Wednesday, April 3

The Gipper and the Buck Fifty Dog

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By Art Cashin

On this day (-1) in 1984, it was opening day of the baseball season. Of course, the U.S. President was there to throw out the first ball. And because he was a fan - - he stayed. But of course he was a fan. Early on in his life he had made a living broadcasting baseball games in the Midwest. Sometimes he even had to call the game when he wasn't there. He sometimes "reinvented" the game from teletype reports in an office miles from the stadium.

But he was good at it. In fact, he was very good at it. And so the Midwest came to love a radio sportscaster named "Dutch Reagan" and decades later all of America would love Ronald "Dutch" Reagan enough to elect him - - President of the U.S.

So, on this particular day, the fans, the players and the nation were happy to see him sitting in the stands - - with his secret service men - - enjoying America's pastime. Enjoying enough that when the hot dog guy passed by, the President waved his hand and ordered four dogs. The vendor served up four with Kraut and handed them to the President. The President smiled and handed the vendor a crisp $5 bill. Since inflation had raised the price to $1.50 per, the vendor kept his hand out. Since neither Pelosi, Boehner, Reid nor McConnell were present, someone else would have to resolve the issue. After a dramatic pause, an alert secret service guy stood up and made up the right change and included a tip. And, thus a national emergency was again averted.

To celebrate take a deep sip from an empty glass and explain to some young associate that this was surely the first and only time that someone in government ordered more than they had the money to pay for. But make sure your companion is either quite gullible or can't spell deficit.

Many thanks to Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services who graciously allow his historical musings to be republished on this site. To enjoy more of Art's posts simply click on "Cashin's Comments" in the label section on the sidebar.

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