As I sat down later at the committee's afternoon meeting , Dick Slusser, a Summit County commissioner, seemed puzzled. "What are you doing here?" he asked, innocently. "Nothing ever happens at these meetings."
"Just stay awake, Dick," I said. "I think something will happen today to liven things up."
Waddell presided over the routine business until he'd run through the regular agenda. Then came his startling notice that he was giving up his job and recommending the party's loyal young gadabout, Alex Arshinkoff, to replace him. (Arshinkoff's name had been passed down by Ray Bliss, who was trying to pump some young blood into the operation at headquarters.)
Some of the local achievers, including Mayor John Ballard, at the meeting were outraged by Waddell's summary call for an endorsement of Arshinkoff and demanded a postponement until they could find a candidate more to their liking. They even sent emissaries to Arshinkoff to persuade him to step aside when a new meeting to elect Waddell's successor was scheduled. Fat chance. (No pun intended!) After weeks of delay, Arshinkoff won the job.
What a change, at least in style points: Waddell was largely a soft-spoken, avoid-the-limelight lawyer who carefully avoided controversy at all costs by not going out of the lines. Arshinkoff moved into the role like a thousand cossacks, never more than a day or two free of controversy.
The rest is history.