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Paterno involved in more than just football

February 9, 2012

Photo submitted Joe Paterno and St. Marys resident Grace Jesberger pose for a picture at the state's electoral college swearing-in, held in Harrisburg at the Capitol building in December 1988.

My reflections of Joe Paterno go back to Sept. 26, 1978, when I attended a luncheon in State College at Gatsby's Restaurant. Joe Paterno was in attendance; President Gerald Ford; George H.W. Bush was the national Republican chairman; Governor Dick Thornburgh; Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton; Congressman Bill Clinger were all in attendance at the luncheon. Speakers for this luncheon were President Ford, Congressman Clinger and Joe Paterno.
It was quite an experience and I was able to take the program for the luncheon and I got all these dignitaries' autographs, which I had framed and it hangs in the room where I have all of my political pictures, autographs and memorabilia.
Time passes, and in August of 1988, I was the secretary of the state Republican Party and delegate-at-large for the 23rd Congressional District. I went to New Orleans, La. for the Republican National Convention, which was held in the Superdome. I served as the secretary for the Pennsylvania Delegation and was a delegate-at-large.
The first day of the convention, we went down and found our assigned seats, and taped to the back in front of me was a board with three red phones on it, and I asked our state chairman, Earl Baker, what the phones were for, and he informed me that I was to sit there and command those red telephones. One phone went right into George Bush's press box at the convention, the other phone was connected to the national Republican chairman's box, and the other phone was connected into the press box for President Ronald Reagan - he was still president at the time.

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