Wednesday, June 08, 2005 | By MARGO SCHWAB

Because of Watergate, I could have had Prom Night at the White House. Here’s the background. Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in October 1973. It was December 1973 though when things went up a notch at my school back east – a girl’s school more specifically.

There were bomb checks on campus, and the arrival of Secret Service around fellow student Susan Ford. We felt like we knew who was becoming vice president before the nation … and we did. You got it – Gerald Ford.

Everyone followed the news, in particular the Watergate investigations by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two Washington Post reporters. For comic relief, there was Doonesbury.

As ties started to link President Nixon to Watergate, Judge John Sirica was named to preside over a possible impeachment of the president in 1974. Our girl’s school take was catching sneak glimpses of the judge when his daughter performed gymnastics for a Madrigal performance. “Wow, that’s the guy in the news!” we were thinking.

There were also big thanks to Susan for ensuring cute Secret Service visuals everywhere.

My family moved west that summer. I had the choice of staying east and boarding or a new school in the sunshine state. That was an easy choice for a teenager.

Nixon resigned in August, and soon I got my first former school friend visitor. Red-headed Sandy Sidey came out to visit while her father, former Time magazine writer, Hugh Sidey, went to San Clemente to do a follow up story on Nixon.

As Gerald Ford’s family had their first year living at the White House, I had a twinge of boarding school regret when I heard about my former school’s prom plans. It was not only to be at the White House, but the Beach Boys were playing! Dang, how cool is that?

Flashing forward to the 1990s, I meet Alex Butterfield, good friend of Audrey Geisel (a.k.a. Mrs. Dr. Seuss), at one of the many functions she supports. We talk about backgrounds. Alex talks a little bit of his years as deputy aide to Nixon.

Now that the real Deep Throat, W. Mark Felt, has emerged, can’t you just hear those Hollywood writers at work right now on All the President’s Men Part II?

Liquid Nation Ball II, surfers using their brains for a cause

Here in the U.S., Mentawi was first known as a destination for great waves for surfers. Now SurfAid International, whose founder and chief is Dr. Dave Jenkins, is working to eradicate disease from the Mentawi Islands with a particular focus on malaria.

Jenkins has been joined by a surfing who’s who. For this year’s Liquid Nation Ball, the honorary chair is Kelly Slater. He’s the guy who has survived two major romances with Pam Anderson and a whole lot of massive overhead waves.

Also “on board” are the Reef Company brothers Santiago (Liquid Nation Ball’s founder) and Fernando Aguerres. (Reef manufactures sandals, shoes and clothing worldwide.) These two are smart businessmen who recently sold their company for more than $100 million. Others involved with the Liquid Nation Ball are the Aguerres’ wives Cecilia and Vicky; Big Wave legends Laird Hamilton and Greg Noll; top pro surfer Rob Machado of North County; actress and nouveau surfer Minnie Driver.

Like last year, the event will be at Vicky and Fernando’s modern and massive oceanfront home in La Jolla. This is a great chance to see Fernando’s amazing surfboard collection. If you would like to learn more about the Liquid Nation Ball, please e-mail

So how is retirement going for the Reef guys? Santiago has confessed he is hard at work on a new “project”, which is secret for now.

Baja Booming

A nice bed and breakfast is being built, and San Diegan Fred Borrelli is involved in the project. Think of it, no more scorpion checks in the sleeping bag at night time. Sounds bueno … and better already.

Margo Schwab, an alumna of the University of San Diego’s graduate business school, reports on social/charity events, celebrities, restaurants and from time to time breaking scoops. You can read more at her Web site,

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