Barbara Walters Missed One

Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters

One of my “food jobs” was “consultant” to the venerable restaurateur, Joe Baum.

When he was CEO of The Rainbow Room, he created The Rockefeller Center Club where its members could, (as restaurant critic Gael Greene would say), “eat lunch in tax deductible splendor.”

At the time, it was considered a step up the evolutionary ladder to invite one’s friends to dine at an exclusive club whose main purpose was to exclude those less fortunate. The initiation and annual membership fees hovered in the realm of what could be considered grand larceny.

My task was to invite speakers to entertain the folks. Monstrously huge “honorariums” were paid to seduce to the podium such notables as Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger, Tom Wolfe …. and Barbara Walters.

I got to do the (usually irreverent) introducing.

Barbara Walters arrived a little late. She surveyed the head table. Already seated were a very elderly gent, a very (very) large young man, a guy speaking loudly with a foreign accent, three others and — of no interest whatsoever — moi.

Ms. Walters took one look at the assemblage. A flicker of “not on your life” expressed her clear determination to make a fast get away. She spotted an acquaintance and seated herself at another table thus missing the opportunity to chat with the old guy, (David Rockefeller), the fat guy (who wrote the cover stories for Time Magazine — and the noisy fella, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I smiled.


2 thoughts on “Barbara Walters Missed One

  1. Hah! A good lesson there.

    Barbara Walters was one of my idols as a hard news journalist. Then she started interviewing movie stars and asking people “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?” Still, you’ve gotta give her tremendous cred for what she has accomplished.

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