened.

   
SY:

Hm hmm. And you, do you expect your current home address to be a fairly permanent address, where...

   
CS:

I sure do.

   
SY: ...someone might reach you...
   
CS:

I hope so.

   
SY: ...five or ten years from now?
   
CS:

I hope I die there [laughter].

   
SY: I think that's in the file. There's something that I need from you and, from what you said, you won't be able to fill out the number of boxes, but to indicate on here, where your files have been sent. This is part of the White House staff manual. The other sheets that I handed you which, as you probably know, did not receive wide distribution. And that was kind of unfortunate from our point of view, because it does outline the procedures for the disposition of papers when you leave the staff, and the thing, you know, the definition of presidential papers, being anything that is created....
   
CS:

Yeah, I have seen this, and I know I've asked that my office do this on a regular basis, which is why I say I, you know, in the process of kind of cleaning out my office here, I went through what I have in a little file cabinet over there, and found that I really didn't have much at all. Because we, on a regular basis--we don't have storage space up here, so it always...

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

...went to Central Files. But I'll do one last check...

   
SY:

Right.

   
CS:

...and ask my gal where she's been sending things [laughter].

   
SY:

O.K. And then you will come up with the form somewhere that has the list of signatures that eventually goes to Bruce Kehrli on, when you turn in your security, your White House pass, and when you turn in your...

   
CS:

Yes, I've already talked to him about that.

   
SY: ...dictaphones and your ....
   
CS:

I'm going on vacation for awhile,...

   
SY:

Hm hmm.

   
CS:

...but when I come back from vacation I'll just go through that...

   
SY: Right.
   
CS:

...whole magillah and....

   
SY:

Yeah, well we're...

   
CS:

...I've already started some of that [unintelligible]....

   
SY:

...on that, what I was getting to, we're on that list and...

   
CS:

Oh, I see what you mean.

   
SY:

...this is the other part of what we're trying to get from that list. I just thought I'd bring that over in advance, because, you know, people come wandering in the door and they say, "Will you sign my form?"

   
CS:

Well, once I fill this out shall I send this to you, or do you...

   
SY:

Yeah, just send that...

   
CS:

...want me to hold it until that...?

   
SY:

...over to us in, or with the form.

   
CS:

I'd like to get as much of this out of the way as possible now...

   
SY: Right.
   
CS:

...so I don't end up, you know,...

   
SY:

Fine.

   
CS:

...one day, running around here...

   
SY:

That's, that's fine.

   
CS:

...doing seventeen things. So I'll try and take care of this today and get it over to you.

   
SY:

O.K., fine. [Unintelligible]. And, if anytime there's areas that you think should be documented in a, you know, more specific area, we'd, we'll be there.

   
CS:

O.K.

   
SY: And I'm sure that the Nixon oral....
   
[End of recording]
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