Utah delegates to the Republican National Convention are achieving fleeting bits of international fame.
Just on Tuesday, for example:- Gov. Norm Bangerter was introduced from the speaker's podium by Delaware Gov. Mike Castle during the evening session with other Republican governors. Castle said Bangerter has "led the way in opening new markets abroad for American products."
- Bangerter wasn't the only Utahn at an important spot at the convention. Delegate T.H. Bell, former U.S. education secretary, spent the morning session sitting in Vice President George Bush's box. He warmed up the seats for the vice president, who arrived later in the day. Barbara Bush used the box during the evening session.
- Sen. Orrin Hatch was interviewed nationally on CNN and had a private lunch with CBS news anchor Dan Rather, CBS President Lawrence A. Tesch and their wives.
Hatch, who sponsors a reception for Utah delegates with former heavyweight champion boxer Muhammad Ali Wednesday evening, found he is also becoming famous for a professional boxing career that he never had.
USA Today - when it reported the Ali reception - said Hatch had been the captain of Brigham Young University's boxing team. Another paper said Hatch had a dozen professional fights.
"That's the biggest bunch of mythology I've ever heard," Hatch said. "I was a pretty good amateur boxer. In fact, I only lost once and had people who wanted me to be a professional. But I never was, and BYU doesn't even have a boxing team."
- Steve Densley Jr., 18, the youngest delegate at the convention, has been talking to journalists from all over the world because of his age. "I just talked to the French equivalent of Newsweek magazine. I've also talked to the BBC, Swiss TV, ABC radio, the Associated Press, CBS, CNN and all the local press."
- A group of Utah delegates also became guinea pigs for a TV experiment.
"We were taken down to Bourbon Street to see our reaction to the sin and debauchery there. We loved it," joked alternate delegate Nancy Ne-Smith. "It was fun, but you had to keep you eyes straight ahead in some of the rowdier sections." (The street is known for its strip tease parlors.)
The Utah delegation has also been receiving some interest from the Louisiana press about how the group's non-drinking Mormons react to all the drinking and partying at the convention and in New Orleans.
For example, someone obviously failed to warn a prominent Louisiana attorney who sponsored a reception for the delegates that most of them are not drinkers.
The attorney had bartenders pour whiskey into dozens of glasses so they could quickly be mixed when the delegates from Utah and Wyoming arrived. When the Utah delegation left, most of the glasses were still sitting there waiting to be mixed.
The attorney, however, did run out of Sprite and club soda. One delegate said, "He probably invited the whole block over after we left to drink the liquor he had set up."
New Orleans also had alcoholic drinks waiting for delegates when they arrived at the airport. One or two of the delegates who were off the plane first tasted it and warned the others. Hosts were embarrassed.
Also, a reception by Delta Airlines also offered the finest wines and champagnes to Utah delegates. But the most popular drink was cranberry juice on the rocks.
And on Tuesday night when other delagations were having drinks as a nightcap. the Utah delegation's has a nightcap was Snelgrove's jellybean-flavored ice cream - the same flavor ordered by President Reagan, Delegate Richard Snelgrove, who is running for Congress in the 2nd District, had the ice cream packed in dry ice and flown in.