"Fine—give me some cornmeal, salt and pepper."
We helped the President spread out the aluminum foil. He wrapped up Sam's big trout and placed it over the coals. Tom Dent, his Scotch burr working beautifully, was shuttling back and forth through this scene. He and the President had reached a nickname basis practically from the start and were having uproarious fun.
" Ike," Tom said, "I want to hire you for a cook on my fishing trips."
"I'll do that, Tom—just as soon as I get through with the job I'm on now."
Joe Dodge and Behmie Turcis came to the kitchen door, near the charcoal fire, and called, "Come and get it!"
HE KNOWS HOW TO COOK
In the main room of the Management Center building we sat down at two tables, nine or 10 men at each, after serving ourselves at the buffet table up front across the kitchen door. Broiled trout, beanhole beans, Behmie Turcis' cornbread, a salad and pie. I sat at the foot of Mr. Eisenhower's table, with Senator Payne on my right. John Dickey sat at the head of the table, the President at his left. I was too excited to eat much but the President did well. I saw him stand up and go to the buffet for seconds. He picked up a small, broiled trout with his fingers. Then he reached out and put his hand on Behmie Turcis' shoulder, and Behmie's eyes shone like a couple of blowtorches. The trout the President had cooked came in presently and we all had a bit of it. He knows how to cook one, all right.
All the while you thought of the magnitude of this man's responsibility. He had just returned from San Francisco. His mind must be weighted with a thousand problems, any one of which would stagger a regiment. But now, for a moment, he was enjoying himself, and I was thrilled and moved to be even a small part of it. I felt exactly as Behmie Turcis felt, as Sanders of the River felt. I guess everyone there felt that way.
After lunch I went out on the front porch and stood there awhile. Then I turned to my left off the front porch and started to walk down the length of the building. I saw someone coming toward me. It was the President. We met midway of the building and we both stopped and smiled. This meeting was pure accident.
" Mr. Eisenhower, I've been looking for a chance to tell you I'm probably the first man here to have voted for you."