( Very rough draft: Chapter One)
President Clinton on Martha's Vineyard 1993
I often am asked "Why Hillary? Why do you admire her so much?"
I always answer with the same line. "She caught my attention long ago because she is an extremely smart, competent, and sincere woman who's politics I agree with". Although this is all true, the whole story is much more complex.
My love of the Clinton's isn't something I just plucked out of the air. It's not something I chose for political reasons. The truth be known, it comes from a feeling that they are "my people", people I can trust who are part of "my community". The "Martha's Vineyard community" that is.
I was born and raised on Martha's Vineyard, and the Clinton's consider this their home away from home. We share some of the same friends. I've always heard wonderful things about them from personal reports, friends of mine who think the world of Bill and Hillary. So early on I decided that that they were people I could put my trust in.
The first time I ever heard of Bill Clinton was in 1986, when my mother photographed Lani Guinier's wedding. Both Bill and Hillary attended. My mother was told to pay special attention to that "Arkansas Governor" because "he was going to be president someday".
My mother obliged and took some really great photos, many of which later appeared some years later in Time magazine.
I remember looking at the photos and thinking "Hmmm... maybe he will be President, who knows. Anyways, he sure is handsome!"
I don't recall hearing much about him again until his run for the Presidency. Although I could care less about politics, I decided to vote for him because he seemed cool.
Fast forward to summer of 1993, and Bill Clinton is President.
Bill and Hillary and daughter Chelsea came to the Vineyard for a vacation. The Island was on fire with excitement. It seems everywhere you went, this is all everyone talked about. The motorcade was a common sight that summer, and every summer for the next eight years.
Each summer I used to help cater small parties for the Vineyard's "elite" set. It was always the same party, the same guest list, only the location would change.
The guest list :Walter Cronkite, Carly Simon, Art Buchwald, Diane Sawyer, Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas, Mike Nicols, Mike Wallace, Beverly Sills, Bill Styron, and a few others.
The location: at any of the above people's homes.
The only variation on the guest list was the guest of honor.
Special guests such as Ladybird Johnson and Lady Diana were a delight, but the most sought after guest of all was, of-course, President Clinton.
To be continued...
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3 months ago