Summit at Hollybush

Chapter 3: A Night to Remember

The diplomatic maneuverings were over. For Glassboro the big battle lay ahead. To the harassed College President, it seemed that his shock troops were agonizingly slow in reporting to the Holly Bush headquarters. For about fifteen minutes Dr. Robinson manned his two home telephones, answering calls from all over the country and the world, including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, London, and Tokyo. The telephonic inquiries fell into a pattern: How was the meeting arranged? How long would the conference last? Why was Glassboro chosen? To these the President gave a truthful reply: "I know little about the conference beyond what you yourself have heard over the radio and television." More than once during this ordeal Dr. Robinson regretted a prior decision to close the main college switchboard over what had been expected to be a quiet week end. The absence of trained telephone operators meant that most of the incoming calls were coming to the Robinson home phones with a few being received at the Hering Heating Plant's temporary hookup.

The First Meeting

In rare moments of silence when the phone was not ringing, the President managed to call out messages for help to administrative staff members. A sufficient number arrived at Holly Bush by 7:45 P.M. to hold the first meeting of what later was called the Holly Bush Summit Conference. In attendance were Dr. Robinson; Stanton Langworthy, Dean of Instruction; Ward Broomall, Dean of Administration; Walter Campbell, Business Manager; George Reinfeld, Chairman of the Communications Division; and Richard Smith, Coordinator of Housing. Volunteer faculty member Dr. Michael Kelly was also there. In more ways than one, this had to be the strangest meeting these men had ever attended in their years at Glassboro.

This was no meeting held in a sumptuous presidential office, with its thick-carpeted floor, plush chairs, and long, imposing, walnut-finished conference table. On the contrary, the first meeting was conducted in the Holly Bush kitchen. The floor was covered with linoleum, the chairs were of a variety found in thousands of American kitchens, and the conference table was the modest piece of furniture the Robinsons used for breakfast and lunch. Absent too was the stillness usually associated with formal meetings, for the constant ringing of telephones and the clamoring of reporters, thronging in front of Holly Bush, made a tranquil atmosphere impossible. Nor was it possible for the conferees, as in normal-type meetings, to remain in their chairs attentive to the discussion. More than once the Dean of Instruction helped take incoming calls, and once Mr. Reinfeld made his way to the front porch to hold what turned out to be the Summit's first news conference. Neither was another sine qua non of a formal meeting present; an agenda typed in advance calling for staff reports carefully written beforehand. This was a gathering called to meet an emergency situation. Ideas were precious commodities, and none present, in offering them, paid any attention to Robert's Rules of Order.

At the outset, Dr. Robinson explained what he considered to be Glassboro State College's primary role during the excitement-filled days ahead. "The college," the President said, "should play the role of a second host, providing all facilities and staff called for, but acting always in as unobtrusive a manner as possible." Following this general principle, the conferees quickly reached agreement on a number of limited mobilization measures: dispatching Mrs. Helen Rodgers, Dormitory Supervisor, to the men's Mullica Hall dormitory, where she supervised the making up of sixty beds for possible Secret Service and State Troopers' use; opening all buildings for inspection by state and federal officials as possible meeting sites; calling in maintenance workers; contacting the telephone operator to keep the regular college switchboard functioning; checking the mobilization progress of the Atlantic City Electric and Bell Telephone Companies; and getting in touch with Charles Golden, one of the administrators of the Slater-operated college cafeteria, requesting him to recall his staff in preparation for serving at least 500 people, perhaps more.

Mrs. Robinson reminded the conferees that they had overlooked one more important item–food for the scores of officials who would soon be overrunning Holly Bush. Housing Coordinator Dick Smith lost no time in picking up Mrs. Robinsion's cue. He placed a call to Joe Brigandi's popular sub shop in downtown Glassboro. Service was quick, for in a short time fifty sandwiches, five cases of Coca Cola, and a plentiful supply of hot coffee reached the Holly Bush kitchen, relieving Mrs. Robinson of her coffee-making duties.

After the meeting ended, the participants departed to carry out the mobilization decisions made, with Business Manager Campbell, because of the kinds of implementations needed, assuming the major burden. By this time, Public Relations Director Don Eagin and his assistant Ben Resnik had taken over the thankless task of fielding reporters' questions whose answers lay hidden in the maneuverings of the past few days, happenings of a highly secret nature unknown to any of the Glassboro staff. Mr. Reinfeld, released from one onerous chore, quickly took on another. He posted himself at a side door of Holly Bush, seeking to deny entrance to enterprising reporters and photographers who, up until that time, had more than once gotten inside the building. Detailed descriptions of Holly Bush rooms in the next day's newspapers bore witness to the newsmen's home-breaking prowess. Protection for another entrance came to Reinfeld from an unexpected source in the person of varsity wrestling coach Frank Meyer, attired color­ fully in sneakers, Bermuda shorts, and a T-shirt. The combination of these two physically imposing men put an end to journalistic house entering. All hope for the reporters ended a short while later, when a covey of husky State Troopers, built like professional football players, took over the Holly Bush guard duties.

Arrival of State Officials

The Second Meeting

At 9:00 P.M. Governor Hughes and his staff appeared upon the scene. They had come from a brief appearance at nearby Sedgwick's Restaurant, in Clayton, where the Gloucester County Democratic Executive Committee was in session, another one of the commitments the Governor had made weeks before. To Dr. Robinson and his staff, these men–Governor Hughes, Robert Burkhardt, Lawrence Bilder, Stephen Farber, and William Brown–were welcome sights, for their coming meant that others were on hand to share the Atlas-like burden of responsibility.

The first order of business for the State officials was a campus tour to become acquainted with buildings suitable for use at the next day's Summit Conference. It was a strange feeling to watch the Governor of New Jersey, dodging raindrops, entering and examining buildings on the far-flung campus, and returning in the rain to Dr. Robinson's Administration Building office. Here the second meeting of the Summit Conference occurred. Present were the Governor and his staff; Colonel David Kelly, Head of the State Police; and President Robinson and selected members of his staff. The sole purpose of this meeting was to discuss the merits and demerits of buildings suitable for use at the Summit Conference. It was understood that decisions reached would be made as recommendations to the White House staff for final determination.

Few questioned the suggestion of the commodious college gymnasium as the logical place to house a press corps expected to reach 750, although a few members of the Governor's staff lamented its distance from the main campus. Recommending a site for the Johnson-Kosygin meeting was more difficult. At first the Governor and his group leaned toward the picturesque Holly Bush Mansion, but the absence of air conditioning was a serious deterrent. On the other hand, the Administration Building was air-conditioned. It also contained Dr. Robinson's large office, an excellent meeting place for Mr. Johnson and Premier Kosygin. Agreement was reached to recommend this structure as the site for the conference between the two world leaders.

The White House Staff Arrives

The Third Meeting

At this point in the proceedings, key members of the White House staff entered President Robinson's office: Sherwin Markman, Assistant to President Johnson; Richard Moose, aide to Walter Rostow; Robert Fleming, press secretary; and Michael Varinholt, special Secret Service agent. With their coming, the third meeting of the Summit Conference got under way. "Their entrance also signaled," as one observer expressed it, "an end to uncertainty, for these were 'take charge' individuals." These were men who, with a passion for anonymity, call themselves the President's second team, a modest characterization of a group which represents the President's advance guard, men who reconnoiter and prepare the ground for successful Presidential conferences.

And yet there was nothing in the appearance nor demeanor of the White House group that seemed to justify a later participant's comment, "When they entered the room, the whole personality of the meeting changed." The newcomers listened carefully and courteously, while the State House staff made its findings and recommendations. At the conclusion of the presentation, Mr. Markman calmly but firmly remarked, "Gentlemen, I shall make the decisions, and the White House staff will make all arrangements for the conference." Mr. Markman went on to spell out what was required of a Summit meeting place: one large conference room, an adjoining smaller room for the two leaders to meet, a press room, a nearby "swing room," a large kitchen completely equipped, a dining room, and two rooms for the work and convenience of the American and Russian staffs. "From what you have described," Markman said, "it looks like Holly Bush is the place. Come, let us see it." All present trooped over to Holly Bush, and, after a brief Markman examination, the old mansion was assured a place in the history books.

After Mr. Markman had tapped the nineteenth-century home with the wand of immortality, the decisions on where other Conference functions would be held were quickly made. The press would hold forth in the college gymnasium. The Administration Building's first floor was earmarked for the college staff, with Dr. Robinson's roomy office set aside for his use and for the use of Governor Hughes and his staff. Command centers for the State Police, Secret Service agents, and the members of the United States State Department's security force were established in the Administration Building's second floor.

The Fourth Meeting

By now it was after midnight, Friday morning, with one major planning session yet to be held. At this time a small group of Secret Service, State Police, and college personnel met in Dr. Robinson's office to grapple with security arrangements. Federal and state officers poured over college-supplied aerial photographs, maps, and building descriptions, raising questions such as: How high are the buildings? Where are their entrances and exits? How close are the buildings to one another? Answers to these questions later guided officials in placing their men. In the interest of security, a decision was made to clear the campus as much as possible by 8:00 A.M. Friday morning. Implementation of this agreement meant that Mr. Campbell would have to contact building contractors who were constructing the new dormitory, the Arts Building, and the third-floor addition to the library, getting the builders to inform their artisans not to report for work on Friday. Steps were also taken to transfer the fifty-member Upward Bound activities from Bunce Hall to Bosshart Hall. The conferees then turned their attention to establishing an identification system for authorized personnel allowed on campus–small green lapels for college staff and gold-colored lapels for state and federal security agents. As a final item, the participants worked out a system for parking cars.

The security meeting adjourned at about 2:00 A.M. It had been a hectic evening, and, as they left the Administration Building, the men were bone-weary. But, as one of them was heard to remark, "We could not let ourselves think of physical fatigue, for ahead lay the job of carrying out the plans that had been made." Indeed, much work remained to be done.

The Transformation of Holly Bush​

On Friday evening, June 23, the night of the first Glassboro Summit meeting, President Johnson delivered a speech to 1,000 Democrats in Los Angeles. Poignantly he insisted that, "There is no human being in this world who wants peace in Viet Nam or in the Middle East more than I do." With the best of intentions, he went on to say, "That is why I went to to that little farmhouse way down on the New Jersey Pike today to spend the day...." Only the absence of the speech's text in the area press prevented Glassboro sensibilities from being wounded. Had they been able to read the farmhouse reference, Glassboroites undoubtedly would have considered Mr. Johnson a far better Chief Executive than an architect, for obviously Holly Bush never had been designed, built, or used as a farmhouse.

Few farmhouses are of Georgian design; have an ivy­ sprinkled, brownstone exterior; or possess a central tower topped with three wrought-iron balconies and a sun walk. Not many farm dwellings have seventeen rooms, eight on the first floor, and nine bedrooms on split-level second and third floors. And it is a rare farmhouse that contains, in addition, four bathrooms strategically located adjacent to room complexes on each floor. Certainly, Thomas Whitney, Glassboro's glassmaking millionaire and man of the world, did not, in 1849, dream that he was building a twenty-one room farmhouse as a dwelling place for his New Orleans, society-conscious bride. While local residents of the 1960's do not insist that Holly Bush be called a mansion, they do believe that architectural accuracy calls for at least the designation Governor Hughes gave it, "a modest estate, far from the concrete jungles of big cities."

Indeed the Holly Bush of June 1967 still retains characteristics of England's great, nineteenth-century Queen Victoria-dignity, decorum, and a large amount of good taste. These traits shine forth in the mixture of Victorian, French Provincial, and antique furniture that occupy spacious rooms decorated with lovely frieze work bordering thirteen-foot ceilings and walls. Seven-foot French-type doors used as windows add to the air of distinctiveness, as does the first-floor library with its large four-section bookcase with each section containing five shelves. The bookcase runs the length of the fourteen-foot wall. It was in the library that President Johnson and Premier Kosygin met. Perhaps, at the beginning or end of the long sessions, they glanced at the books in the cases to see volumes such as: The Dignity of Man, Messages of the United States Presidents, The Proud Tower, Iron in the Pines, Twenty Years of American Glass, Emerging Patterns in American Higher Education, The First Year in College, and A Cultural History of Western Education. Tucked away in a far corner of the bookcase was a volume they probably never saw: The Fall and Rise of Israel. Dr. Robinson had been reading this book the previous night and had placed it upon an end table. A Secret Service agent, coming upon it on Thursday night, picked it up and handed it to a Glassboro staff member with the order: "Make this less conspicuous. I don't think the Premier would enjoy reading it."

It is debatable whether Presidential Assistant Sherwin Markman observed these aspects of the Holly Bush home when he finished a quick reconnoitering trip through the twenty-one room, two-and-one-half story structure a little before midnight on that rainy Thursday evening. What he realized quickly was that Holly Bush, with a concentrated application of his organizational alchemy, could be converted admirably from a Victorian dwelling house to a diplomatic meeting place. Having made this basic judgment, Mr. Markman, with the decisiveness he was to display throughout Summit days, swiftly reached specific decisions on room utilization: (1) the large, front living room would be used as a general conference room, (2) President Johnson and Premier Kosygin would meet alone in the adjoining library, (3) the Robinsons' bedroom to the right of the vestibule entrance would be transformed into a "swing" room; i.e., either social or informal conference room, (4) the dining room was adequate in size and location, (5) the kitchen, together with the adjoining breakfast room, porch, and storage room, provided ample room for preparing food, (6) the mezzanine room off the second floor landing was an excellent location for the White House press staff's purposes, and (7) the two second-floor front bedrooms could readily be converted into conference rooms, one for the Russian staff and the other for the Americans.

Once these decisions had been made the conversion process slid into high gear. At the height of preparations, the Holly Bush interior took on the appearance of 220 men frantically preparing a Hollywood set for a production expected to be staged in eleven hours. The stage hands, directed by Mr. Markman, were Glassboro's maintenance men, Bell telephone installers, Atlantic City Electric workers, a local drapery merchant, a crew of electricians, and college carpenters and painters.

The eight-hour efforts of these men led one observer to comment, "Never in Glassboro's history was so much work done in so little time." Perhaps the best way to understand their achievement is to follow work groups as they labored to meet a Markman 8:00 A.M. deadline.

Fitting Holly Bush into Summit-style wearing apparel set in motion a train of activities with very few of them occurring in neat, chronological order. On the contrary, most of the work projects were carried out concurrently, giving Holly Bush at times an atmosphere aptly described long ago by the Bard of Avon: "Confusion now hath made his masterpiece."

A participant labeled the initial, high-priority activity "Operation: Room Conversion," a project which college maintenance me n, college students, and high-school boys carried out, supervised by Walter Campbell who, of course, worked under the watchful eye and direction of the ubiquitous Mr. Markman. The first phase of this operation was primarily destructive. Markman ordered every room earmarked for Summit-meeting use, except the kitchen, denuded of its contents, from large furniture pieces to small bric-a-brac. Thus workmen dismantled the Robinsons' front-room bed and carted its parts in a college truck to nearby Evergreen Dormitory, where it was stored for the duration. Beds in the two rooms on the front second floor were also taken apart and deposited into a third bedroom not designated for use. Workmen also placed into this room furniture which did not meet Mr. Markman's summitry standards. Other items that failed to become parts of the Summit background were the Robinsons' piano and television set, which were unceremoniously consigned from the library to Dr. Robinson's study room.

In the midst of this dismantling process, an incident occurred that gave Glassboro employees a few anxious moments. Sherwin Markman, approaching Walter Campbell and Victor Fowler, exclaimed: "I need doors here, here, here," pointing as they walked to the designated places. Markman was referring to the doorless openings leading from the living room to the library, the front hallway to the living room, and the hallway leading to the dining room. "We must," the Presidential Assistant insisted, "have doors both for privacy and security purposes." Momentarily nonplused the Glassboro officials recalled later the thoughts that raced through their minds: Where were the doors that obviously had at an earlier time been used at these locations? If they could not be found, where might replacements be obtained at one o'clock in the morning? From long experience, Mr. Fowler sought out Mrs. Robinson for help, because, as he explained a week later, "She will know where the doors are; she knows where everything in the house is." This lady, virtually ignored to this point, had the answer. Mrs. Robinson informed a relieved Mr. Fowler that two of the missing doors were in the cellar; the other was reclining in the nearby maintenance building. Workmen were dispatched to these locations and within minutes came back carrying the items that made the Glassboro people very happy. Next, college carpenter Ralph Schlump and college painter Martin Gounley appeared on the scene and, with the aid of planes, sandpaper, wax, and a walnut stain, processed the doors for perfect fittings. A crisis had been averted. More importantly, Mr. Markman was entirely satisfied.

No sooner had this difficulty been solved than another one reared its head. Otto Cassady, Glassboro's Maintenance Director, has dubbed this episode the "Incident of the Dining Room Table." As with almost everything that happened in Holly Bush that night, Sherwin Markman was involved in this problem too. "Do you have," he asked his Glassboro aides, "a dining table large enough to seat twenty dignitaries comfortably?" Mrs. Robinson replied by stating that there was no table that large on college property, but she suggested placing her two oval-shaped tables end to end. Markman accepted this advice, enlarging upon it, however, by ordering a plywood board made–sixteen feet long and four feet wide–to place atop the Robinson dining tables. After Chief Mendoza, Supervisor of the White House Kitchen crew, made an appearance, this approach had a short life span. He objected to using the Robinson tables, claiming that the number of table legs would make the distinguished guests uncomfortable. The Chief recommended that the plywood board be placed upon four single-pedestal, square tables. Acting on Walter Campbell's suggestion, maintenance men transported four tables of this kind from the college cafeteria to the Holly Bush dining room. The college carpenter fashioned the large plywood top, which, when placed upon the four single-pedestal tables, served as the Summit dining table. Thus another barrier to a successful Summit Conference came tumbling down.

Meanwhile, as the door and table crises were being dealt with, workmen continued to clear rooms and haul furniture under the watchful direction of Mr. Markman, who, like an expert stage manager, was omnipresent. A point was reached when the rooms became virtually barren, calling for Mr. Markman to place his interior decorating prowess into operation. His task then became that of refurnishing the Summit meeting places.

At Walter Campbell's suggestion, Mr. Markman ordered maintenance men to bring the boat-shaped walnut conference table from President Robinson's office, together with sixteen matching chairs with brown-cushioned seats and curved leather backs. The workmen placed the table in the center of the Robinsons' living room, after which they arranged ten of the chairs close to the conference table- four on each side and single chairs at the ends. Markman ordered the remaining seats scattered throughout the room at discreet yet accessible distances from the conference table. This furniture placed on the attractive Robinson beige-colored rug and supplemented by a secretary-type desk, a black-marble fireplace supporting a large mirror, two floor lamps, and an end table, transformed a living room with a nineteenth-century Victorian air into a nuclear-age meeting place, where great leaders would soon attempt, however hesitantly, to follow Isaiah's advice to change swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.

Mr. Markman then turned his attention to the Robinson library, a pleasant book-filled room adjoining the conference meeting place. Here where the tools of reason were stored, the Presidential advance man ordered placed in the center of the room two chairs, one an authentic Victorian rocker, the other an attractive upholstered chair. Between the chairs workmen set an end table whose top was barely large enough to hold note paper and two glasses of water. This single furniture grouping became the symbol of the Summit Conference, for at this spot the President and the Premier would spend 5½ hours separated by a few feet-virtually face-to-face. Here they would commune together, seeking to apply a thawing process to the icebergs that blocked the path to a peaceful world: Viet Nam, the Middle East, and the spread of nuclear weapons. Around the periphery of the room, Markman directed workmen to place two upholstered chairs, a divan, and, appropriately, a Victorian love seat, companion piece to the rocker that President Johnson grew to like so well. And, as a reminder to the two statesmen that their peoples prefer the ways of the scholar over those of the warrior, they could see those wall-long book sections loaded with weapons more powerful than guns.

Once the dining table problem was solved, arranging the dining room presented little or no difficulty. Mrs. Robinson's two buffet sets, serving table, Dr. Robinson's distinctive desk, and the wall-to-wall rose-colored carpeting easily passed the stern Markman standards of excellence and thus became accessories in the Summit proceedings. Attractive, comfortable chairs from the faculty dining room fitted snugly against the dining room table, by now bearing a pad on top of which lay a handsome White House linen tablecloth. The dining room scene gave an aura of charm and gracious living.

What once had been the Robinsons' downstairs bedroom also felt the Markman magic touch. This room, to the right of the front hallway, was converted, as noted previously, into a swing room with comfortable upholstered chairs and divans. This was a place where conference notables could either relax or continue informally discussions begun in the large conference room.

Upstairs, on the mezzanine floor, a large sitting room was changed into a White House press room, with large working table, desks, chairs, and other paraphernalia which working newspaper people feel essential to their trade. Into what had been two bedrooms in the front section of Holly Bush's second floor, Markman placed working tables, chairs, end tables, and desks. One of these become a work room for the Russian staff; Americans used the other.

"Operation: Room Conversion" was an exercise of Merlin­ like legerdemain with a great amount of hard work and ingenuity helping make the magic a reality. Above all, according to Glassboro participants, it was a tribute to Sherwin Mark­ man," "a determined man who knew exactly what he wanted and got what he wanted. " A dedicated person with a gift for organization, the Presidential Assistant was not without a sense of quiet humor. Jim Craft, Glassboro senior and furniture mover that night, recalls Mr. Markman, in the midst of apparent confusion, muttering softly: "My mother didn't raise me to be an interior decorator." Glassboro 's Otto Cassady, a short while later, was startled to hear the hard-working Markman say, "I wish I were an interior decorator." To this remark Otto replied inaudibly, "I wish you were, too!" By then it was very late; muscles were weary and minds fatigued from changing furniture around in rooms innumerable times to please the fastidious Mr. Markman. Weeks later, Otto Cassady admiringly admitted, "Mr. Markman was a taskmaster, but after I had taken a quick tour of Holly Bush at the end of the job, I was proud to have played a part in the miracle that he wrought."

Enter Telephone Men and a Linen Merchant

During those hectic, early-morning hours, other stage hands made their entrances and exits on the Holly Bush transformation stage. Huge Bell Telephone trucks roared up to Holly Bush. Spilling out of the vehicles were men with the look of experts, uniformly attired in dark slacks and white summer, short-sleeved shirts, although a few of the shirts were of a colorful variety. Common to all, however, was a heavy belt wrapped around each waist. Suspended from one side of the belt was a kit containing the tools of the telephone installer, and dangling from the other side was a set of telephone earphones. Dragging long lengths of wire and carrying telephones, outlets, and all sorts of strange cords, these men entered Holly Bush to twist and weave, like All-American football halfbacks, through a clutter of furniture and men hauling chairs, divans, and lamps from room to room. Under the direction of Mr. Markman, the Bell employees quickly installed an additional twelve phones throughout the house.

At 4:00 A.M., Mr. Markman, in one of the rare times he remained motionless, conferred with Walter Campbell on the security qualities of Mrs. Robinson's curtains. Earlier he had heard that photographers, stationed on the outside of Holly Bush, had actually snapped pictures through the glass curtains. Characteristically, even at that late hour, Mr. Markman wanted security-proof drapes hung in the Holly Bush windows. Phil Miller, Atlantic City Production Engineer, happened to hear Markman's order and offered to call a friend of his, Stanley Glazer, proprietor of Pitman 's Victor Linen Shop.

Thus was Mr. Glazer awakened in the middle of the night and requested to report at Holly Bush to hang an unknown number of drapes. Half-awake, the drapery store owner placed two SOS telephone calls to his assistants, only to discover that one was out of town and the other was reluctant to leave his wife, who momentarily was expecting to produce a child. Realizing that he would have to do the job alone and that time was in short supply, Glazer selected an assortment of Fiberglass drapes and made his way to Holly Bush, where he found Mr. Markman impatiently awaiting him.

Without ceremony the White House Presidential Assistant said, "Mr. Glazer, I want you to hang security-proof drapes and ones also that will impress our Russian friends."

"In what rooms?" asked the drapery man.

"Conference, swing room, library, and dining room," answered Markman, showing the slightly-dazed draper each one.

"How much time do I have?"

With characteristic decisiveness Markman replied, "You have until 6: 00 A.M. to complete the job."

"Impossible!" expostulated the draper, "It is already 4: 30 A.M., but I'll do my best."

"Mr. Glazer," the imperturbable Mr. Markman replied, "I don't want your best; I want those drapes hung by 6: 00 A. M."

But time was not the only Glazer enemy. The Holly Bush windows, for example, were anything but standardized. They were of odd sizes, mortal foes of a draper fighting to beat the clock. But after a frenzied period of measuring, placing curtain rods, improvising drapery arrangements, and making four trips back to his shop, Mr. Glazer finished the job, and a fine piece of workmanship it was. In each of the four rooms he had hung drapes of extra fullness to blend with the Holly Bush Victorian atmosphere. The conference room and the library had white drapes with gold print; in the swing room the drapes were of a rose-pinkish hue, while the dining room's windows were graced with solid white drapes. Mr. Glazer did not meet the impossible 6 :00A.M. deadline, but he did finish by 7 :00 A.M. "wishing he had been given more time to do a better job." But that was one wish Mr. Glazer would never realize, for Secret Service men gently but firmly showed him the way to the front-door exit, without one last chance to survey the results of his labors.

Operation Air Conditioning

During their fifteen-year occupancy of Holly Bush, the Robinsons have resisted the suggestion that air conditioners be installed to counteract the hot, sultry summers that Glassboro invariably encounters. Their arguments have had the ring of plausibility, because the stone building's walls are thick and Holly Bush is surrounded with sun-defying oak, spruce, and pine trees. But on the night of June 22, 1967, the Robinson resistance to the American antidote for heat and humidity crumbled, when a White House aide walked into Holly Bush and said, "If Kosygin walks into this house and it is as hot and sticky as it is right now, he will turn around and walk right out." When Sherwin Markman agreed with this doleful assessment, Holly Bush's hours devoid of air conditioners were numbered.

But where could the number of air conditioners needed to cool a home as spacious as Holly Bush be found at 12 :30 A. M.? State Police Captain Harry Armano had the answer to this difficult question. He called his friend, Joseph Grochowski, owner of the Community Oil Service, a business which sells not only fuel oil but appliances of every kind, including air conditioners. Mr. Grochowski had large numbers of these essential items in stock, and he also could supply the men to install them immediately. As a preliminary step, the owner sent William Smith, his appliance manager, to Holly Bush to determine the number of air conditioners needed.

At Holly Bush Mr. Smith met Philip Miller to whom Sherwin Markman had delegated the task of coordinating and expediting the installation process. Markman had directed Miller to place air conditioners in the conference room, swing room, library, dining room, and the two second-floor staff conference rooms. Miller and Smith examined the rooms and made heat-gain computations. They checked their notes and mathematics, realizing that there would be no second chance to rectify errors. Their figuring indicated that twelve conditioners were required, two to be placed in each of the designated rooms.

In the meanwhile, Mr. Grochowski sent emergency calls to twelve of his workmen, who reported to the Community Oil warehouse. Here they selected twelve Whirlpool air conditioners, each with a 20,000 BTU cooling capacity. Placing them on a Community Oil truck, they started for Glassboro, six miles distant. At Holly Bush they unloaded, uncrated, and carried the conditioners to the rooms they were to cool.

At 1:00 A. M. under the supervision of Community Oil's Chris Siebert, long-time Glassboro resident, the installation process got under way. Chris selected the front conference room as the first place to install the conditioners, and he could not have started at a more difficult location. For the 118 year-old French doors, like old people set in their ways, defied workmen to find methods to dress them up with the modern gadgets of the 1960's. The ever-present Mr. Markman had a drastic answer Lu the problem: "Knock the upper transoms out and place the conditioners atop the windows," he ordered. But Chris, with a love for old Glassboro property, was not inclined to the Markman solution. He merely answered, "Mr. Markman, let me worry about this problem. " With the use of two-­by-fours, plywood, and a large dash of Yankee ingenuity, Mr. Siebert inserted an air conditioner into the first door without inflicting any damage. When Mr. Markman saw the skill with which the first installation had been made, he said, "Beautiful," and then added, "Chris, from now on I 'll let you alone–the job is yours." Well before the 6:00 A. M. deadline, Chris Siebert and his workmen installed the remaining conditioners without a hitch of any kind developing.

While the air conditioning installation was in progress, Walter Campbell sought Siebert out for another assignment.

"Chris," Campbell said, "The White House kitchen staff claim they need additional equipment."

"What kind of equipment?" was the Siebert answer.

"A combination freezer-refrigerator, a refrigerator, a stove, portable dishwashing machine, and a large window fan. Can you
help us out?"

"That's no problem, " replied the breezy installation expert. "We not only have them, but we can also install them for you. "

"Is there anything you don't have?" asked the admiring Campbell.

"You name it and we've got it," was the Siebert reply.

Within minutes the same workmen who had delivered air conditioners to Holly Bush were on their way back to the Community Oil's Franklinville warehouse, where they loaded the kitchen equipment on the company truck, drove back to Glassboro, and installed the items, under Chris Siebert's supervision, in the Holly Bush kitchen, finishing the job at 6:00 A.M.

At this time, Mr. Siebert left Holly Bush bound for home and a few hours of sleep. He no sooner had gotten out of the front door when he was besieged by national television and radio network personnel, who had been vainly trying to locate metal scaffolding for their cameras. Again the diversified Grochowski business enterprise came through. Workmen made still another trip to the company warehouse, loaded eleven metal scaffolds on the truck, and delivered them to Glassboro, where they installed them in plenty of time for the morning's big events.

Chris Siebert finally reached home at 9:00 A. M. After a hasty breakfast he began sending radio calls to Glassboro firemen. For Chris is Chief of the Glassboro Volunteer Fire Department, and the firemen were scheduled to stand guard on Whitney Avenue during the Summit Conference. Mr. Siebert and twenty-eight of his volunteer firemen spent over eight hours on guard duty, holding back the surging crowd on that hot, sticky June 23, Unsung hero Chris Siebert was one of the reasons Why the Glassboro image shone so brightly throughout the historic Summit Conference.

The Electrical Trouble Shooter

Philip Miller is a power engineer for the Atlantic City Electric Company, a position that brings him into frequent contact with Glassboro State College and its administrative officials. He is that kind of an engineer who, with some help from his ever-present slide rule, can solve electrical power problems with the accuracy and rapidity of a computer. These college contacts and his engineering proficiency made him an invaluable Glassboro ally on the night of June 22.

Along with millions of others, Phil Miller first learned about the Summit Conference at 6:40 P. M. by way of the
Huntley-Brinkley television show. He somehow got a phone call through to Dr. Robinson telling him, "I will stand by during the evening in the event that you need me for anything." At 7:30 P.M., Dr. Robinson called Mr. Miller, asking him to report to Holly Bush. Even at this early hour, before Federal officials had arrived to make firm decisions on site locations, the College President had a feeling that the news media people would operate in the college gymnasium. He, therefore, wanted Mr. Miller to find out whether that building had sufficient electric power to handle seventy-five telephones. Using his slide rule and mastery of applied mathematics, the Power Engineer made calculations, which indicated that the gymnasium had ample amperage-many times the current needed to keep seventy-five telephones operating, a comforting discovery when officials later learned that Bell Telephone Company workmen installed more than 300 phones for press and network reporters. On his way back to Holly Bush from the gymnasium, Phil stopped off at the Administration Building, where he checked that building's power capacity, an act which showed that Mr. Miller followed the policy of getting answers to questions before they are asked.

At midnight Phil was back in Holly Bush, where he met Sherwin Markman for the first time. Almost immediately their meeting negated a law of physics that high-school students memorize so carefully: like poles of magnets repel each other. Those kindred minds were attracted, not repelled. Miller sensed in Markman a man dedicated to making the Summit Conference a success, a person who inspired Mr. Miller to say, "I would take on any responsibility he asked of me." On his part, Markman recognized in the Power Engineer a man who looked upon obstacles as things to be shoved aside-a "can do" type. As with Glassboro's Business Manager Walter Campbell, Mr. Markman made certain that Miller was at least within shouting distance.
Placed in charge of all electrical activities, Mr. Miller soon learned that he was going to spend a busy night at Holly Bush. A trip to the cellar where the electric panel was located produced a finding that Miller expected: Holly Bush had sixty amperes of current coming in through its conduits. With dismay the Power Engineer figured that more than 200 additional amperes would be needed to keep twelve air conditioners humming and the added kitchen equipment operating. The novitiate in electrical matters might be excused for wondering why Mr. Miller was perturbed, for only experts could appreciate the magnitude of the problem he faced.

But Miller was not one given to introspection, especially at 1:15 A. M. and a 6:00 A. M. deadline staring him in the face. His first step was to notify the Atlantic City Electric Company's operations office, ordering work crews to erect a transformer capable of sending over 200 amperes of added current into Holly Bush. He stressed the need for urgency for, "We want to keep Premier Kosygin happy in a comfortable humidity-proof environment." His next step was to contact an electrical contractor having a work crew large enough, in four hours, to wire the new equipment to the electrical panel. Otto Cassady suggested telephoning Lloyd Diehl, contractor in nearby Blackwood, whose firm had been awarded the wiring contract for Glassboro's new dormitory. Miller made contact with Mr. Diehl, awaking him from a sound sleep, an act which was to test the Miller diplomatic skill.

Mr. Diehl was not too happy about being awakened in the middle of the night and an appeal to help keep Mr. Kosygin cool was scant compensation. His interest reached zero level after Mr. Miller asked him to wire twelve air conditioners by 6:00 A. M. that morning. "Phil," he protested, "that is impossible. I don't know if I have enough wire on my truck, and I'm sure we can't get a 200-amp panel at this hour." But Phil Miller persisted, "Don't worry about the panel or supplies. I'll see that you get them." Lloyd Diehl finally capitulated, promising to round up his work crew and be at Holly Bush as soon as possible.

In the interim, however, Mr. Miller faced another problem: that of finding an electrical supplier willing to open up shop at about 2:00 A. M. He placed a call to Howard Lex, owner of Pitman's South Jersey Electric Supply Company. Mr. Lex, although routed out of bed, proved cooperative, promising Mr. Miller that the electrical supplies he needed–a 200-ampere panel, spools of wire, extension cords, fuses, breakers, and testers–would be ready at the supply house. A dedicated Phil Miller jumped into his car, went to the supply store, picked up the materials, and drove back to Holly Bush just in time to meet Lloyd Diehl and his crew of electricians, who lost little time in beginning their wiring operations.

From that point onward, work proceeded smoothly. By 6:00 A. M., the Atlantic City Electric crew had erected the transformer and well over 200 amperes of electric current were available for Holly Bush consumption ; the electricians had completed their wiring assignments; the air conditioners were installed ready to be switched on; and the new kitchen equipment awaited only a human touch to demonstrate its effectiveness.

It was at this time that Mr. Miller decided to test the results of his nights's labors by energizing the air conditioners one at a time. Each in turn sent out its cooling draughts without incident, but, when all were turned on together, the lights went out. I n moment of crisis, Sherwin Markman calmly asked two questions: "What's wrong, Phil?" and "How long will it take to fix it?" Fortunately, the trouble was minor, caused by a blown fuse in the older-model stove, which had protested a sleepy-eyed person 's attempts to make a pot of early-morning coffee. It took only a minute or two for electricians to transfer the stove's load to a temporary electric panel, thereby easing tensions throughout Holly Bush.

Subsequent test runs indicated that all systems were, in the language of space astronauts, A-OK-Go! A relieved Mr. Miller was in a happy frame of mind as he prepared to answer a call for help coming from the dining room. Here White House aides were fretting over the possibility that the light chandelier hung too low for President Johnson 's 6'3 " height. Miller solved that problem by shortening the chain to its smallest possible length. This task completed, he left for home and a shave, shower, and a light breakfast. By 8:30 A. M. he was back at his Holly Bush.

At 6:00 A. M. a crew of college maintenance women invaded Holly Bush where they washed windows, waxed floors, and dusted furniture. After they left, the Secret Service bomb squad took over. A selected group, they searched every place that could conceal lethal weapons–rooms, closets, furniture drawers, bed pillows, and book shelves. The activities of the bomb squad were clear indications that, for Holly Bush at least, the night to remember had come to an end.

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