As reported, one of six women under the age of 20 filed a lawsuit against Daniel Phillip Wisniewski in which they accused him of unwanted oral sex and inappropriate behavior toward young women.
Although the public largely trusts women in sexual harassment and assault cases, in this case, the women were seeking millions of dollars, with one woman arguing that Wisniewski “created an environment in which [her] work effort was permanently compromised and prevented her from pursuing her professional goals.”
Understood further, their desire to seek compensatory damages from Wisniewski looked like the kind of quest for vindication victims of sexual harassment and assault frequently make.
But back in 1967, when Roger Clemens was dominating Major League Baseball and Birdie Tebbetts and the Royals were playing for the World Series, many fans in Houston went to a new bar called Comet with their husbands and partners. A man who called himself Marty Marquette, an investment banker living and working in Houston, would arrive at Comet wearing a fitted blue blazer and a nicely pressed shirt. He was sober, and spoke with a learned and distinctly white accent that could have come straight from St. Petersburg, Fla.
Marty was a class act. He declined to speak in the formal manner of several businessmen working there, only saying short, witty phrases. He would walk up to the bar and say hello to whoever happened to be working there, and once he got his drink, an attractive woman would be standing at the counter. He would ask her name, and if she answered Marty would say, “And why are you doing it?” and then sit down on a bar stool and chat with her for a while.
As I can remember, he would get up and leave Comet and go, and when he returned an hour later, he would be alone with the woman, and he would start talking to her about investment banking. That was Marty’s man.
Another regular person at Comet was Larry Gotshall, a bond trader and brilliant young professor who was an adored family friend. When a group of clients invited him to Comet one night, he took the opportunity to introduce Larry to Marty.
Both men liked Chubby Checker, and spoke fondly of the great songwriter. Even Larry seemed unperturbed when Marty started talking to the woman, saying, “Maybe she should know better. What is the last thing the man wants?”
Larry would sit on the stool with Marty, and when Marty told the woman he had been working for a major Wall Street firm, a woman with a “cushy job” looked up at Larry and said, “That is great, you won’t miss Chubby Checker.” She then turned to Marty and said, “He’s a nice man. I think he will never hurt a woman.”
Marty got up and left Comet, and when he returned Larry let Marty know that Chubby Checker was his friend. So, as Marty sat in his own booth, he seemed neither ashamed nor troubled that a couple of guests from Wall Street had met a famous woman at a dive bar.