When we learned that Gen. Douglas MacArthur was returning from the Philippines after years away from the U.S., I suggested that our client, Miami Beach’s Sherry Frontenac Hotel, invite MacArthur and his family to enjoy some R&R at the resort.
The general manager was about to cable the invitation when the owner walked into the office and asked, “What are you bums up to now?”
When I explained the media potential, he asked, “What kinda rate do I gotta give this guy MacArthur?”
“Rate!” I exclaimed. “Why he and his entourage will be your guest for several suites and meals,” which of course further annoyed the notoriously frugal hotel owner who protested loudly until I mentioned that most of the media people would no doubt be spending freely in the hotel’s bars while awaiting the general’s daily press conference.
“OK,” he responded, seemingly mollified. “I’ll go for the deal, but remember,” he ordered, poking me in the chest, “When this MacArthur guy checks in you can welcome him, but you’re responsible for telling him — no steaks or chops!”
Fortunately, I was spared that onerous task when the MacArthur party declined the invitation.