Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nixon's Score? Neighborhood of 37

On its YouTube page, the Nixon library is having fun displaying video taken around the Nixon White House by military aides. This September 1971 clip (which has no sound), in which 37 shows international bowling champions his personal alley (removed by President Obama), is remarkable for being one of the few glimpses you'll get of Nixon without his suit coat.

One of the camera operators also shows special interest in his nervous hand gestures as he does his best to be a gracious if characteristically controlling host to perfect strangers. Remember that Nixon was deeply introverted. His anxiousness seems more obvious because we can't experience him holding the moment together with that commanding baritone of his.

Both he and the champions bowl a few times. A second camera evidently captured the results so that someday an editor could match them with the right bowlers. Two gutter balls and several spares. You decide.

1 comment:

Fr. John said...

On Facebook Wednesday afternoon, I had this exchange with a Nixon-Vietnam historian:

Brian Robertson: According to Ron Ziegler, Nixon usually scored “around 130 to 140 and his best game to date is 204.”

John H. Taylor: Maybe, but probably not that day! Nervous around the champions, I'd imagine. I'd sure have been.

Brian Robertson: Haldeman recorded that the first attempt was a gutter ball but on the second attempt, Nixon knocked down all the pins scoring a "spare." He called it "Nixon's latest comeback."

John H. Taylor: I'm glad there's an historian around here!