Governor Mario Cuomo bought me drinks!
In 1991 I worked as Executive Sales Manager for a printing company headquartered in Illinois. One of our major clients supported the Anti-Defamation League and we bought a table at the fund raiser in New York City for $4,000. Several of us were needed to dutifully represent my firm at the event. My boss Rick was Vice President of Sales and was a nice guy.
He spent a lot of time in New York with our book publisher clients and was planning on attending the event with me. The Account Executive from my office was already in New York as well and we were to meet him at the event. I met Rick and we walked to the hotel. Neither one of us had the invitation and I asked in the lobby where was the fund raiser. Get on the elevator to the penthouse. It didn’t sound right but Rick wanted to just push elevator button and go.
There was no reception table, and we went into a large suite with a bar busy serving. Rick and I did not need any prodding. We both got cocktails with his favorite Old Fashioned and my favorite Vodka Gimlet with onions. The majority of those attending were Jewish, and the Anti-Defamation League is a Jewish sponsored event. However, having an open bar with waiters serving lots of appetizers did not fit prior events. We looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and ordered our 2nd drinks.
We were pinned into the suite with later arrivals blocking the hallway out from the bar area. We were forced to keep drinking! Then my fears were confirmed that we were missing the client event. Governor Mario Cuomo entered the room from a side door into the Suite living room. He got a warm welcome from the wealthy donors. This was obviously a exclusive crowd political fund raiser.
Mario was reminding these wealthy city dwellers on the benefits they enjoy relying upon the Democrat party improvements benefiting New York City from his governor’s office. He made specific reference to the exclusive area of Manhattan where those wealthy enjoyed living. They smiled and nodded in appreciation. He closed with a pointed reminder to give Democrat party money to take President office. He made sure to shake hands and chat before his departure. Rick and I plowed through hallway people to get out of there after appetizers and cocktails on Cuomo!
The event was half way done and we found our event on a mezzanine level ball room and went to our table. Jim my sales guy was worried something happened to us. He was laughing that we got a better deal by our mistake. We did make sure to shake hands and congratulate his customer. Typically, our absence was not noticed since the room was packed.
Farewell to the Governor whose hospitality was enjoyed by 2 freeloaders many years ago.