The Heinrich Schline story 8 Miami Beach Most pundits conceded the Youth Vote to George McGovern, long before he clinched the Democratic nomination. But if the truth be known, the Youth Vote proved to be no more homogeneous than the Geriatrics Vote or the Jewish Vote. Before the decision on the seating of the California delegation took the thrust out of the Anybody but McGovern movement, the Youth were scurrying around trying to patch as many curious anti-McGovern coalitions as were their elders. In the mood for some tame espionage, some friends and I crashed an ABM Youth Caucus the night before the convention opened. The caucus was at the Carillon Hotel, the Miami Beach headquarters of Hubert Humphrey. Before we presented ourselves to the security force, consisting of civilian ABMers and FBI men, one of our group noticed a check list purported to contain the names of all the delegates and alternates who might possibly want to get in. “Tell them you’re Mickey Leland. He’s black, but they’ll never know the difference,” a friend advised me. “Mickey Leland,” I said. “You should have my name down there. It’s the Texas delegation.” “Sorry, Mr. Leland, but I can’t seem to find it,” Guard #1 said. “Well, there’s obviously something wrong. Just sign your name at the next table and go on in,” added Guard #2. Noticing that the guard witnessing the signatures was from the FBI, I quickly decided Mickey Leland wasn’t going to do. In my most fluent hand, I wrote, “Heinrich Schline,” and entered the room. APERSON OF the opposite gender walked up and introduced herself. “H. Schline. I’m from Beaumont, Texas,” I volunteered. “Wow. I live close to there,” she said. “I’m from Shreveport, but I go to school in Baton Rouge.” “Oh, you go down to dat L.S.U.,” I said in my finest Cajun accent. “Yeah, I do.” Then noticing my Harvard T shirt, which was partly obscured by the biggest Humphrey button I could find, she asked, “Do you know so-n-so, who finished this past year? He’s working with us and he’s really incredible.” “What did you say his name was?” Answer. “No, I don’t believe I know his name.” “Well, wait here just a second and I’ll go find him. I know he’s around here somewhere.” The Texas Observer While I was unexcitedly waiting to meet this fellow, I began talking to someone with buttons and the like proclaiming Scoop Jackson. “Did you know,” he said, “that if McGovern is nominated he’ll drag every Democrat in the country down into defeat with him?” “He might well,” I said. “He might well.” I heard the girl from L.S.U. calling. “H., this is the guy I was telling you about.” She walked back into the room, leading him by the arm. Suddenly I got a good look at his face and I knew that disaster was at hand. I knew him, and doubtless he knew me. “So-n-so, I want you to meet H. Schline, who goes to Harvard also. . . . H . . . what does the initial stand for?” “Heinrich,” I replied. “I come from a German family.” A smile came across his face, and I knew I was recognized. “Yes, Schline, I remember you!” “Right,” I said, “We were in Nat. Sci. 7 together last year.” Which I believe to be my second true statement for the evening. “Well, Schline, what are you doing here? You a delegate?” “I guess you could say some people thought a lot of me and sent me here to help make some decisions.” Not entirely false. He straightened up, winked, patted me on the shoulder, and said “Good man. Schline, good man.” “Thanks a lot,” I said. THE PARTY was filled with one of the strangest conglomerations of voters I had ever seen. There were blacks sporting both Panther and Shirley Chisholm buttons. There were white and brown people who had sympathies toward McCarthy, Sanford, Humphrey, and Jackson. And, there were the young supporters of the governor of Alabama. All had, for the time at least, put their ideological differences aside and united in a common cause to stop George McGovern. “He’s really not a liberal, you know,” my friend from Louisiana told me. “God, if there’s one thing this campaign’s taught me it’s that college kids don’t know what’s going on. I mean, you look at the record. . . . Humphrey’s got a much more liberal record than McGovern.” “Yeah, but I think Humphrey’s going to have a hard time living down the support he gave Johnson for the war. . . .” “I hate McGovern,” another said. “And his staff what a bunch of bastards.” Everyone there was sure that George McGovern was the devil incarnate, and they were sure that something would be done to prevent his nomination. As the security in the room became heavier, it seemed likely that the rumor of an appearance by HHH, or someone of equal stature, was, in fact, true. The first dignitaries to enter the room were an aide to Hubert Humphrey and Humphrey’s sister. The aide spotted me and led his companion over to where I stood. He introduced me by some name I had never heard, and then qualified his introduction by saying, “He’s Howard’s roommate at Harvard.” “Yes,” I said, “It’s nice to meet you. I’ve admired your brother for some time.” Not false either. The microphone was seized by a Humphrey worker who was under the influence of something stronger than devotion to his candidate. All around the room people were saying, “Somebody get him outa here . . . he’s so damn drunk.” But the campaigner continued. “I want to tell you about a man who loves the people of this country! I want to tell you about the only politician in this country the black man can say thank you to! I want to tell you. . .” Four bodyguards and Hubert Humphrey walked into the room. The candidate was smiling and shaking hands. He stepped up to the mike. “George McGovern’s my friend. He’s my neighbor, and he’s my colleague in the Senate. He is my competitor, not my enemy.” The audience didn’t want to hear this, and the rustling feet and low conversation proved they didn’t want to hear Humphrey either. I was about ready to leave when I overheard someone say that Jerry Rubin was in the hall, and that Allen Ginsberg was outside too. As I walked out the door I could see Ginsberg at the top of the stairs. I started in that direction, but someone was yelling, “Schline, Schline, hold up a minute.” It was my friend from Nat. Sci. 7. “Have you got a second to tell me what you thought of his speech?” “I thought it was all right,” I said impatiently. “At least he wasn’t apologizing for being here, and I’ve seen him do that a couple of times.” “Schline,” he said, “let me have your hotel and room number. I may need to get in touch with you later.” He handed me a pen and I wrote: Heinrich Schline Room 2218 Adolphus Hotel “Where’s that?” he asked. “West of here,” I said, and dashed up the stairs. But I was late, and Ginsberg was gone. PAUL STONE
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