Alan Cranston campaign bus, 1986 *

Cranston bus
Sen. Alan Cranston's 1986 reelection campaign was the first one I covered where Hollywood celebrities rode along on just about every bus trip across California. They would be introduced at rallies to excite the locals, then just stand there. This photo of the traveling press corps the day before the November election includes bus regular Morgan Fairchild, Marilu Henner, Shelly Duvall, Ed Begley Jr., and Robert Walden. Cranston and his son Kim flank Duvall in the back row. Also in the back row are campaign manager Kam Kuwata, second from left with his arm around Cranston staffer Jadine Nielsen, and pollster John Russonello next to him.

The photo is on the Facebook page of then-Herald Examiner reporter Dave Lesher. Commenters are attempting to ID everyone, but so far the wire service reporter at the far right of the front row is unnamed. Others from the left are reporters Jennifer Kerr, Phil Trounstine, John Marelius, Mark Ragan, Mark Z. Barabak, Lesher and Keith Love, who was then the L.A. Times political writer. The computers: "Those are Radio Shack Trash 80s," says Lesher. "The ones with the 4-line screen. First campaign that used computers with big ear muffs that went over the pay phone receivers."

* Add TRS 80: Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters emails that the Trash 80's had been around on campaigns a while before 1986. "They were actually pretty good machines, as long as you could find a phone booth. I used to carry around a telco "Out of Order" sticker which I'd plaster on a pay phone at a campaign stop so it was available when I needed it."

Bigger picture

Names updated as info comes in

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