Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frank StantonFrank Stanton
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 755

when I had it -- to see if they could find a car that I could rent. Hertz was out of business or wasn't doing anything unless you had military papers. I scrounged around and got a beat-up, pre-war Plymouth that barely held together, and drove out to the country to Paley's place. It was pouring down rain, and I had great difficulty finding the place because of the inadequacy of the car; the windshield wipers didn't work, and I was in an unknown part of Long Island. But I finally found the place and went into the house and was properly greeted and so forth.

There must have been fourteen or fifteen people at the table, friends of the Paley's, most of whom I knew only by name from the society pages. I did know Mrs. [Dorothy H.] Paley. We had a pleasant enough lunch, but the rain was still coming down in sheets. Right after coffee, Bill sort of leaned back and said, “Gee, I sort of feel like a walk. Anybody feel like getting some fresh air?” I thought, “This must be the cue.” I jumped at the opportunity. I would have jumped at the opportunity to get away from the luncheon table anyway, because the chatter was all about social things. It meant nothing to me and really wasn't of any interest to me. I found it a little awkward. When he gave me the opportunity, I jumped up and said, “I'll take a walk with you.”

We got outside the house. Mind you, both of us were unprotected from the rain, which was a strange thing anyway. We walked down by the pool, and there was a large umbrella at one end of the pool side. We sat down, and he very quickly got to the point and said that he wanted me to take over the operation of the company and he wanted me to be president. He was then the president. In effect, that was it. Nothing was said about any of the contractual arrangements or anything of that kind. I wouldn't have expected to get into it unless he had brought it up. But I did say, “You know, you really don't know me. What are your plans because I'm not sure that this is something I'm up to.” He said that he was persuaded from

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help