Saturday, July 18, 2009

A couple of drinks with Walter Cronkite

I was having drinks with Frank McCulloch at the bar in the Crow’s Nest in Anchorage one night in the early ‘80s. (We never went for “a drink” in those days; we went for “drinks”.)

Walter Cronkite, in town for a broadcasters’ shindig, spotted Frank across the room and came hustling over. A thirty-something journalist whose entire career had been in Anchorage couldn’t have dreamed of sitting at the table while they swapped trans-global war stories. My favorite was Cronkite’s recollection of “all we went through to get our folks out” of Saigon as the city was falling.

Cronkite left before we did. A waiter came over with some concern and told us he’d left his credit card behind.

Frank offered to deliver it. We all knew, in that time and age, that almost nowhere on earth could anyone else get away with using a card that said “Walter Cronkite” on it.

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