Click . In this picture is David, opening for that first time in Georgetown. It glowed from the attention. Remember?
"How do you like the show?" David Hume Kennerly asked just about everybody who squashed into Harry Lunn's gallery last night.
A lot, said his guests. Kennerly liked it best. "I'm just pleased to the extreme," said this Pulitzer Prize winner and former White House photographer. And why not? His photojournalism, ranging from Vietnam, the White House and Guyana, is now hanging on gallery walls as art. One picture of Anwar Sadat at Giza sells for $1,500, which is considerably more than Kennerly made per week in the old days at UPI.
Click . In this picture is David, having dinner with Betty. He loved being friends with the Fords. Remember?
"I had dinner with Mrs. Ford on Monday night in L.A.," Kennerly told a group of well-wishers, also there to celebrate the publication of "shooter," his new autobiography. "We ate at La Maison. Great meal. Chi-chi joint."
Kennerly, whose art-opening outfit included faded blue jeans, a tweedy jacket and one bourbon and soda, continued with his intimate glimpse of the mighty.
"Mrs. Ford said they were in their den watching television, you know, Jerry there puffing on his pipe in front of the tube, and all of a sudden a reporter came on and said, 'Betty Ford says Jerry Ford won't run for president,' and Ford said, 'Wait a minute, I didn't say that.' It created a minor uproar, I guess."
Click . Here's David, in that bar in California. Remember? With Pat. Remember?
"It was the time we chased the plane across the runway," said Patrick Anderson, author and friend of Kennerly's from their travels with Ford. He was just one of the pack of old friends and photographers who told "remember when" stories last night.
What happened in California was this: Anderson and Kennerly were drinking in some bar in some city they can't remember the name of, and then, oh god, they looked at their watches. The flight was almost gone. They literally ran across the runway, absolutely terrified that the Secret Service would deem them lunatics and shoot. But they lived. They made it alive.
"Ford said, 'Ho, ho, ho, where have you been, Dave?' and that sort of thing," Anderson remembered.
And then there was the time in Bulgaria, Huh?
"Yeah, what about the one with the masseuse in Bugaria?" Margaret O'Donnell asked her husband Terry last night.
Terry O'Donnell, Ford's former appointments secretary, looked blank.
"Are you being dumb for some reason?" his wife asked.
"David was not around for that occasion," her husband responded. $"Oh, said Margaret O'Donnell. "Sorry."
Click . Here's David in front of the house on P Street with Paula.
"Jesus," said Kennerly last night, "since I was in the White House, I've been with the same lady. But nobody writes about that. It doesn't turn anybody on. Well, it turns me on."
The lady is Paula Ahalt, who's been around for three and a half years. A good deal longer, certainly, than the others -- Candice Bergen and Susan Ford among them -- that Kennerly was linked with. He insisted his image as brash playboy was a figment of the press.
"I think my reputation stems from the fact that I was a single man who wasn't afraid to go out with different people," he said.
Click . And here's David, just David. His self-portrait from the White House. Remember?
Henry Kissinger has said that Kennerly's ego is bigger than his. And last night, Kennerly readily supplied anyone with a camera or pencil, a smile and a well-turned phrase.
"Ambassador Ghorbal had a good remark," Kennerly said, referring to the envoy from Egypt. "Someone asked me if I got to take my picture of Sadat through Ghorbal, and Ghorbal said, 'No -- David gets to him when I don't.'"
And a final Kennerly-supplied anecdote:
"Somebody was questioning the price of that Nixon picture," Kennerly said meaning his photograph of the former president waving goodbye on the day he resigned. "And I said, 'Isn't it worth a thousand bucks just to see him go?'"
Kennerly smiled. "That could be the final line of your story," he said.