Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Confessions of a Techie

"They worked in a windowless room in Chicago they dubbed 'the cave.'"  That sentence caught my eye today as I was reading about the techies who created the programs that brought in the money and sent the voters to the polls for Obama's great victory.

I, too, worked in a windowless room in Chicago on a presidential campaign.  It was Adlai E. Stevenson's campaign against Ike.  The windowless room held a secret entrusted to me and my colleague, Mary Lou Beaty.  It was a "high tech" machine that allowed an ink pen to replicate Stevenson's signature on one letter after another.  The recipients wouldn't know he hadn't signed it himself.  This was confidential work because those letters went to VIPs and big donors.  

One of the highlights of working on the campaign was meeting Eleanor Roosevelt who visited headquarters more than once.  (IMAGE SPOILER ALERT):  she was dripping in mink and had long fingernails painted bright red.

Several years after it all, I learned that the very same windowless room,  where Mary Lou and I were trusted with secret work, held atomic research from the University of Chicago that lead to the development of the bomb!

That's about as high tech as I'll ever get close to, don't you think?

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