George J. Mitchell Oral History Project
 

Interviewee

Marjorie M. Bride

Interviewer

Mike Hastings

Date

7-24-2009

ID Number

GMOH 123

Document Type

Interview

Subject Headings

Administrative staff, Mitchell Institute, Tennis

Abstract

Biographical Note
Marjorie McHenry Bride was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 17, 1939. Her parents, both from longtime Baltimore families, were James McHenry and Marjorie Ober McHenry. Her father was a gentleman farmer and so she lived in the countryside outside of town until she went to a boarding school, Dobbs Ferry, in New York. She earned her degree in economics from Bryn Mawr and worked for the Export-Import Bank in Washington, D.C. from 1961-1965, where she met her husband. She moved to Maine when her husband managed the Old Orchard Beach pier and later to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she received a master’s degree in urban planning. She went into commercial development in Portland, Maine, in 1976 and became a broker, then started a tourism company called Experience Maine, and offered art tours along the coast. She spent a year in Washington, DC working in Mitchell’s Senate office; she sometimes played tennis with Senator Mitchell. At the time of this interview, she worked for Odysseys Unlimited and served on the boards of the Mitchell Institute, Outward Bound, and the Posse Foundation.

Summary
Interview includes discussion of: childhood and education background; Washington, D.C. during the Kennedy years; brief discussion of Mitchell’s history; the start of Experience Maine; working in Washington; playing tennis with Mitchell; involvement with the Mitchell Institute as board member; Outward Bound and the Posse Foundation; the business of Odysseys Unlimited with college alumni; contact with Mitchell; Chris Bride’s working as an immigration adjudications officer; Libby Mitchell’s run for governor; the mystery surrounding Mitchell’s current work in the Middle East; and Mitchell Scholars brunch.

Restrictions

This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.

TEXT

Michael Hastings: The following is a recorded interview of the Senator George J. Mitchell Oral History Project, an activity of Bowdoin College. This is Mike Hastings, I’m interviewing this afternoon Marjorie McHenry Bride. I’m conducting the interview in downtown Portland Maine at the Cumberland Club. It is July 24, 2009. Could you begin by, could you state your full name and spell your surname?

Marjorie Bride: My surname is my first name or my last name, which is it?

MH: Last name.

MB: My full name is Marjorie McHenry Bride, B-R-I-D-E.

MH: And your date of birth and place of birth?

MB: I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 17, 1939.

MH: And lastly, the formal questions are, can you give me your father’s full name and your mother’s full name.

MB: My father’s full name was James McHenry, and my mother’s name was Marjorie Ober McHenry.

MH: Now, McHenry, is that like “Star Spangled Banner” family?

MB: Yes.

MH: Okay, I didn’t know you were from Baltimore.

MB: Yes, you got it.

MH: Okay, can you tell me your, just briefly tell me about your father. Is he, was he a long time Baltimorian, or -?

MB: Well, it’s an old Baltimore name obviously and James McHenry, who was the signer of the Constitution, was my direct ancestor. I’m probably the last in the line, direct line, so he would have been about five ‘great’s. He was George Washington’s surgeon general and Adams’ secretary of state.

MH: Wow. Adams’ secretary of state?

MB: Secretary of war.

MH: Okay, all right.

MB: Secretary of war. We are, my sister and I are the last direct descendants, and actually we just two years ago gave to the state of Maryland a draft that my sister had had of Washington’s resignation speech from the Army, when he resigned in Annapolis, and it’s sitting now in the rotunda in Annapolis, had been hanging on my sister’s wall in her house in Maryland, so we both sold it and gave it as a gift to the state of Maryland.

So my father, my family, I’m probably the only one who’s left. My father was an investment banker in Baltimore, he went to Yale, he was class of Yale 1920 and Skull and Bones and with a lot of, Henry Luce, a lot of really prominent people in that class. He came from a family of a lot of social standing, not a lot of money, the way that a lot of those families were, but he became a partner at Alex Brown investment firm then in the ‘50s, and there were probably five to seven partners at the time. So he did really well over a period of time, he was a not a huge leader in Baltimore, but on a number of boards and very well liked and respected.

MH: I lived in Baltimore for a year before I came back to Maine and I loved it, I absolutely loved it.

MB: It’s a wonderful town. Not much changes there.

MH: Great museums, and they fixed up the downtown a bit.

MB: Right.

MH: A very nice place. Your mother, is she from, a Baltimorian as well?

MB: She was, she was, her family was from Baltimore, and she had been previously married and widowed very early, so married my father when she had three boys. My father’s brother was killed in the First World War and so I think he felt, he went in the Second World War and into the Pacific at the age of forty and came back, luckily. My mother had one s-

MH: Was he in the navy?

MB: He was in the marines. He was on Tarawa and some of the forward air-ground forces. My mother did lose one of her three sons from her first marriage in that, on Iwo Jima. So I was born in the middle of all that in ‘39, born into that situation.

MH: Did you spend your growing up years in Baltimore?

MB: Yeah, yes. I grew up there until I went away to boarding school in New York state.

MH: Were you right in downtown Baltimore, or were you out -?

MB: No, we were out in the foxhunting, out in the Hunt Valley area, yes, old foxhunting, beautiful countryside. My father was a gentleman farmer, in addition to being all this other stuff.

MH: It’s a beautiful area. When I lived there it was being, they were actually developing some of the farm land unfortunately, and big houses and -

MB: Yes, it’s spreading, I think it has worse sprawl than Boston and Maine in that area now. It’s just losing a lot of that countryside.

MH: Where’d you go off to school?

MB: I went to Dobbs Ferry, in New York, and then I went to Bryn Mawr College, and then went back to Washington actually and worked ‘61 through ‘65 for the Export-Import Bank and had a lot of friends. It was the Kennedy years.

MH: That must have been a fun time to be in Washington.

MB: It was fabulous, it was unbelievable, and Stephen Brier (sounds like), who was an old boyfriend, I mean there were lots of, it was just one big fun, I had one roommate who worked for Ted Kennedy, one who worked for Goldwater, it was just, and all these stories about fiddle and faddle and the interns in the White House were true, and they were all friends of ours and -

MH: Where did you live when you were in Washington?

MB: Lived in Georgetown.

MH: In Georgetown.

MB: Yes.

MH: It’s great fun.

MB: It was wonderful time. It was wonderful time.

MH: Now, you didn’t meet George Mitchell in that period did you?

MB: No.

MH: Because he was there at that point. He was going to Georgetown, and working as an insurance adjuster to get himself through Georgetown Law School at night.

MB: Wow, I forgot he went to Georgetown. Was he living right there on the campus?

MH: You know, I don’t know where he lived. No, he didn’t live on campus, but he worked as an insurance adjuster for a period and then as soon as he got out of Georgetown he got a job with the Justice Department, briefly, and then he was hired, I think, and then he was hired very quickly by Ed Muskie.

MB: To come back here?

MH: Well no, he came, Ed Muskie asked him to be his executive assistant and he worked two years down there I think, yeah, two years for Muskie.

MB: Was he married then?

MH: No, but he met his first wife, Sally, who worked as a, she worked as a staff person for Senator Norris Cotton of New Hampshire, right on the same corridor I think as Muskie had his office.

MB: She was from South Portland, or they just lived there?

MH: I don’t know where she, I think she was from New Hampshire originally. But I’m not certain of that, and I shouldn’t be speculating on that. But he was there for, the Senator as I understand it always wanted to come to Maine and practice law, and he got an offer shortly after Muskie hired him, but he decided he would stay through until the next election. And then he did come back to Maine.

MB: Interesting. Well we were living in Georgetown, for a full house I think cost us, we were on 33rd Street, I moved around a lot, but everybody was either in State Department or AID or working on the Hill or clerking for somebody. I remember riding my bike to work and it just sort of collapsed in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue and Stephen Brier said, “Oh we’ll just take it to the Supreme Court plumbers shop and they’ll weld it together.” It was just one constant party, and I guess we got a little work done.

MH: Where was the, what did you do at the Export-Import Bank?

MB: I was, of course women then were not loan officers or anything like that, so I was in the Intergovernmental Liaison Office, working with Treasury and the Hill and I was, I don’t know what I was doing really, probably just research. I had a degree in economics from Bryn Mawr.

MH: And so how long were you there, until when roughly?

MB: I met my husband in ‘65, so I was there for, really for five years; we got married in May of ‘66. His grandfather built the pier at Old Orchard Beach. John was working for the FCC, he had gone to Maine Law School and gotten, always been interested in broadcasting, got a job with the FCC. We met, we got married in May ‘66, and the manager at the, at Old Orchard, it was a family owned business, the family came from the Lawrence-Lowell area, and the manager had a stroke and so they asked John to come and manage it. So we moved, we came here right after we were married, and that whole first summer he worked down at Old Orchard and into the fall and the winter, and it was not a happy relationship with the family so we actually moved to Pittsburgh. He went to work for KDK, but - So I was there until the beginning of ‘66.

MH: So was that, I know you’re involved now in tourism, related things. Is that your first exposure to the tourism industry, or -?

MB: No, no, no, no, that didn’t have anything to do with it. We worked here for a winter, I hadn’t gotten my master’s yet, but I worked for a town planner here that winter we were here, the first year we were here in Maine, and we moved back, moved to Pittsburgh, I got my master’s in urban planning at PITT and went into commercial real estate. And when we moved back here in ‘76, I got into commercial development here in the Old Port, and went from being a developer, I bought some of the old brick buildings, and then became a broker. It’s a funny convoluted story. My partner became, not in the development which I did on my own, but we got into commercial real estate brokerage, and my partner was Carol Epstein, his family’s from Bangor.

MH: Right, there’s a, I’ve seen the signs for -

MB: Yes, that’s our -

MH: I can’t think of the, it’s a hyphenated name, or something Epstein.

MB: What used to be Bride-Epstein which is my name, but now it’s, I think she calls it Epstein Commercial and it’s the same logo: we had little blue houses. So we worked together, and this is sort of an overview, we worked together until the mid ‘80s, the market went down, Carol moved back to Bangor, the market was kind of tanking here. I tried to figure out what to do. A group of friends said, “Let’s do trips of Maine.” This is really, I got the Smithsonian as a client, we did Maine coastal trips, they all dropped out, I built the company, turned it into doing a lot of art trips of Maine and other domestic areas, moved to Cambridge, and eventually got bought out by Carol’s brother, Bruce.

MH: Oh, okay.

MB: Who also grew up in Bangor, but now owns a big international tour company which I’ve been working with for eleven years. But the time here was definitely spent supporting the Senator, and I went to Washington for a year and worked -

MH: Did you work in his office?

MB: Yes, I worked in his office. Well I always regretted that I’d never worked on the Hill and I, you know, I’m sort of a generation, not a decade too late, because I think if I had the support or a mentor or something I would have loved to have gone into politics or some kind of a leadership position. I always had this pull toward it, and Rick Barton was here and was a good friend, and I think he sort of arranged, the plan was for me to go down there. I still had kids, I was divorced by then and I still had kids, Jay was away, I think I still had Chris here, the plan was to go and work for Janie.

MH: O’Connor?

MB: O’Connor. It was constituent relations one week every month, and I didn’t do a very good job of it. I kept, it was hard to be away, it was hard to find a place to live, I knew I wanted to be there, it seemed pretty glamorous. The Senator asked what the heck I was doing and I said, “Well, I have this family legacy of service to my country so I’m trying to do something to give back,” but it was, it was kind of a -

MH: Had you met him when he was a lawyer here and you were doing your development work or?

MB: How did I meet him? I was trying, I knew that would come up and -

MH: Sometimes people know exactly, and other times it seems like they’ve always known him.

MB: Well, he’s obviously a hugely charismatic person and I just have snapshots of, the thing that always appealed to me about him was his huge integrity and knowing the right thing to do, but also his sense of humor. And my father was the same way. You could see the little remark coming, you could see this twinkle in his eye, and my father had this ability to put tense situations at ease. I know my ex-husband reported in business situations that there’d be this level of tension and my Pop would just make a little, it was that same quirky sense of humor, self-deprecating sense of humor, and that always appealed to me about the Senator. But the things I remember are, I played tennis with him once, once when, I don’t know what was going on, and this is sort of off the record, but it was after he was divorced and I remember I had moved from Cape Elizabeth into the West End here. And he called one morning, I remember I was in the bath tub, and asked if I wanted to play. My kids come running in and said, “Senator Mitchell’s on the phone.” So we agree to play tennis, and I’m a pretty good tennis player, at Tennis of Maine, and he just, we got a court way down in the dark end of the courts, and he never let me up for air, it was like -

MH: Yes, how would you describe his tennis style?

MB: Intense, intense, I mean just totally focused. I don’t think I got a game and I’m, relatively speaking, as a woman player, I was at a higher level. And then there were times when he played with Juris Ubans quite a bit, and I remember playing some doubles from time to time. I remember inviting him – I go to Prouts Neck in the summer and there are a lot of member-guest tournaments – I remember inviting him to play in the member-guest with me, which he couldn’t do. But he had a bad back at some point in there, because I remember Juris saying that he couldn’t run down balls very much.

MH: Well, he must have improved. I heard that he won the, the tournament in Northeast Harbor last year, so he’s doing (unintelligible).

MB: What, not singles?

MH: I don’t know whether it was doubles or singles, but they have different age groups, but he was very happy with himself when he mentioned that to me. Loves tennis, he loves tennis.

MB: Well whenever we see each other we talk about the tennis game, but I remember getting trounced. I remember, he must have still been living in South Portland, I remember when Reagan was president, and running into him walking on Shore Road one day, because I was living right off Shore Road, and I thought he said something like, it seemed totally off the record, that Reagan was either getting Alzheimer’s or was so forgetful he had to start coaching himself with index cards. I remember him coming with Cuomo, of course I went to every dinner, every event that I could.

I remember my sister coming up from Maryland and visiting, and Leon Gorman was doing a fund raiser for him at the Portland Country Club and it was so typically Maine, I mean I’m not a Maine person at roots, but I was here from ‘67 on and I always loved the community, and there was this fund raiser and it was the most relaxed, typically Maine, there were people swimming around in the pool and seagulls flying overhead, and no fuss, no muss, it was a fund raiser for him, it was just fine. It was just everything, the people who work with him, I don’t know how I got, being on the board has been wonderful.

MH: This is the board of the Mitchell Institute.

MB: Mitchell Institute, yes.

MH: Tell me about what it does and what you do and what kind of decisions the board makes.

MB: Well I wasn’t involved then but as I understand it, because it probably started, have you talked to a lot of the -

MH: Only one, I’m not really supposed to say who’s on the interview list because until, we don’t know if they’ve given their consent forms yet, so -

MB: Oh, he took his unused campaign funds I guess when he resigned, and I think it was connected to the Maine Community Foundation at the time, I’m not sure exactly how it started -

MH: Initially it was, they were managing the funds.

MB: Right, and I’m not very good with facts. But his goal, as it’s always been said, is that everybody should have an opportunity and that he had, in his career, spoken at every Maine high school. And it started out with a thousand dollars to every, every Maine high school, there’s 142, hundred and-, and I knew Mary. My ex-husband and I had been good friends with Harold Friedman and his first wife, I can’t remember her name, and then, so I knew Mary. How long have I been on the board? I’ve probably been on the board about eight years. I became good friends with Bonnie Titcomb, and they just sort of put me on the board, so it’s six, seven years. I love the group of people. I have tried to, we’re growing the scholarships. We just had a big board retreat a couple of weeks ago at Merle and (name) Nelson’s, and we’re at six thousand now and the question is whether to grow them.

MH: That’s wonderful.

MB: I’ve done some outreach, some fund-raising for it. I’m not a good fund raiser, I’m more of a networker. I gave a small event for it in the beginning, worked on one up in Bar Harbor with Pam [Scarcelli] Gleichman, and I’ve just gone on the plan giving committee. I hope I can stay on the board, I think it’s going to get more defined as we’re really trying to define people’s roles. But the impact on the, I’ve read some of the student, the applications.

MH: That’s wonderful. Have you served on the board of any other organizations?

MB: Yes, I’m on the board of Outward Bound, the advisory board of Outward Bound. Outward Bound got hugely restructured about two or three years ago and they consolidated a lot of the regional, Hurricane got pulled into the national and actually shut down.

MH: Hurricane doesn’t exist anymore as the Outward Bound School, I didn’t realize that.

MB: Right, yes, the guy who owns the island has taken it back. They just couldn’t afford all the overhead, and the open enrollment courses are suffering because the market is, you know, just not there for these kids taking three-week challenging courses. So, but I’m on the board of that and another national scholarship organization called the Posse Foundation, which is just an amazing organization. The name Posse came from a kid from a disadvantaged situation who went off to college and didn’t make it and he said, because he just couldn’t make the adjustment, and he said, “I would have done fine if I’d had my posse with me.” So now they pick, the money is actually given by the participating colleges but they pick groups of ten, they go as a group, and they’re picked early decision. It’s a regional thing, there are offices now all over the country, but they get picked in December and they spend from December to September bonding as a group of ten and getting to know each other in support of each other.

MH: Where is that based?

MB: Well, the headquarters is in New York. It’s P-O-S-S-E. It’s a fascinating organization, it’s a win-win story.

MH: And it’s been going on long enough, they’re -

MB: It’s ten years, yeah, twelve years.

MH: They’re confident that the concept works.

MB: Oh, it works, it’s been a huge success. And more and more, Bowdoin used to belong, Bates is a participating school, Hamilton, each region. I was on the Boston board, has a cohort of colleges that participate so they, together, the kids, we had four thousand applicants in Boston, they’re recommended by their community leaders, and then the colleges come in and if there are ten, five colleges, each college gives a million dollars, because it’s a four-year scholarship for ten people (unintelligible).

MH: But it also, I assume it helps meet the diversity goals of the colleges too.

MB: Right, exactly, exactly.

MH: And then the diversity with graduation at the end.

MB: Right, the retention is amazing, because they support each other, if there’s a problem they have the Posse from the year ahead on campus, or for three years ahead. The Mitchell Institute is picking up some of those best practices.

MH: I went to boarding school in New Hampshire in the ‘60s, and we had an organization called A Better Chance, the ABC Program, and it was similar to that, it was bringing largely black kids from the inner city to boarding schools, but they came in groups and so there was a lot of reinforcement within the group.

MB: Yes.

MH: That’s great. Do you, tell me about your current business, what is it called?

MB: Oh, it’s called Odysseys Unlimited. We’re actually giving, Bruce Epstein’s the president, and we’re right now working with, not haggling over, he gave them two trips to China as a fund raiser about four years ago, and now we’re doing another one and we’re trying to figure out how to leverage it better this time.

MH: Would you classify them as study tours or -?

MB: No, they’re, we work with the alumni, he sells direct, we have a big catalog. And then I work with all the universities that have -

MH: So it’s an alumni associations contract?

MB: Where’d you go to school?

MH: Bowdoin.

MB: Bowdoin. Bowdoin isn’t doing the travel anymore, but Colby and Bates are doing it.

MH: Because I work at the University of Maine and they are beginning to do it, and they’re a little late to the game but -

MB: Well, they did it for a while, because I used to call on them, and then they kind of backed off a little bit. Who’s the person up there?

MH: Well, the alumni director is named Todd Saucier, but I know they’ve had some trips, and they also allow, the university will do trips for students, student experiences, and there will occasionally alumni who get added on to the trips to round it out. It’s been an interesting and actually fairly successful program. They did one to Russia recently, in the spring.

MB: I came up and talked to Dysart? Eleanor Dysart?

MH: Right, I’ve heard her name. I don’t know her but I’ve heard her name.

MB: I think she may be gone, but yes, we work with Ohio State and the University of Washington and Berkeley and Princeton and just about everybody. That’s not all, we’re sort of forty percent of the company, the alumni travel part, and the rest is direct, so big catalog, we have about thirty international trips.

MH: Now someone, I think, someone told me that you were involved with something called Experience Maine, is that right?

MB: Oh, that was my first travel company that I started, when I was saying we started in Maine locally.

MH: Okay, I tried to find information on that and I couldn’t find much.

MB: No, its gone out of business. I did a lot of art trips up and down the coast of Maine, and trips for the National Trust and Smithsonian and then I kind of expanded it.

MH: Have you been able to keep in touch with the Senator at all through the Mitchell Institute or do you, have you seen him in recent years much?

MB: I see him at the gala.

MH: Right, which is that, an annual event?

MB: Yes, that’s every October.

MH: I think I went to the first one, but I don’t think I’ve been to any since.

MB: No, I have a good friend in New York who belongs to his church and she says she sees him. I just think he’s an extraordinary person, and I hope he’s well, and I don’t know his older daughter at all, no, the closest thing is through the Mitchell Institute. I’m about to go to the, I’ve continued my national, my athletic stuff and I’m about to go to the National Senior Olympics.

MH: Oh, really.

MB: Yes.

MH: For running or tennis?

MB: I’m going to do tennis and a 40K bike ride; it’s in Palo Alto this year. I run them every two years. Yes, I just turned seventy, so.

MH: That’s great. I have a niece who is a triathlon person and she continues to do it. She’s in her thirties now but she, for that, these double event things are really ambitious.

MB: Yes, that would be tough. I don’t see Heather. I remember him being up here, I mean, he’s the kind of person you just wish you could hang out with.

MH: I know.

MB: Sam Spencer was one of his interns. Have you talked to Sam at all?

MH: No, I haven’t.

MB: He was a very close friend of my son’s, Chris Bride, at Waynflete, and I remember going down to visit Sam when he was an intern with him, and Sam would just routinely fall asleep but, what else, my son went to Maine Law School here.

MH: I see. Is he practicing in Maine now?

MB: He’s not. He married a young woman who had a crush on him in the fifth grade here, and they live in Lexington and he works for the Department of Homeland Security.

MH: Oh, in Massachusetts.

MB: In Boston, yes, he’s an immigration adjudications officer.

MH: Tough work, pretty tough work I imagine.

MB: Are you a lawyer?

MH: No, I’m not, no, no, but I think anything that deals with immigration issues has got to be -

MB: They get trained pretty well, and in a funny way, it’s not a rote thing, but I noticed Chris’s reactions do not encompass the whole issue of immigration policy and law, they’re really trained to interview these people. They go to FLETC, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia; he was down there for like nine weeks, so it works for him, for now.

MH: Do you see any politicians kind of emerging in Maine or Massachusetts that remind you of George Mitchell, or you think that have that kind of potential? Have you stayed, are you a, do you check out the political rookies or?

MB: No, I don’t pay any attention to Massachusetts politics at all. I don’t understand it. I liked Angus King a lot. I just had dinner last night with a fellow named Jed Davis who is partner with [Jim] Mitchell, Jim and Libby Mitchell, and I don’t know whether this is out of school or not, but he said that she’s considering running for governor.

MH: She ran for senator once, back against Cohen I believe in ‘84 I think, but I think she’d be a strong candidate. She’s president of the Senate now, and she’s very popular.

MB: Is she.

MH: Very popular, and she’s well known throughout the state, which is a difficult thing to be. And there are very few, there are many people who would like to be governor, and few of them actually have a base, a broad enough base to run effectively. But it’s interesting because we are getting a number of, there are a number of Democrats that are kind of coming forward now, it’s going to be an interesting year, year-and-a-half.

MB: Its also, Maine’s never had a woman governor.

MH: No, that’s correct.

MB: Its time, don’t you think?

MH: Absolutely.

MB: What’s it like up there? I mean he lives, Jed lives in Fayette, I just, I’ve always had a, I just have no idea what goes on midcoast or, it’s about twenty miles west of Augusta, it’s on 17.

MH: Okay, like Manchester, in that, you know, towards Kent’s Hill. Well there’s, you know, that whole area and Augusta, so many people work for the state government it’s a, you know, it’s a little bit different from the rest of the state, so they have a, they all have a vested economic interest in, you know, things working well. And then they’re under a considerable amount of stress because of the economy, obviously. I mean the state government is really, really being challenged right now. I think she’d be a very good candidate. What does Jed Davis do, you say he was a, he’s a partner with her husband?

MB: He’s a partner in that firm, and she’s a partner there, too, but I think she isn’t there much.

MH: Oh, I forgot that she did, she went to law school, after she served in the House I think.

MB: Yes, right, late. Yeah, no, he’s a friend of mine and thinks the world of both of them, so.

MH: Well, is there any George Mitchell story you have, or anything you’d like to say for posterity here? I always give people the opportunity to, to give an answer for which I haven’t asked a question.

MB: Oh, no, I just, I read his book Making Peace. I think that level of character and integrity is fading and getting lost, and I just hope somebody carries it on. It’s so rare, I mean you just don’t see it out there. The other thing that I’ve been sort of curious about recently is, Richard Holbrook’s name is bandied about a fair amount, but you don’t hear much about what he’s doing in the Middle East and I was wondering if that was for security reasons or, I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know whether he’s being squashed by -

MH: Yeah, no, I’ve had the same questions. It’s interesting, the Mitchell mission seems to be getting more play in the international press than the Holbrook mission, you know, to Afghanistan, yeah.

MB: You think it is?

MH: I think Mitchell’s is getting more attention.

MB: Because I don’t hear it. I don’t hear any reports on, I mostly listen to NPR -

MH: I mean, I’ve hardly heard anything about Holbrook’s activities, hardly at all.

MB: What do you think he’s doing over there?

MH: No idea, no idea. It is a mystery.

MB: I’ve been to Jordan, I mean I’m fascinated with the Middle East and I’ve been to Jordan and Egypt and Turkey. I’ve seen Israel and I’ve seen signs for Iraq, but that’s about as close as I’ve gotten. I hope we can continue to build the scholarship program, and I hope someday he comes home and, I don’t think he’ll ever come back to living in Maine, except for the summer.

MH: Summers probably.

MB: Yes. How old is he, seventy-six, seventy-seven?

MH: He’ll be seventy-five in August, I believe that’s right, born in 1933, no seventy-six.

MB: Seventy-six. I’m going to try to get to, I’ve never been able to go to the scholar brunch, do you know about that?

MH: No.

MB: Because you sh-, I don’t know whether, how, whether you extend your things to events or things beyond just interviews but there’s a, he has a brunch in Orono on, it’s August 16th I think, it’s always on a Sunday, for the new scholars.

MH: It’s in Orono, okay.

MB: Yes, it’s either, I’m pretty sure it’s in Orono. I don’t think it’s Augusta, but if your in touch with Colleen, or I can let you know if you want me to -

MH: No, I’d like to go to that actually; I’d like to see that.

MB: He does it every year, and is the one thing that he really tries to -

MH: They have it different places each year?

MB: No, it’s always there, which is one reason I’ve never been able to get there because, on a Sunday in, summer Sundays in Maine are pretty precious, and it’s a long way to go.

MH: Well, thank you for this. If you think of a story or anything, like to have it taped, I can certainly come back, I’m in Portland frequently. And this has been great, thank you for taking the time.

MB: Or I could e-mail you.

MH: Yes. Thank you.

MB: He just makes me smile.

MH: Margaret McHenry Bride, thank you.

End of interview

 
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Interview with Marjorie Bride by Mike Hastings

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