Snap, crackle & flop Houston There was an uninvited guest who didn’t get into President Ford’s breakfast with about 100 media executives here on Feb. 11. But the guest brought his own box of cereal, a bowl, milk, and sugar, and got as close as he couldwhich at one point was within about 10 feet of Ford. Marty Manning, interim general manager of radio station KPFT-FM in Houston, says nobody queStioned him as he ambled into the lobby of the Shamrock Hilton Hotel at 7:30 a.m. “Here I was, carrying this big bowl stuffed into a misshapen Rice Krispies box,” he says. “Nobody even asked to see what was in it. For all they knew it was a bomb.” Manning is the first to admit that he looks a little, well, weird. He cut off all his hair on New Year’s Eve as a fundraising Stunt for his listener-supported Pacifica station, and only a three-quarter inch fringe has grown back. He also sports a scruffy Vandyke beard, and on the morning of the breakfast he was wearing white corduroy pants, a white sequined shirt, a denim jacket with an NIM \(No white checked bow tie, and a name tag reading “Rejected Media Executive.” Manning, a former disc jockey, says he decided to bring his own breakfast to the Shamrock after Assistant White House Press Secretary Gerald Warren told KPFT reporter Gavin Duffy on Feb. 10 that Manning couldn’t eat with the President because the media breakfast already included “broad representation” from local radio stations. Manning says that his bit of bravado was inspired by reading gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72. He also says he didn’t really expect to get beyond the hotel’s front door, and was surprised at the apparently lax security. “There were only 50 or 60 people in the lobby, including Secret Service men and reporters,” he says. “Nobody said a word to me. People just looked away.” There were five or six Secret Service men standing immediately behind him, Manning says. He recognized them by their lapel pins, “and I could feel them bristling.” But he fantasizes, “All I would have had to do was drop my Rice Krispies box and I could have blown up the room.” Manning says he stood about 30 feet from where the Presidential breakfast took place. And he was about 10 feet from Ford when the President came out into the lobby to shake the hand of a local 102-year-old Republican, Leonard C. Ward. Kenneth Wiesman, agent-in-charge of the Secret Service in Houston, says he recalls being told about a man fitting Manning’s description in the lobby. Asked if he knew what was in the box the man carried, Wiesman said, “I’m sure we do.” He wouldn’t say what was in the box, or how agents could have known what was in it if they didn’t look. Manning says he “chickened out” of eating his breakfast in the lobby as he had planned to do, because he had learned that “they had arrested a man the day before, selling crab apples for a dollar apiece in front of the Shamrock. “He said they were’ Republican apples, and they arrested him for selling food without a permit,” Manning continues. “It was early in the morning, and I just didn’t feel like spending the day in jail.” TOM CURTIS Curtis lives in Houston and writes for The Washington Post. . February 28, 1975 11 Democratic National Committeewoman BILLIE CARR REPORTS . . . On Agenda for March 8 Meeting. Texas Democrats will hold an important meeting in Corpus Christi on Saturday, March 8, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Nueces County Courthouse \(located on IS-37 and Hwy -181, at the south end of Harbor There will be four workshops, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., to train workers and leaders on the techniques of: voter registration, canvassing, signs and literature, arid getting out the vote. Speakers and workshop leaders are still being lined up. From 2 to 6 p.m., the business meeting, at which we will discuss: priorities for the next two years, presidential candidates, ‘ legislative matters, SDEC committee reports, and the March 15 SDEC meeting at which three additional members to the Democratic National Committee will be selected. At 8 p.m., a beach party at Sandy Shores Master For room reservations or rates, contact Sandy Shores Master Host Inn, P.O. Box 839, Corpus Christi, 78403, by March 3, and indicate that you are with the Texas Democrats \(in order to obtain a discount on the For additional information regarding the March 8 meeting contact Dr. Jeff Bishop, 607 Del Mar, Corpus Christi 78404 \(512/883-2194 or me at 2418 Travis, Billie SPECIAL NOTICE: The rules committee hearing, open to the public, will be held in Austin on March 1. Please attend that, too. ‘ Paid Pol. Adv. by Billie Carr Expense Fund, 2418 Travis, Houston, Texas.
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