Archive - March 19, 2018

Joe Colmen Passes at 98 (HQ/Washington)

Joe Colmen Passes at 98 (HQ/Washington)

In her book on the early days of the Peace Corps, (Come As You Are) Coates Redmon writes of Colmen, “He was one of Shriver’s foils who could, like Mankiewicz and Gelman, make Shriver laugh his great whooping laugh and cause him to make light of things in tense situations. Colmen was an obsessive punster and an instigator of mass guffawing at senior staff meetings. Like Mel Brooks, whom Colmen physically resembled, Colmen likes to see the group dynamic reach the brink of craziness. Like Brooks, Colmen likes to provoke “dangerous laughing.” On his first trip to Africa with Shriver, Colmen and a hand full of other HQ officials went to the royal palace of Emperor Haile Selassie and after Shriver’s official visit with the Emperor, Shriver and the small group were given a tour of the royal gardens. As they reached an outer corridor of the palace, a sort . . .

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