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Yes. I realized by then that we had an unusual person, that
while he was very charming and very graceful, he was very smart and
he learned very quickly, and while he would always be “if you please”
and that kind of thing, he knew what was happening.
Then I decided -- I knew how good he was -- that I wanted to project
him so that the media and the public would know about him, and I
first spoke to Abe Raskin, who had just retired from the Times, and
asked him about the possibility of a Times Magazine piece. He thought
it was a great idea, and then he called me and said, “The magazine
thinks that 1199 is too limited, it's just a New York union, it's not
national.” So he said, “But I'll follow it.” And he did. I also spoke to
Sam Roberts about a magazine piece in the Times.
Raskin you spoke to [cross-talk]
He was retired. No, I didn't. I spoke to him about the Times.
The Times said no, but he said, “I'll find another way.”
So I went to Sam Roberts to try to sell it, and Sam said, “Gee,
that's an idea. Let me check.” He called me back, “We want to do it.”
So he did this cover article with Dennis' face on it.
On the cover of the --
On the cover of the Times Magazine, and the head was “New
Face in American Labor.”
This would have been about 1990, 1991?
Around then. And it had a subhead about Dennis Rivera, and
inside were photographs the Times took of Dennis meeting with
workers in hospitals. I remember going on the subway with him and
Sam Roberts. They took a picture of him. It was a very laudatory
piece, very laudatory. As a matter of fact, then Raskin called and said,
“The New Yorker is interested in a profile.” But he said, “Look, a New
Yorker profile, they're talking about the equivalent of fifteen to twenty
pages.” And the New Yorker pays a great deal. It pays by the word.
And Abe liked the idea. He said, “Look, I want to be with Dennis every
moment of the day, and I want to go to where he lives and check him
out.” Abe was in our office every day, went to every meeting. It
reached a point where Kay called me and said --
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