Chapter 21: The Speech

The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, 6 A.M. After double-checking script changes, Carol Edwards managed to get back to her room, where she brushed her teeth, fixed her face, and changed. She then met Graham and the staffers for breakfast . Lang and Shoener had remained in the ballroom, where they loaded up with caffeine . Then, after reviewing the show with the stage manager backstage, they would take restroom breaks and then kill time in the booth before pulling on their headsets. At show time, they would hear the first of the in-and-out verbal cues from the stage manager: "House down walk-in music out bring up summit logo Mr. Mechem at the podium."

What If They Yell Back?

In the ballroom, a crew set the last of 650 chairs theater-style in front of the stage. From the dark velvet back wall of the stage now hung big banners reading "Women In Golf SUMMIT" and "1993" with the LPGA logo. The room lighting was set at half, the spots playing on both podiums also at half. The big screen between the podiums had been framed and totally encased in the velvet wall.

Lang and Shoener were relaxing in the booth with gossip about Penney people. Suddenly Lang looked away thoughtfully. "Mark ?" she said, now very abstracted. "Remember the rehearsal with W. R.?"

"Yeah?" The rehearsal had been especially memorable because it was so unusual for the chairman to rehearse anything at all.

"Remember how he was? Ad-libbing until Gale and Carol said that he couldn't because of all the cues? Then he reads through the rest fast and flat?"


"I mean, like he still didn't get it?"

"You have a point?"

Lang waved at the empty ballroom. "These are mostly women. Sisters. It will be a rally for sisters."


"And what if they really respond to him, to what he's saying? What if they yell back? What if they really get into it?"

"W. R. will be in heaven."

"No, the first time could scare the crap out of him. He could crater. Think of the stuff he usually says. Bor “ing. He's never done a show like this."

"So what?"

"I think we should alert him."

"Isn't that Carol's job?"

"What if she doesn't? She's pretty uptight. Excuse me." Lang moved her coffee and reached for one of the booth binders. She checked her watch, then skipped the LPGA presentation and opened the binder at Howell's speech, scanning the text for particularly hot or surprising lines. The text itself had speaker cues in CAPS ”[PAUSE] for example, at the very end before the zinger. But now she added a few red-felt-pen notes in the margins throughout the script of 18-point type. At the bottom of the first page she wrote "AUD. SHOCKED AT HONESTY!" At about the five-minute point of the speech, she thought for a while and then printed " WAIT!! THEY MAY ANSWER! " after a certain sentence . She continued to the last page, then closed the script and opened the other booth binder.

Celebration of Fools. An Inside Look at the Rise and Fall of JCPenney
Celebration of Fools: An Inside Look at the Rise and Fall of JCPenney
ISBN: 0814471595
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 177
Authors: Bill Hare © 2008-2017.
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