Important People

by Jack Keegan


The Pope -John Paul II, October 1979,

During the the Popes visit I was assigned to the crew stationed at Saint Patrick's Cathedral to cover his appearance there. After we had completed our setup of audio and video equipment, I was positioned at an entrance of the Cathedral on 51st Street in company with a Secret Service Agent. I was to alert the Mobile Unit if the Pope showed up and spoke to any gathering.

While chatting with the SS Agent, Pope John Paul II suddenly walked around the 51th st. side of the church. He was alone, not with his usual entourage taking a leisurely saunter. As he approached I tried to remember what salutation was used in addressing a Pope. Was it "Your Eminence", No that's for a Cardinal", how about "Your Excellency" that's for a Bishop. For the life of me I could not recall what greeting you used. He now was in a few feet of me, knowing that he was a Priest I said" Good afternoon Father". He looked directly at me, made The Sign of The Cross and said "Bless You Son"

It was only after he had strolled several yards past me that I remembered you addressed him as 'Your Holiness".

So much for Salutations.

The White House - Washington, DC.

Arriving early to televise a Press Conference in the White House I was assigned as part of the crew to cover it. In the East Room we had set up the the usual Audio and Video equipment to broadcast the meeting. I was doing my usual job with audio equipment, in the process I was down on my knees tidying the cables so that they did not show in the TV pictures. As I worked I felt the presence of some one next to me. A voice said, "Mornin, how you doin young man",
I looked up and there was Lyndon Johnson. I arose as he extended his hand for a handshake.

I looked at my hands and said "But Sir my hands are dirty" he replied "That all right son its Honest Dirt". With that President Johnson and I shook hands. Only in America.


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