Search
  9911 Seminole Blvd. Seminole, FL 33772       Ph. 727-397-5563   View TBN's FREE e-Edition today!  
Click here to learn more
Viewpoints Facebook Twitter
Driver's Seat
The man at the White House fence
Article published on
  Print E-Mail
 
Homeland security is tricky work. The bad guys can appear to be innocent and apple-cheeked. The innocent can look like assassins. For example: On this date in 1949 a swarthy, muscular man named Arthur Schabbe left his apartment in northwest Washington, D.C., and took a street car to a point about six blocks north of the White House. He entered a butcher shop and caught the eye of an attendant, Jimmy Perkins.

In a low voice, Schabbe said, “Do you have it ready?”

“It’s in the back.”

“I’ll come with you.”

The two men stepped through a swinging door and into a meat locker. Perkins opened a low-lying cupboard. He removed a small oval package wrapped in brown paper.

“Do you want to examine it?”

Schabbe said, “No. I trust you. Here’s your money.”

He left the butcher shop and turned south toward Pennsylvania Avenue. The time was 11:30 a.m. Somewhere a radio was playing “Nature Boy,” made famous a year earlier by Nat King Cole. Schabbe would recall all these details many years later, when I was trapped beside him on a bus ride between Toledo and Pittsburgh.

In the Oval Office, President Harry S. Truman was signing a bill that would fund a quail preserve in Oklahoma. He smiled, recalling the satisfaction he had felt the night before, during a poker game in which his full house had beaten a flush held by Treasury Secretary Fred Vinson, whose face resembled that of a bloodhound.

Arthur Schabbe arrived at the White House a few minutes before noon. He took a position against the steel fence that rimmed the south lawn. Tourists and pedestrians soon joined Schabbe. They awaited the sight of President Truman, who often took a brisk pre-lunch walk on the White House grounds.

A few moments later, Truman appeared. Schabbe felt his heart rate jump. He removed the oval package from his coat and began to unwrap it. As luck would have it, the president and his small entourage were heading toward Schabbe.

When Truman was only 50 yards away, Schabbe took the object from its wrappings and lifted it upward toward his face. At that moment, two Secret Service agents grabbed Schabbe’s arms, rendering him powerless.

Five minutes later Schabbe found himself in a small room a block west of the White House.

“Who are you?”

Schabbe told them.

“What is the meaning of this object you were pointing at the president?”

“It is a horsemeat sandwich. I had it made special for me by a butcher on 16th Street. I wanted to be the first person in my family ever to eat horsemeat in front of a U.S. president.”

Three hours later Schabbe was released. He never got to eat his sandwich, and never again tried. The President was not told about the incident.

Now you know why security work is so tough. You look for a John Hinckley, and you come up with a horsemeat sandwich.
Article published on
Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
Printable Version E-mail article
NuSmile
Community Focus Online
Featured Print Advertisers
Bell Hearing Instruments, Inc.
801 West Bay Dr., Suite 405, Largo (727) 585-2675
Factory Location
700 Stevens Ave., Oldsmar (813) 814-2355

Web site        View Ad
:)
Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity
Looking for Alumni
Contact Mark Quering
Beta Chi 1972
727-442-4768

Web site        View Ad
:)
Tarpon Springs Recreation Division
Sunset Beach Concert
Slickside, 9/3 @ 7 p.m.
(727) 942-5628

Web site        View Ad
:)
Flooring America
9012 Seminole Blvd., Seminole
(727) 397-5509
100 Patricia Ave., Dunedin
(727) 733-1356

Web site        View Ad
:)
Oakhurst & East Bay Medical
13020 Park Blvd., Seminole
(727) 393-3404
3800 East Bay Dr., Largo
(727) 539-0505

Web site        View Ad
:)
Casino Over Under

Web site        View Ad
:)
Custom Couture of Tarpon Springs
208 East Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs
(727) 238-7194

Web site        View Ad
:)
Law Office of Stephen C. Whalen, P.A.
1968 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin
(727) 726-0439
(727) 409-7347(Cell)

Web site        View Ad
:)
Tarpon Springs Merchants Association

Art & Crafts Festival
Sponge Docks, Sept. 5, 6 & 7

Web site        View Ad
:)
Five Fish Boutique
735 Dodecanese Blvd, Suite 1, Tarpon Springs
(727) 485-8660

Web site        View Ad
:)
Donna's Cleaning Angels
(727) 942-8289
Web site        View Ad
:)
NuSmile Dental
13611 Park Blvd., Suite G
Seminole
(727) 475-7866

Web site        View Ad
:)
Abbey Carpet & Floor of Largo
13120 66th St. N.
Largo
(727) 524-1445

Web site        View Ad
:)
Florida Center for Back & Neck Pain
Dr. Greg Hollstrom
11444 Seminole Blvd.
Largo
(727) 393-6100

Web site        View Ad
:)
Tampa Bay Newspapers
Online Advertising
For information, e-mail
webmaster@tbnweekly.com
:)
Online Services Directory
MEDICAL DIRECTORY   ONLINE DINING GUIDE
MEDICAL DIRECTORY ONLINE DINING GUIDE
AUTOMOTIVE GUIDE REAL ESTATE GUIDE
AUTOMOTIVE GUIDE REAL ESTATE GUIDE
Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News