Highs, Lows and Everything in Between

Posted January 28, 2005 at 4:46pm

From ice cream to hostages to up-and-comers, Roll Call’s June 20, 1985, issue captured a bit of everything for everyone.

Roll Call reported that then-Rep. John Grotbert (R-Ill.) was busy taking phone calls from nervous citizens concerned about the passengers aboard a hijacked TWA airplane that left from Athens that week. “More than 30 of his constituents from two Catholic parishes in the district had been on the plane,” Roll Call reported.

Grotbert and his staffers spent the weekend serving as a “nerve center for information” about the hostage situation. One American hostage was killed in the hijacking, out of the more than 150 passengers aboard the plane. The hijack ended after 15 days when the terrorists freed the remaining hostages at a Beirut airport.

Roll Call also profiled Tom Griscom, then executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. In the interview, Griscom alluded to aspirations that might lead to the White House. He talked of “his future with [Sen. Howard] Baker, a potential Republican contender for president in 1988.”

“After ’86, I’ll sit down with my wife and we’ll decide what we are going to do,” he said.

On the lighter side, the front page featured a candid photo of then-Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.) enjoying an ice cream cone with a former Hill employee and his daughter.

Roll Call reported, “When Norman McDonald, formerly employed in the Locksmith’s shop at the Rayburn House Office Building, told … O’Neill that he planned to open an ice cream shop in Pennsylvania, burly Tip said let him know so he could get in a lick.” Apparently O’Neill wasn’t kidding; he did make the trek to McDonald’s store, Merryman’s, in Scranton, Pa., while he was in town at a political event.[IMGCAP(1)]