The LuLac Ediion #573, Sept. 15th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: TWO BILLS, FORMER GOVERNOR WILLIAM "BILL" WARREN SCRANTON AND WVIA PRESIDENT BILL KELLY.
WHAT WAS WRITTEN
“In December, as he first appeared on the national stage, he was without a doubt the most attractive new face on the Republican scene. Lean, handsome, young, polished, endowed with a magnificent wife and four handsome children, he had the quality of a Kennedy-whose friend indeed he had been and whose autographed picture (as then Senator Kennedy) hung in Scranton’s home office in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Moreover in his first year as governor of Pennsylvania, Scranton had written a startlingly effective record. In the house of mastodons which shelters the Republican legislators of Pennsylvania, the Republican Governor for a full century had been gentlemen noted for their florid impotence. Pennsylvania heavy industry ran the state. But Scranton had defeated Richardson Dilworth in a brawling, venomous campaign in 1962 and then had gone on to amaze all by actually mastering the beasts of the Republicans in his own state house. He had reformed Pennsylvania Civil Service, one of the most spoils ridden in the nation, doubled education appropriations, passed an unpopular but necessary increase in the sales tax and begun a major program of industrial development for the state that was overdue since the war." “The Making Of the President: 1964”, Theodore H. White, Pulitzer Prize winner.
A GENERATIONAL ICON
When I was a child growing up in ethnic, Catholic Pittston, the second generation Americans, tested by the Depression and WWII had three pictures hanging in their bakery, butcher, barber or hardware shops. In order they were Pope John the 23rd, John F. Kennedy and William Warren Scranton. The Pope was a reminder of their faith but the photos of Kennedy and Scranton were subjects of great pride. No matter that both were rich people with inherited wealth, these were men of their generation who had served in the war and now were in charge. No longer was there a President Eisenhower or Governor James born in the previous century, these were men of their era. And they were only too proud to tell you that. I thought of that when I heard that Bill Kelly from WVIA TV was going to interview Governor Scranton next week.
For years WVIA President Bill Kelly had been asking 91 year old former Pa. Governor Bill Scranton to allow a no restrictions interview for posterity, saying it need not ever be telecast and emphasizing that his colorful memories and unvarnished opinions are too important for later generations to lose. After being repeatedly assured that the recordings would not be released during his lifetime, unless he decided otherwise, the Governor consented and over several days last June sat in a darkened WVIA studio for almost four hours of questions. The Governor responds candidly with talk of presidents blessed and flawed, of his parents and upbringing in the city that bears his name, of the political party he at times no longer agrees with and of his beloved wife Mary, to whom he is dedicating his life. "It was a privilege," Kelly said, "the Governor trusted us and spoke very frankly." "But nothing he said seemed to us so sensitive that it need be protected, so we asked him to let WVIA break our promise." The Governor's family and trusted associates reviewed the tapes and encouraged him to let it be broadcast. The result will be "Governor Bill Scranton; An Open Book," three nights of one hour programs, September 23, 24 and 25, each at 8PM.