Archive - November 2016

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Pat Kennedy Remembers His Peace Corps (Washington)
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# 6 Mad Men at the Peace Corps–Moyers and Blair (Washington, D.C.)
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#5 Mad Men of the Peace Corps–Kiker (Washington, D.C.)
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# 4 Mad Men of the Peace Corps (Washington, D.C.)

Pat Kennedy Remembers His Peace Corps (Washington)

Pat Kennedy, having studied at Columbia College and with an MA from the University of Wisconsin, was at the Peace Corps HQ from 1961 to August 64. He left the Peace Corps to became Deputy and then Director of VISTA from 1965-1970. He then became President of the Columbia Association until 1998. Today he is President of numerous Nonprofits in Columbia, Maryland. He responded to my “Mad Men” series with this account of his early days at the Peace Corps. It is a long essay and incredibly interesting as it has a lot of ‘stories’ and details from the first years and how he was involved with the first PCVs going overseas and coming home again to the United States. JC Note Pat Kennedy Remembers his Peace Corps Days I’ve often tried to figure out what made the Peace Corps so exciting. It certainly had something to do with the atmosphere of . . .

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# 6 Mad Men at the Peace Corps–Moyers and Blair (Washington, D.C.)

It was not all ‘work’ and no ‘play’ at the Peace Corps for the Mad Men. Here’s a story from the early years that has been told and retold a couple thousand times, and is retold in the late Coates Redmon’s book Come As Your Are: The Peace Corps Story.[Coates was a writer for the Peace Corps in the early days, later press person for Rosalynn Carter, and later still, director of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.] It is a story [as all good Washington, D.C. do] that begins in Georgetown. It was a Sunday evening in the fall of 1961 and Dick Nelson, who was Bill Moyers’s assistant, and Blair Butterworth, whose father was ambassador to Canada, and who worked as a file clerk at PC/W, were living together at Two Pomander Walk in Georgetown. That Sunday, Moyers’ wife and kids were in Texas and he came over to . . .

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#5 Mad Men of the Peace Corps–Kiker (Washington, D.C.)

If there was one HQ staffer who could have walk straight onto the set of , Mad Men, is was Doug Kiker of Griffin, Georgia. Kiker was an original “mad man”  in his brief time at the Peace Corps during those early days when he was chief of the division of public information. He would leave the Peace Corps in 1963 for the New York Herald Tribune, and on his first week on that job, he was  riding in the press bus in the motorcade with JFK when the president was assassinated.  By 1966, he was with NBC News as an on-air reporter and he would remain with that network for the rest of his life. He died of a heart attack in 1991 at the age of 61. Kiker came from the south, from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, majoring in English and he wanting to be a writer. His first short story . . .

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# 4 Mad Men of the Peace Corps (Washington, D.C.)

If you watched Mad Men you know all about the office atmosphere and the thick layer of smoke that filled the offices. It was no better in the Peace Corps during those early years of the 1960s. Flipping through pages of old Peace Corps publications, I see half a dozen people who I knew, all with cigarettes in their hands. Al Meisel in the Training Division; Charlie Peters, head of Evaluation; Jim Gibson, head of Agricultural Affairs. He liked cigars and smoked them in the building! The wonderful Jules Pagano.  Other heavy smokers: Howard Greenberg in Management; Jack Vaughn, the second director; Frank Mankiewicz; evaluator Dick Elwell, (as I recall, everyone in evaluation smoked and drank and wrote great prose). Doug Kiker and his crew in Public Affairs knew how to light up. And so did Betty Harris. She with her cigarette holders. When the Mad Men weren’t smoking, they were drinkings. Warren Wiggins told me that . . .

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