Jim Rowland: 9/11 AND THE ARLINGTON/AACHEN RELATIONSHIP

WHEN: 5 October 2013

WHERE: Dolly Madison Community Library, McLean, Virginia

INTERVIEWER: Carl Lankowski

Q: Tell us something about your background, Jim. How old are you, where are you from, where did you grow up?

JR: I am from Connecticut, born in 1951. My family lived in New Britain and Southington, Connecticut. We had very little to do with anything foreign during my entire growing up period. My father ran a plastics factory and occasionally we had visitors from Germany or England, and sometimes they stayed with us. That got my interest. But it wasn’t until high school that I ever met foreign exchange students. Later, at Connecticut College, I had the responsibility of taking care of foreign exchange students from England, looking after them and providing the guidance they needed.

Q: In New London, Connecticut?

JR: That’s right. When I finished college, I went to Oxford, England, because I wanted to be with my friends. I was given a work permit and got a job as a medical photographer at Oxford Medical School. I did that for about a year, at which point the permit expired and I could not continue to live in England. That was a disappointment.

Meantime, my brother had just started law school in Washington, DC, so I came down here and got a job as a newspaper photographer. Jeff was working in the White House and was promoted and needed to find a replacement, so I ended up in the White House for three years.

Q: What years were these?

JR: 1977-1981.

Q: The Carter administration.

JR: I worked for Jimmy Carter as the personal assistant to White House domestic policy advisor, Stuart Eizenstat. I got to know him really well and he made sure that I learned everything I possibly could about the inner workings of the White House. He often invited me into his office at the end of the day and told me everything that happened behind the scenes. That was a great experience.

Then I enrolled at George Washington University, where I earned an MBA degree. After that, I went to work for Senator Mondale on his presidential campaign. I got a seat on his airplane for three months. I didn’t miss a single flight.

Q: 1984.

JR: Yup. I even flew the plane. It was a Boeing-727. We had the same plane and the same crew for three months. The pilot put me in the pilot’s seat and let me fly the plane over Montana. Don’t tell anybody about that.

Q: No, I won’t tell anyone. (laughter)

JR: After the campaign, I found employment at the Federal Reserve Board for three years. Then I worked for presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in his campaign.

Q: I am beginning to think you are a Democrat…(laughter)

JR: You know, I worked for political campaigns and then had to find things to do in between them. But at the end of the Dukakis campaign I gave it up and got a job as a consultant for Federal Express. I worked at FedEx as a computer consultant for about ten years.

Q: When did you start that?

JR: That was in 1988. So I did that until 1996 and then went to the Internal Revenue Service as a consultant, working on their first batch of on-line filing systems. My achievement consisted in introducing the concept of on-line filing to the IRS. That lasted until 2006. I have been mostly retired since then.

Q: Let’s return for a moment to the period before your arrival in Washington. How did your family find its way to New Britain to begin with?

JR: My father’s family comes from the southwestern part of Connecticut, from Waterbury. His mother’s family name was Platt. They even had a US senator. My mother’s family came from Wisconsin. Before that, they came from Wales, so I consider myself to be Welsh. My mother’s father, my grandfather, invented the airplane carburetor used in WWII. He did it in such a way that the pressure in the fuel combustion chamber was so great that water in the fuel—there was always some contamination—couldn’t stall the engine. Hermann Goering wanted my grandfather to come to Germany and called him on the phone. My grandfather wouldn’t take the call. He said “I don’t want to talk to that man.

Q: So, this is around 1935.

JR: He started a factory, which eventually became a part of Colt Industries. It is now part of another company called something like “Richland”. One of my best friends from college now supplies them with parts.

Q: What was your degree in college?

JR: Psychology and Art.

Q: Did you learn languages along the way?

JR: Not at all. I tried to learn German after I started getting involved in the ASCA exchange program, but I have never really spoken another language. I did study Spanish in high school for a while, but I was never very good at it.

Q: What about your father and his work.

JR: My dad is quite well known in the business of reflective engineering. He invented a product called reflexite. If you drive through a construction site and see the orange cones, you will notice that they have a white stripe around them. That white stripe reflects light; my dad invented that. It is a vinyl plastic that has been molded with cube corners embedded in it. Dad—with my help—engineered how to make the cube corners so that they reflected light exactly back to where it came from. I used to hold cardboard containers with mirrors at the end of our driveway and dad would be sitting in the car, sipping his Scotch, the heater going full blast. (laughter) We did that from 1965-1970. He is now very famous; he started a business that became the largest competitor to Scotch Bright—3M. The business was eventually sold to a German company.

Q: So, your dad owns patents.

JR: Oh yes. He holds about 50 patents. He also invented the procedure for producing plexi-glass

Q: You have siblings, I think.

JR: I have a sister, Jean, who is an art therapist and lives near Princeton, New Jersey. My younger brother, Bill, lives in this area and is a patent attorney. My brother, Mickey, is the youngest. He lives on Nantucket Island and runs an architecture firm and designs summer houses and also business locations.

Q: It must have been a great family to grow up with. Let’s turn to the 1990s. Were you living in Arlington then?

JR: I was living in Arlington near the corner of Pershing Drive and Monroe Street. I was married at the time to a woman named Joy Gatewood. She had a son who was six years old when we met. He became the first exchange student in the Arlington-Aachen exchange program. And that is how I became involved in the Arlington Sister City Association.

Q: Did you say his name?

JR: Eric Eshleman. And he went to Aachen twice. The first time was in 1995 or 1996. On one of Eric’s exchange visits to Aachen, one of the chaperones was the daughter of US Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia. Her name was Mary Scalia, now with a married name. Eric was told he had to sit next to her on the airplane, which was a little bit tortuous for him.

Q: Next to the “teach”.

JR: We got to know Mary Scalia very well and she was delightful. The second chaperone was a German woman who was married to someone who worked in the State Department.

Q: That was the mid-90s. It sounds like you really enjoyed the experience.

JR: When you sent a child, you subsequently received a child from Aachen, so we did hosting as well.

Q: Was that your first hosting experience?

JR: No. Joy and I hosted a French girl earlier. That experience was borne of my brother’s hosting another French girl. That girl had a friend who was looking for a home-stay and we agreed to take her on. She eventually married a friend whom she met while she was with us. They now live in Toronto.

Q: I see that these exchanges could have consequences…

JR: I have actually been responsible for several marriages. So my stepson, Eric, went to Germany twice. Then, in 1996, Joy decided that we should host on a full-year program, so she contacted Youth For Understanding. We found a girl from Dresden, exactly Eric’s age, and we hosted her for a year. They were in the same class at Washington Lee High School in Arlington. Her name was Julia Heroldt. She comes back to visit occasionally; we have become very good friends. I have gotten to know her parents, who are my age, and have been to visit them in Germany several times. These things grow. You end up with networks and it is quite exciting.

Q: One of the things I am trying to puzzle out is John McCracken’s role.

JR: That is a long story. His career was with the US Department of Labor. He was the guy who decided what the annual statistics were.  He was in charge of a division. It was a huge job and he got a lot of press. One aspect of his job was to host international counterparts. They had guests from all over the world. John used to go out to Dulles Airport two or three times a month to meet people and then introduce them to Washington and the US Government. He did it with panache. He really loved what he did and his family did, too. His wife was a retired school teacher in Arlington County. She also loved this life. I got to know both of them quite well.

Q: Do you know how he came to the Arlington Sister City Association.

JR: I think it was Ellen Bozman on the Arlington County Board decided that Arlington should have a sister city association. She knew John McCracken and knew that he had experience with international visitors and came to the conclusion that he should be the guy. He, in turn, recruited a few other people: Karl Liewer and Karl van Newkirk. He recruited around ten people for a committee. This was after the first committee chairman, Dick Carver, stepped down after a short tenure. John McCracken was the right person for the job. He was already involved in other county programs. John was aware of the sister city initiative and already participating as a substitute committee head in 1993. He became the official committee head in 1994-1995. He was already running the committee when my stepson, Eric, went to Aachen. He organized opportunities for the returning Arlington students to give speeches about what they did. It was in that context that I met him for the first time.

Q: It sounds like John McCracken was especially attentive to detail and exhibited a flair for program development and implementation.

JR: Totally. And he recruited me.

Q: How did that transpire?

JR: It was because of Eric. He knew that I was Eric’s stepfather; he saw that I was interested.

Q: We were talking about John McCracken recruiting you.

JR: Yes, it was very natural, because we had talked about Eric’s having gone to Aachen on the first exchange. He said, “Well, wouldn’t you like to be part of the committee that organizes this?” I said, “Yeah, for sure.” I liked the idea. I had already been a member of another Arlington committee, the Arlington Community Services Board, which deals with mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse. I had done that for six years from 1980-1986. In that time I had gotten to know the County Board members. I was just out of the White House, so I had been working on political campaigns. I had also volunteered to work on County Board political campaigns during that time.

Q: So you just knew a lot of people.

JR: That’s right. I was very well known in the county. I still know most of the county board members. I don’t know them all that well.

Q: What were you recruited to do for ASCA by John McCracken?

JR: They wanted me to help organize the programs for visiting students from Aachen. That entailed recruiting host families and setting up opportunities for them to do things. I was good at that and liked it. I did something similar for our French exchange student. Joy and I had then moved on to hosting German and Japanese exchange students. We were doing this all the time. At this time, I was consulting for FedEx only sporadically. I told John I was willing to take on more responsibility and he suggested I organize the Aachen high school exchange inbound group.  “Great!” I said, “I’ll do it.” Joy asked “Are you sure?” (laughter) We did it well.

Q: How many participated?

JR: We would host about twelve to eighteen at a time and would send about nine to twelve. It was harder to recruit on our end; not everybody wanted to go to Germany. Aachen had no trouble finding willing candidates. So there was some asymmetry in the exchange. It went well nevertheless. The host families enjoyed hosting. We made sure of that. We had barbeques in my back yard almost every other night. We would go to Mount Vernon, where a tour had been arranged and enjoyed a reserved luncheon in a dining room with waiting staff in costume. We usually got them into a Congressman’s office for a discussion and photo-op. A tour was arranged for them in one of the Smithsonian museums. We never managed to get them into the White House, though that would have been a stretch under any circumstances. The irony is that I used to work in the White House and could get anybody in at that time.

Q: In a shoe box somewhere do you have a written program or planning grid?

JR: We just literally made it up as we went along. Once they had arrived, if we didn’t have something scheduled, we would just ask them what they wanted to do, and we would do it. Sometimes we went to places like Harper’s Ferry or Annapolis. It was very ad hoc.

Q: There is something to be said for spontaneity.

JR: It was seasonal. The Aachen students came in April and our students went to Germany in July. That was a factor. If the cherry blossoms were out, we did that. In Germany they would have a Fourth of July festival.

Q: There were some other special occasions. I have seen press clippings about your participation in a Charlemagne Prize ceremony in Aachen. Tell us about that.

JR: There were actually two events in Aachen that I organized and took charge of. One was a commemoration of the 9/11 events. Aachen sent to Arlington $15,000 to benefit victims in Arlington. By then I was chairman of ASCA. It was my job to figure out how to spend this money. I approached Arlington’s superintendent of schools seeking advice. He suggested that I talk to the principal of an elementary school in a ghetto area adjacent to the Pentagon. Her husband, an intelligence analyst at the Pentagon on 9/11 was killed on that tragic day there. The superintendent said “why don’t you take her and some of her children and another teacher to Aachen.” It was a perfect idea. I went to meet her. She was extremely gracious and very enthusiastic about it. It was exactly what I would have wanted. But I didn’t expect this from the encounter. I expected to see a grieving widow. It was an entirely uplifting experience. She said “Here’s my teacher; here are six underprivileged students” from poor families. None of them had passports. Part of the fund went towards getting them passports. We purchased their airline tickets. We also paid for tickets for the Arlington senior high school orchestra. There were 45 of them, plus family members who wanted to accompany them. The situation was potentially fraught, which made me uncomfortable. What if some of these students realized that they are dealing with a victim—the school principal—and are overwhelmed? Arlington County had set up in its mental health department an entity called the resilience program. I visited the head of the program and made a request for two psychologists. “No problem,” she said. So they were included. Next, I got young people my age to serve as chaperones. Then I made sure that they all got to know each other ahead of time, attending rehearsals and so forth. I designed this to be as foolproof as possible. We even set up an emergency contingency fund, just in case something went wrong. In the event, we had planned for every contingency, but everything went perfectly.

Q: So, there was a concert.

JR: It took place in Aachen’s municipal concert hall, an enormous building in the city center. It was filled to capacity. Everybody in the city attended. It was a combined orchestra—the youth orchestra of Aachen joined Arlington’s and rehearsed for a week together. I brought two videographers from the Arlington County television network to document this thing. They taped all the rehearsals and the concert. I edited the tapes and made a video from them, which I have somewhere and will provide in due course.

Q: It would be wonderful to see.

JR: You can probably get it from Arlington Cable Television. The piece continues to be broadcast occasionally. I created a story out of the experience, entitling the work “Speaking the Same Language.” It is all about the rehearsals, the directors, the conductors at work and with each other. The mayor of Aachen speaks in it. The work reveals why and how the group came to work together and what they produced.  That was the beginning of my videography career.

Q: When did this happen and who were your counterparts?

JR: We were in Aachen in June, 2002.

Q: You pulled this together very quickly.

JR: Yes. It was short notice and we did a lot of work. On the Aachen side, Paula Niemitz pulled the various strings together. She is from Arizona and went to MIT, then married a German and relocated to Aachen. She found all the host families for everybody—a group of 80 visitors. I purchased the airline tickets. The Arlington Gazette sent reporters with us and they filed their story with the message that Jim Rowland was on a suicide mission (laughter): “He is standing in the airport at the United Airlines ticket counter and he has 75 tickets in a packet and he is hoping that 75 people exactly will come and take these tickets.” And they did! The next most important thing on my agenda was to find my own seat on the airplane and wait for the drinks cart. We occupied the whole airplane. Once aboard the Boeing 767, we had an announcement made. The pilot came back and met everybody and the flight attendants came around giving us special attention. It couldn’t have gone any better. There was one bad boy in the group. His father apologized to me after running up a large bill on my cell phone.

Q: How was it that you were catapulted from your first role as organizer of the inbound group to chairman of ASCA?

JR: By then I was already on the ASCA board and was serving as vice-chairman for about two years. During that time I organized all the student groups.

Q: That was 1997-1999?

JR: Yeah, that’s right. Then about 2001 or 2002 they made me chairman. John McCracken was fading a little bit. John did something else, too. He promoted me as a speaker about ASCA to the service committees—like the Kiwanis Club, the Lions, Rotary, and the others. He got me on the agenda of all these groups. I did the luncheon circuit. Every time I did that I brought along a student who had been on one of the trips. I would brief the student to just tell it like it was and it was always just perfect. I often took Regine Folson; she was a cello player in the orchestra. He mother was on the ASCA board. I made sure that we got as much publicity as we could.

Q: What about the Russian librarian?

JR: After I became chairman, there was a woman in the county, Sandra MacDonald, who worked for AED. AED was connected with Sister Cities International (SCI). SCI wanted to find sister city organizations throughout the country that would host groups of six Russian librarians. Each group would come with a grant of $12,000 for expenses associated with hosting. You would find host families for them and organize programs relevant to their profession. I volunteered for this through Sandy. We did it three times and so collected $12,000 three times, which is more money than sister cities ever got in donations or raised on its own. The three groups came over a period of about 18 months and I usually got three or four weeks notice for the next group. I was good at it. We always had a day at Mount Vernon and a visit to the Library of Congress, of course. We did the Capitol and usually the American Museum of Natural History, because it had a special library of rare books on birdlife. There was always a day at the National Archives and a fun day out in nature, usually Great Falls. The program was run under the auspices of the Library of Congress, not the State Department.

Q: Where did the grant go?

JR: It went into ASCA’s general fund.

Q: Before I forget or we run out of time, let’s turn our attention to another activity in which you were involved, the Karlpreis (The Charlemagne International Peace Prize of Aachen). I have a press clip reporting that you received the cash prize for ASCA that went with the award given to President Bill Clinton. I would really like to hear about that.

JR: That was my idea. What happens is that every year the city of Aachen makes an award to a prominent person, usually the prime minister of a European country, citing the contribution that person has made to the peace and unity of Europe. Many famous people have won this prize, including a few Americans: General (later Secretary of State) George C. Marshall, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and President Bill Clinton. British prime minister Tony Blair was the prize recipient in 1999, the year before Clinton. Blair’s citation was for creating peace in Ireland. Clinton was also cited for his work in Northern Ireland, in addition to his contribution to peace in the Balkans, former Yugoslavia.

The prize committee sent a letter to the White House in an envelope, which somebody opened and put on the stack of many other envelopes. No one ever read it. Eventually, the mayor of Aachen called John McCracken and said “what’s the deal here? We sent you an envelope to the White House…Didn’t anybody read it?” (laughter) John McCracken told me about his conversation with Mayor Linden and asked me what we should do about the envelope, sensing that I might have some insight from my White House days. “Oh, I know what to do about that,” I said. Indeed, having worked there, I did know what to do about that. I phoned the White House and asked to speak to the lowest ranking press aide in the National Security Council. I got through. And that was enough. I said “There’s an envelope. Tony Blair got this thing last year. Clinton is going to get it this year. You have to come up with a reason for Clinton to go to Europe.” He responded: “I can do that.”  We exchanged phone numbers and I carried on a phone conversation with this guy for a couple of weeks. We got Virginia Senator Charles Robb to go talk to Clinton and say…”there’s an envelope.” Clinton said “Oh, OK!” So all the dots started to connect and sooner or later that National Security Council staff at higher levels came to the conclusion that, yes, he does need to go to Europe, and here’s why: there’s a G7 in Lisbon, he hasn’t seen German Chancellor Schrőder in a long time and he has to visit Putin. So we might as well make the Schrőder visit in Aachen and get the prize.

So I worked out all the details.

Q: The date had to be changed, right?

JR: Right. The Karl Preis is always given out on the religious holiday of Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Thursday), which is normally in early May. But Clinton said he couldn’t do it on that day; that it had to be on June 2nd. So Mayor Linden said, well OK, whatever you want. So the date was changed. For a week or two before the actual date, the Secret Service and U.S. Army occupied Aachen. Miles of special tape was used. Residues can still be found. They called it “Clinton tape.” They covered every manhole and every postbox and every telephone box. They put this stuff everywhere, so that nobody could get into anything. All the TV organizations strung cables over buildings, though tunnels and everywhere. The whole city was transformed for this event. In order to get into the center of the city on this day, you had to have a special pass and submit to metal detectors and the like. Of course, John McCracken and I got front row seats.

It was the best speech. Clinton was fantastic. But the mayor of Aachen was superior. It was the best speech he has ever given. Schrőder was OK. It was quite an event. It was blazing hot. They were passing out water bottles to everyone.

Q: Usually, the prize is given in the coronation chamber of the town hall.

JR: This time, it was in a pavilion in an outdoor park. Secret Service snipers were perched on every rooftop everywhere you looked. It was very impressive. Anybody allowed into this park had to have a pass and go through metal detectors and then you had this site you would never forget. After it was all over, John McCracken and I were hustled into a city hall meeting room. Mayor Linden and President Clinton came in and greeted us. So the one time I met Clinton was in Aachen. It came about because I wanted this to happen and knew how to make it happen.

Q: Not many people could say that. But the one other angle to this is that you managed to get the prize money for ASCA. How did that happen?

JR: Correct. The Karlspreis is a sum of money. The awardee receives the money and is free to do whatever she or he wants to do with it. Traditionally, honorees have donated it to a cause connected to the maintenance of the buildings associated with Charlemagne in Aachen. Clinton was induced to give it to the Arlington Sister City Association.

Q: Did that initiative come from him?

JR: Somebody told him to do it. I am guessing that Senator Charles Robb told him to do that. Perhaps someone in the White House suggested it. But I got the credit for it

Q: As well you should. (laughter)

JR: If you look at Bill Clinton’s website, there is a page about him getting the Karlspreis. There was no public acknowledgement, but people in Arlington remembered that I was the one who made it happen.

As a result of all of this, Mayor Linden and I became very good friends. He came to Arlington once near the end of his term. We took him to visit U.S. Congressman Jim Moran. And Representative Moran took us down onto the floor of the House of Representatives. Not many people get to do that.

Q: You need a flak jacket to do that now…

JR: Right! But Oberbürgermeister Jürgen Linden and I became good friends. I visited and became acquainted with this family. In fact, I hosted his son once

Q: Was he part of an exchange group?

JR: No, he was a law student and was doing an internship at a local law firm…it might have been Jack Melnick’s law firm. Joy and I knew that and took him out for a day.

Q: So, you were the last member of the first ASCA board.

JR: Well, I might have been the first member of the last board. (laughter) I mean, it was a transitional period. There were a number of new board members. I appointed at least four of them while I was president. In fact, because of Harry Amos, I had to change the title of the head of the board from president to chairman. Harry wanted to be the president of the Reims committee, because from a French perspective, being president is more important than being chairman. It was a question of semantics. So I said “Okay, whatever you want.”

Q: You changed the Bylaws to accommodate that request.

JR: That’s right. So, while John McCracken was the president of the Arlington Sister City Association, I was the chairman, so that Harry could be the president of the Reims committee.

Q: I am curious about the final phase of John McCracken’s service. We know that he passed away in 2003.

JR: I was the last person to see him. I went to pay him a visit at the hospital. He had just had a knee replacement.  The nurse finally asked me to leave. No one else saw him. He died unexpectedly that night.

Q: He was fading a bit…

JR: He just wasn’t as sharp as he used to be. Everybody loved John McCracken. He was fun. You just couldn’t help it. He was just a fun person to be with. No one would ever say anything. But John Melnick wanted me to be chairman. And John McCracken was totally in agreement. He really was ready. He wanted me to do it

Q: I am trying to establish when that occurred.

JR: It was in June, 2002.

Q: Just after you had pulled together the massive 9/11 commemorative event in Aachen.

JR: Yes.

Q: You probably had a halo then…

JR: Right. I was enjoying it. (laughter) I was good friends with the editors and staff writers of the Arlington Gazette.

Q: Were you also involved with the San Miguel sister city relationship

JR: Well, you know the Arlington County Board member, Walter Tejada.

Q: Sure.

JR: Well, when he ran for County Board, I was a bit hesitant to support him, because I didn’t know him that well. After he was elected, he said “we are going to have a sister city in El Salvador.” To which my response was “if you say so.” (laughter) You know: you’re a County Board member and who am I. So I said “which city?” His answer was San Miguel. “Why don’t you come down there with me and we’ll do some signing…” I said “that isn’t exactly how it works.” So I went to the chairman of Sister Cities International and said “here’s the situation; how do you handle this?” His response: you organize a committee, you go there, and you sign a preliminary agreement. That agreement specifies the emergent relationship. You know: education, sports, internships, government exchanges, all these things. He spelled it all out, I took copious notes, I came back to our board and said “this is what we are going to do. Who wants to go?” A lot of people said yes, I’d love to go to El Salvador.

So, we got a group together and I went to Walter Tejada and said “here it is, let’s go!” And he said “that’s great!” He didn’t get it that now we were going to be sister cities. He just got that we were going to organize a preliminary signing. We got about 10 people signed up to make this trip. We all went together and I returned early with Walter, too.

Our counterparts in San Miguel had a very special reception for us, with a parade and everything.

Q: What year was that?

JR: September 2005. It was very hot, I remember that. Every time I stepped outside, I immediately broke into a sweat. Everything went perfectly. A year later, I was off the board. My time was done.

Q: Aside from Walter, were other El Salvadorans associated with this initiative?

JR: Yes. There’s a guy who owns a restaurant on Columbia Pike and became the president of the San Miguel committee. We used to have our meetings in that restaurant.

We’ve had several sports (soccer) exchanges; we’ve had youth exchanges. I don’t know what else has happened, because I left the board about that time. I do know that the San Miguel committee president did an extraordinarily good job at recruiting other people. It has become the most active of all ASCA city committees. Aachen used to be the most active, but I think the San Miguel committee is now the most active

In 2007 I had another experience. I went to Reims to represent Arlington at the Jean d’Arc festival. My companion was my former exchange student, Julia, from Dresden. She had also been an exchange student to Reims from Dresden when she was still in high school. We were treated to a grand dinner in the caves of Veuve Clicquot. Julia and I sat next to each other and she taught me how to behave at a banquet of this sort.

Q: We are trying to put together a commemorative event for the outbreak of the First World War.

JR: I do have some material for that. You have spoken to Harry Amos?

Q: I have indeed.

JR: Then you know that we organized an event at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the moment at which the American unknown soldier was chosen. Judith and I made a brochure for that event. I served as the photographer, too.

Q: We are trying to build on the triangular relationship we have between Arlington, Aachen and Reims this year. We have a SisterBike journey in planning to connect the two cities via Verdun.

JR: I’d like to sign off with the comment that having had the honor of serving as ASCA chairman has been a highlight of my life—that includes working for Carter and Mondale and all of that. It was a huge opportunity I wish anyone could enjoy.

Q: We treasure your civic spirit. We know that this activity only lives because there are people like you that will give of their talents and time to make it happen. We thank you for this interview.