It was with some irony that former Arizona Sen. Barry M. Goldwater and Maureen (Mo) Dean--wife of Watergate figure John Dean--came together on Sunday to sign their best-selling books for supporters of the Orange County Trauma Society.
In his book, a give-'em-hell account of his career, Goldwater ardently denounces Watergate and mentions John Dean, then in the Nixon Administration: "A tape from March 22, 1973, was particularly damning. There was a reference to a meeting the President had had a day earlier with John Dean, then his counsel, in which they discussed paying off Howard Hunt, one of those implicated in the burglary."
And, during the reception, Mo Dean chatted about the Watergate days: "Because of those horrible times, I was able to write a very fun novel. The publisher never would have come to me to write the book if I hadn't gone through all of that."
(Deep background: Goldwater and the Deans appeared at the request of Peggy Goldwater Clay of Newport Beach, Goldwater's daughter. Outgoing and caring, she is president of the Associates, a support group for the Trauma Society. The Deans were invited to participate because John Dean is a an old chum of Barry Goldwater Jr.; they went to prep school together. Today they are partners in an investment banking firm in Los Angeles.)
But the irony seemed lost on the 150 supporters, who--besides meeting the Deans and Goldwater--were talking about the Super Bowl and the newly inaugurated First Couple.
What kind of Washington wife has Barbara Bush been? "Open and warm," said Mo Dean--her blond hair gathered in her signature bun--as she readied herself to sign a stack of paperbacks at the Four Seasons hotel. "I think, finally, this country will get to know their First Lady very well."
And what did Goldwater think of the new President? "I'm very prejudiced," he said. "I've known George since he was a little boy. I served with his father in the Senate, watched him go through Yale. I say this--I think he's the best-equipped man to be President that we've had in my lifetime. He's going to be one hell of a good President!"
Guests sipped champagne and some talked Super Bowl as they waited their turns at the autograph tables. "Yes, I'm betting on the game, internally ," said Paul Bender, whose wife Virginia founded the Associates. "I don't lose any money that way!"
"I placed some money on the game, but don't tell my wife that," whispered Lon Wells.
After brunch--creamy cucumber dill soup, grilled chicken and fruit tarts--Dr. John West, Trauma Society founder, presented a beaming Clay with a bouquet of long-stem red roses. Proceeds, estimated at $5,000, will benefit the society's safety programs.
Among the guests: Bob Clay; Amy Clay; Dorothy Yardley (beloved social scribe for the Balboa Bay Club and a close friend of the former senator and his wife, Peggy); Lillian Martin (widow of bandleader Freddie Martin), and Pat Hurley, who said she still has a memento from Goldwater's 1964 bid for President--"a campaign button with an elephant in horn-rimmed glasses."
Also, Barbara and Jim Glabman; Maria Crutcher; Bob Guggenheim; Helen Coffey; Nora and Charles Hester; Nora Jorgensen; Diana and George Yardley; Madeline Zuckerman; Charlene Prager; Mary Ann Wells; Sandra and Dr. Gerald Brodie; Pilar Wayne; Scott and Mary Lou Hornsby, and Oleta Pate, who purchased 52 copies of "Goldwater."
"They will make great gifts!" she said.
The evening was a watershed for me. Nixon appeared to be cracking. The presidency was crumbling. I would not stand idly by if the situation worsened. Nixon had to come clean, one way or the other. --"Goldwater," by Barry Goldwater
She took the ring out of her wall safe and put it on. She had learned quickly that there were times to wear it and times to leave it in her jewelry case. As glamorous as Washington wives had become since Nancy Reagan, they still weren't ready for anyone wearing a ring the size of an ice cube. --"Washington Wives," by Maureen Dean