Our regular programming is pre-empted tonight to bring you a special prime-time show. In the final episode of our made-for-media story, we turn the cameras on one of our own, William S. Paley, 81, chairman of CBS Inc., as he is being honored on behalf of the Spanish people for taking care of the famous Picasso mural, "Guernica."
The show, shot at a Washington party, which looks at Paley's contribution to art, is brought to you by the ambassador of Spain, His Excellency Jose Llado. And now, a word from our sponsor:
"Today, you are going to be witness to what I believe is the last chapter of a very interesting story: the saga of the 'Guernica.' The story started 44 years ago in 1937 with the commission of Picasso by the Spanish goverment for a painting for the world's fair in Paris. Since 1937, up to today, many things have happened to that painting."
And now back to our program in progress. The scene is the ambassador's residence--a crisp, shiny, elegant setting where guests speak in Spanish, French and English about yacht races, trips around the world, art and television.
The camera rests on a younger, bearded William C. Paley, age 34.
"I mean, look at him over there . . . smiling and talking . . . it's his charm . . . " Bill Paley says, watching his father. Paley, pe're, chairman of the Museum of Modern Art, is guest of honor.
Cut to station break: Llado presents the Gran Cruz de Isabel la Catolica, Spain's highest civil award, to Paley. " The 'Guernica' got a home here, in a wonderful place, in New York, in your house, Mr. Paley, the Museum of Modern Art."
Camera cuts to supporting members of cast seated at the six tables surrounding Paley. The cast includes: Robert Dickey, chairman and president of DRAVO Corp.; Sen. Charles Percy (R-Ill.); Sen. Henry Jackson (D-Wash.); Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.); Alejandro Orfila, secretary-general of the Organization of American States; William H. Draper, president of the Export-Import Bank; Thomas G. LaBrecque, president of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and David Lloyd Kreeger, president of the Corcoran Gallery.
"Mr. Paley," Llado says, "you made it possible for the last exile to come back to Spain."
Photographers and television crew rush in to snap shots of Paley as he dons his yellow-and-white sash, part of the award.
"Like all artistic masterpieces, the 'Guernica' is not only paint on canvas, it's a symbol of the pain and pity and the horrors of war," Paley says, "And as a symbol, it's one of the great paintings in history."
Paley, Llado and guests end with a toast to the president of the United States. Guests glide into the living room to talk over the Big Event.
"There's no one more deserving than Paley," says J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery, before switching to a discussion on Costa Rican art.
"It was a very moving speech," says Percy of Paley's acceptance speech.
"I've known Paley for years," says Orfila. "But I'm not so interested in talking with him about art, as about politics."
Now the room is almost empty. The camera catches Paley, sash off, in a corner talking to a reporter about retirement.
Paley says, "That's a word I never think of."
Lights, Camera, Fade.