Naughty Marietta - George Snively
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(Performed? At the GE Computer Department Reunion Raleigh, NC, October 4, 1997)


Naughty Marietta


An Odorous Drama in Three Acts



            Character                                 Who                                                   Played by

The Villain               Vern Cooper, Mgr. Mrk.GE Computers    Barney Oldfield

The Winner             Charlie Lighthauser, Ex.V.P. -Martin        George Snively

The Apologist                      Chuck Ettinger Mgr. Prod.Serv. GE                      John Couluer

The Adversary                    Bud Feely, VP Data Processing -Martin     Jim Pompa

The HERO[1]                        George Snively Mgr. Sales Financing GE   Nate Norris


The Narrator - Vic Casebolt



Act I


This act takes place in the conference room in Martin Marietta’s headquarters. Lighthauser and Feely are on one side of a conference table facing the audience.  Snively, Ettinger and Cooper sit on the other side of the table with identifying signs on their backs.


Narrator:   “You are looking in on a meeting at Martin Marietta’s headquarters in beautiful downtown Baltimore.  Representing Martin is Charlie Lighthouser the Executive VP of Martin and Bud Feely, Martin’s man in charge of the GE computers.  There were three others on Martin’s side of the table - but since they didn’t have anything to say and our table is small, we’ve left them out.   Representing the GE computer Department are Vern Cooper, Chuck Ettinger, George Snively and three others, including Cliff Sink, who also were mute and not represented here.  Some of you may find it hard to believe that Cliff Sink was mute but he couldn’t decide whose side he was on”.



Lighthauser    “Good morning gentlemen.  I trust you found your accommodations satisfactory”


All    “Good morning”


L.     “I apologize for summoning you here like this, but as you know, we’ve been encountering considerable difficulties with the GE 600 systems and we need to work together to solve the problems.”


Cooper  “General Electric is proud of it’s reputation for quality products and I assure you that our computers were designed and manufactured to the highest standards and were well tested before leaving the factory“. 


L.     “I propose that we proceed as follows: You all know Bud Feely?”


Feely.  “Good morning”


L.     “Bud will discuss the various problems that we are having with the GE 600 systems, most of which I presume you are already aware of, and then we would like to have your response.”


C.    “Our Manager of Product Service has the answer to all your problems and he will be in charge of making the few fixes that are required.  Say hello Chuck”.


Ettinger.  “Hello”.


L.     “As you know, these problems have been costing Martin Marietta a good deal of lost time and money and we would like to hear your proposal to alleviate this financial stress while we’re working through the operating problems”.


E.  “George Snively,”  (turns and looks at George)


Snively    “Good morning”


E.     “and I have prepared a proposal for an equitable sharing of the costs of the fixes.  But first, we would like to have your understanding of the problems and their magnitude.  We will then discuss our fixes for the problems. George will then prepare a financial proposal based on our mutual efforts to correct the problems”.


L.     “Fair enough.  Do you agree that we proceed in this order, Vern?”


C.    “I prefer that you refer to me as Mr. Cooper in front of my subordinates”.


L.     “Mr. Feely, you may proceed”.


F.     “Thanks, but I prefer to be called ‘Bud’.  I will discuss the hardware problems first.  We’ll get into the software problems a little later.  First, I’d like to talk about the way the tape drives shred tape….”


C.    (interrupting)  “Our tape drives shred tape quite adequately”.


(Jim & John - you may ad lib a little repartee here)

(Vic - cut them off after a minute or two)


Narrator:  “I won’t have this cast of lousy actors bore you with all the technical details of the problems and their proposed solutions that were discussed over a period of two days.   We will skip to the end of the second day and will listen to what Charlie Lighthauser is saying”


L.     I think that we have made good progress in identifying the problems and assigning responsibility for their solution. I’m sure that we will have an excellent installation if we continue to work together in the same spirit as shown in this meeting.  I’m looking forward to hearing your financial proposal tomorrow





Later that evening in the Hotel’s cocktail lounge.  Snively, Cooper and Ettinger are sitting around a table.


Narrator: “We look in upon our intrepid trio back at the hotel where they are surrounding a cocktail table to keep it from getting away.  Vern Cooper is suffering from the side effects of the great quantities of ‘medication’ which have been administered to him by the cocktail waitress.


E.     “I think the meetings are going pretty well.  Lighthauser is going to go the extra mile with us if we come up with reasonable financial concessions.  How are you doing on the numbers George?”


G.    “Good.  I figure that delaying the start of the lease until they get rid of the IBM 7094s, the reduced rentals until they become fully operational plus the assistance you’re going to provide will save them about $3 million at the start.  We can recoup our extra costs by extending the lease term by 6 ½ months”.


E.     “Do you think Lighthauser will go for it?”


G.  “Yes.  We talked about such a thing in the original lease negotiations and he thought that it was a good idea”.


C.    “Who does he think he is?  He thinks he’s so smart and a captain of American Industry”.


E.     “Who are you talking about?”


C.    “Lighthauser, that’s who.  Just because he’s in the defense business he thinks he’s got a leg up to becoming Secretary of Defense - but I’m going to beat him to it.”


G.    “Are you planning to go into politics?”


C.    “No, I plan to use GE as a stepping stone to the Defense Department like Charlie Wilson did”.


E.     “Do you want to be Secretary of Defense?”


C.    “ Yes.  I consider myself one of the ‘whiz kids’ like Robert McNamara.  Lighthauser thinks he’s one to but I’ll show him tomorrow!”.


E.     “Your joking aren’t you.”


C.    “I’ll show him tomorrow”.


The three get up and leave the stage.


Narrator: And so off to bed with Chuck and George dismissing Vern’s talk as a “boozy” fantasy.




Back in Martin’s conference room as everyone enters.  This time Lighthauser and Feely sit facing the audience.


L.     “Good morning gentlemen.  I trust that you had a restful evening.  As for us, we spent a goodly amount of time going over your proposed fixes last night and we think that they are doable.  However, Bud wants to study them further with his staff in Denver.  Now, how are you proposing to alleviate our costs?”


S.     “In addition to the extra man power that Chuck Ettinger is providing and the costs that he is picking up we will defer the start of the leases until you can return the 7094s.  Plus, we will stair step the initial lease payments until you are fully operational.  I calculate that this will save you some $3 million on the front end.  As a ‘quid pro quo’ we will extend the lease term by 6 ½ months”.


L.     “Off hand it sounds reasonable to me but I’ll have to put a pencil to your calculations and….”


C (interrupting) “You won’t need to.  Just take your $3 million and give me back my machines”.


G.    “Wait a minute Vern. You don’t understand. The deal is predicated on their keeping the 600 systems and those concessions are not unrecoverable hard dollars”.


C.    “Don’t tell me what to understand.  I want those computers back and they can have their $3 million”.


L.     (to Ettinger)  “Does he know what he’s saying?”


E.     “No.   Vern, we need to go out in the hall and discuss this”.


C.    “There’s nothing to discuss.  He can have his $3 million and I want my machines back”.


Dead Silence.  Then Lighthauser looks first at Snively who can merely shrug and then at Ettinger who is speechless.


L.     “Mr. Cooper you have made an offer that we can not possibly refuse.   Good day gentlemen”. 


Lighthauser and Feely get up and leave.  Leaving Snively, Ettinger and Cooper sitting



Narrator:  Thus ends another chapter in the saga of the GE Computer Department.








                Vern Cooper was congratulated by his FATHER-IN-LAW, GE Executive VP, Hersner Cross, for getting out of the Martin agreement without a big lawsuit!!


[1] After all, I wrote it!



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