1966. My husband was in the middle of a career spanning the mid-40's to the mid-80's in a world where business was done over martinis and Manhattans by men in black suits with Brylcreem hair. Women sported darts and flippy bobs. It was the cocktail generation.
Right between Sweet Charity's opening at the Palace Theater in New York and Russia's first unmanned space landing on the moon, my husband was at the helm of a company and an event held at the Washington D.C. Hilton, January 31-February 1, 1966.
It was a short two years since the JFK assassination, and LBJ was in the White House. Simon and Garfunkel were #1 on the Billboard charts with The Sound of Silence. The Beatles were not yet God.
French cuffs and handshakes. My husband, Lawrence T. (Larry) Riordan, left, giving an award to Bernard L. (Bernie) Boutin (center), then Deputy Director for the Office of Economic Opportunity. To the right is Eugene Driscoll, director of sales. Boutin, a former Kennedy associate who lost his bid to be New Hampshire's governor about the same time Kennedy won the presidency, was appointed by JFK to head the General Services Administration.
Rubbing shoulders with lumbermen and politicians. To the right, then Wisconsin senator William Proxmire, who took the seat vacated by Joe McCarthy. Proxmire was at the time serving with Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day. Melvin Laird, who was then representing Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District, was also in attendance.
Addressing the delegation. To the right is featured speaker John Coates, then President and Chairman of the Board of the Masonite Corporation.
Water glasses, coffee cups and ashtrays. And proof there were women on the dais. Left to right, Gene Driscoll (speaking), John Coates, Larry Riordan, and Mrs. Sheila Seim, wife of one of my husband's executives, Ed Seim.
Having fun. My husband (left) has a lighthearted moment while his Director of Sales is giving a presentation.
Introducing Bernard Boutin. Boutin (left) was the recipient of the Award of Merit at that year's gathering.
Captains of industry. My husband presenting the Award of Merit, an engraved sterling silver bowl, to Bernard Boutin (center), as John Coates (left) of Masonite Corporation looks on with approval.
Testosterone on parade. John Coates, CEO of Masonite Corporation, Gene Driscoll, Bernard Boutin, Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, and Larry Riordan, President and Chairman of the Board of Crestline, pose for photographs after the Award of Merit presentation.
The smiles that get the sales. Giving an award to salesman Gene Belanger (center). John Coates is seated to the right.
Every gathering had its beauty queen. Director of Sales Gene Driscoll (second from left) and his wife, Mrs. Billie Driscoll (far right) pose with Masonite CEO John Coates and "Miss Crestorama" (left).
The look. My husband gives an approving glance in the general direction of Mrs. Lillian Stein, wife of his advertising director Newton Stein. This picture is a favorite of mine, because it captures something most public relations photography generally does not.
On the Web:
The Bernard L. Boutin Papers - JFK Presidential Library and Museum
Bernard Boutin Lives! - New Hampshire Historical Society
First Lady Book Features NHHS Letters - New Hampshire Historical Society
John Coates, 86, Dies - Ex-Leader of Masonite - NY Times
(Original photography taken by C.S. I. News, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., personal collection of the author)
Running a company, 1970's.
After the company was sold to a major insurance company, flying around the country as Vice-President of Acquisitions in the corporate jet, 1980's.
Retired but still very much looking like chairman of the board, 1990's.