"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Captain Rowdy and B-1 Bob

Above, Frank (left) and Armand chatting with Robert K. Dornan.

A lot of memories of times spent with Frank Lunney came to the surface today following the news of his passing. Hopefully, Frank's friends in the world of stand-up comedy can organize a benefit show or two to provide Frank's son Gage with a scholarship fund. But I digress.

One memory that surfaced was when Frank and I took part in a photo-shoot for congressional candidate Robert K. Dornan.

I first met Frank "Captain Rowdy" Lunney while working for the Los Angeles Times in Redondo Beach.

We hit it off as friends as we both had a similar sense of humor and shared the same conservative political beliefs.

It was the late summer of 1976 and I had previously returned from the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. I attended as a California Ronald Reagan Delegate. Unfortunately, Reagan lost the GOP nomination by a whisker to President Gerald Ford.

Following the convention, I devoted my time working in the Paul Bannai (for re-election to the state Assembly) and Robert K. Dornan's campaign for congress against Gary Familian.  I was 2nd V.P. of the Los Angeles County Young Republicans at the time, so I, at least, had some official party standing (to a degree).

The Dornan Campaign set up a "Youths For Dornan" campaign group and a photo session to publicize the organization was scheduled.  I enlisted Frank into the group (it didn't take much persuasion as Frank was a Dornan fan anyway) to take part in the campaign and photo shoot.

We met at Dornan's campaign headquarters to do the shoot.  The accompanying two photos are from the photo session.  I was 22 at the time and Frank was 18.

Above, the Dornan youth supporters with their candidate.

We both had a great time talking with like-minded college age conservatives. Bob Dornan was known as a "firebrand" long before running for congress, but on a personal level, he was very easy to get along with. He also has a keen sense of humor and a great story-teller. Frank enjoyed hanging with Dornan.

Dornan went on to win the seat in Congress. When President Jimmy Carter (who defeated Ford in the 1976 general election) decided to kill the B-1 bomber program, Dornan led the outrage over the action ("They're breaking out the vodka bottles in the Kremlin!"). He gained the nickname of "B-1 Bob."

The B-1 program was revived by President Ronald Reagan after he defeated Carter in 1980.

The only bumper sticker I recall ever being on Frank's car was a Dornan sticker.

I'll probably come up with more Frank Lunney stories in the days ahead.


Gary said...

Those were the days at B-1 Bob's Santa Monica HQ.

Arthur Christopher Schaper said...

This is great information and a great set of photos

I wish I had known and met B-One Bob when he was representing the region!

Then again, I was only a little baby at the time he was elected to his third term in office!

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