March 3, 2008 - 10:00 pm
Compromise wasn’t in Harry Reid‘s vocabulary while growing up.
In Nevada mining towns, you learned to fight first and talk later.
Even if you were taking on the son of your elementary schoolteacher or your future father-in-law.
The U.S. Senate majority leader doesn’t pull any punches about his brawling reputation in his upcoming autobiography "The Good Fight — Hard Lessons From Searchlight to Washington."
The schoolteacher’s son annoyed Reid one time too many.
"He knew his mother would always treat him differently and this delighted him to no end," Reid said. "One day I’d had enough … Right there in the classroom, I beat the crap out of the kid, in front of all the other students and his own mother. I did such a good job beating him up that I broke my hand on his hard head … It hurt, but I was still pretty happy."
When he informed his father, Reid said he "wasn’t bothered at all that I had started the fight … He simply said, ‘Next time, keep your fist closed.’ That was it. No doctor, no ice … I got into a lot of fights after that, and I always kept my fist closed."
Reid took up boxing in high school at Henderson, he writes, "so that I could channel my brawling instincts into something more respectable. But in the meantime, I got myself into more fights."
The battle royale came when he was a college freshman. He and his high school girlfriend, Landra Gould, were still seeing each other, much to the chagrin of her chiropractor dad, who despised Reid because he wasn’t Jewish, according to the book.
"College hadn’t cooled the relationship, it had intensified it. We were going to be together and there was nothing her father could do about it. Of course he didn’t see it that way. She was living under his roof."
The father met Reid at the door and told him to stay away from his daughter.
"I was there to pick her up," Reid writes, "and he was blocking my way, talking too much. He started pushing, and I threw a punch, and then the whole mess spilled out into the front yard.
"It wasn’t a fair fight — he was smaller than I was … I turned around and found Landra by my side. We got in that car and we took off."
They eloped in 1959 when she was 19 and he was 20. They will celebrate their 50th anniversary next year.
At the UAW-Dodge 400 NASCAR race Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: NFL Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, country stars Blake Shelton and Danielle Peck, Mayor Oscar Goodman, Pro Bowl kicker Shayne Graham of the Cincinnati Bengals, 1955 Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine, automaking legend Carroll Shelby, Smashmouth frontman Steve Harwell, and Carrot Top. … At Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Saturday: NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, model/actress Angie Harmon and her husband, Jason Sehorn, ESPN’s Marty Smith, and Mark and Tammy Dyer, former owners of the NASCAR Cafe (Sahara). … Regis and Joy Philbin, celebrating their 38th anniversary at Picasso (Bellagio) and the Danny Gans Show (Mirage) on Saturday. They met when both were working with "The Joey Bishop Show." … Rapper Fabolous, performing a one-hour set Saturday at Poetry nightclub (Forum Shops at Caesars). Also at Poetry: Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter and former NBA standout Gary Payton. … At Pure nightclub (Caesars Palace) on Saturday: New York Giants star Michael Strahan, poker player Jamie Gold and MTV reality stars Brody Jenner and Frankie Delgado. … At LAX nightclub (Luxor) on Saturday: Illusionist Criss Angel, NFL players Brandon Lloyd (Washington Redskins) and Brandon Johnson (Arizona Cardinals), and former NBA star Payton. … Choreographer Trace Ayala, dining Saturday at Company American Bistro (Luxor). … At Hogs & Heifers on Saturday: Poker stars Doyle and Todd Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Clonie Gowen. … Members of music group Mighty Mighty Bosstones, stopping by Ghostbar (Palms) on Saturday. … "American Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe, dining Saturday at N9NE steakhouse (Palms). … Pittsburgh Steelers teammates Willie Parker and Casey Hampton Jr., stopping by the Playboy Club (Palms) and Moon nightclub (Palms) on Saturday with ex-Steeler Clark Haggans.
THE PUNCH LINE
"Great day for Katie Holmes! Rumor has it she is expecting again. She told a friend she expects to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet. She may be just talking about Tom Cruise." — Craig Ferguson
Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or [email protected] Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.