By Lloyd Graff

I’ve really been trying to stay away from political stuff in this blog, but the Kavanaugh sex allegations are just so juicy I feel compelled to comment.

I was aghast when I first heard that Senator Dianne Feinstein was pulling a “Hail Mary” with the Christine Blasey Ford letter, but the more I read about it and her, the more I felt she really does believe that Brett Kavanaugh, as a 17-year-old prep school basketball player and self-proclaimed virgin, assaulted her, groped her and left her indelibly scarred. Did he really do it while “stumbling drunk”? I doubt we will ever know. But if I were Kavanaugh testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as to his wife and children, and Christine Blasey Ford, I would say, “I do not remember ever doing what you accuse me of, but if I did do it when I was drunk at a party as a teenager, I am horrified and appalled, and I ask forgiveness for being such a stupid awful lout.

I think about myself. I am a person who does not drink alcohol but certainly does not have a perfect memory of events 35 minutes ago, much less 35 years ago, and that is without being impaired by drinking. Could a selective fallible memory cleanse an unpleasant event 35 years ago at a noisy party? Absolutely.

Georgetown Prep School Football Team. (Kavanaugh on far left)

So Brett Kavanaugh, you’ve spent three decades trying so hard to be the guy worthy of the Supreme Court, why not step forward and set an example for the country, but even more so for your wife and daughters, by apologizing for something you can’t remember doing but Christine believes you did do. Be a Mensch (Yiddish for “man in the best sense”) Kavanaugh. It may get you your seat, or it may cost you, but you won’t be left with scars like those of Clarence Thomas after Anita Hill testified in his confirmation hearing in 1991.


I have very positive memories of this year’s International Machine Tool Show.

I felt grateful just to attend IMTS. Ten years, exactly, since leaving St. Francis Hospital after almost dying of a heart attack and undergoing quadruple bypass surgery, I walked McCormick’s halls for hours with a purpose.

At 73, with the experienced eyes of a writer and used machinery dealer, my goals were different than those of a person trying to decide between buying an Okuma or Mazak. Spindle rpm and software were of little interest to me. I was interested in the people, the captains and lieutenants of manufacturing who managed the exhibits, and the foot soldiers like myself who schlepped around the endless corridors.

I talked to Bruno Schmitter of Hydromat about his son who is finally working full time with the company. I connected with Mindy Mikami of Okuma, who sets up the company’s spectacular exhibit every two years and then hauls it back to Charlotte, North Carolina. The Okuma folks were all worrying about how hard Hurricane Florence would affect their homes and travel plans.

I talked to Mette McCall, who has worked so hard to put Universal Robots on the map. She told me about how Odense, Denmark, has become the robot capital of the world. She’s Danish but now lives in Mobile, Alabama. Before robots Odense was known primarily as the home of Hans Christian Andersen.

I was very happy to catch up with Michi Tajariol, whose family owns TAJMAC-ZPS, which builds its machines in Zlin, Czech Republic. Michi lived with our family and worked at Graff-Pinkert when he was 23 years old for three months. He has a close relationship with my son Noah, and he and I also have much more than a business relationship. I caught up with Michi at the ZPS booth the day before he was leaving to return to Europe. We embraced, talked about some business, but mostly talked about the important family stuff that we could access without preliminaries. Life and death, marriage and divorce, cancer, birthdays of kids, the stuff that counts. This is business too, because relationships give you access.

Finally, perhaps the most important of all my meetings at the show was spending good time with my brother Jim after a long cold period.

These are the things I’ll remember from IMTS 2018.

Question 1: What are your favorite and least favorite memories of high school?

Question 2: What left an impression on you at IMTS 2018?

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29 thoughts on “Unforgettable?

  1. Andy Holbert

    That’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard. Apologize for something he didn’t do. You can take me off your subscription list.

    1. P

      When has it became acceptable to prosecute and individual based on an accusation? Where is due process? Why should he apologize for something he insists did not occur? Did we ask the same questions when Slick Willie abused Cathleen Willie, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones. How about the leader of the DNC party Keith Ellison who abused his girlfriend just this month. Give me a break. GO TRIBE

  2. Jim Owens

    I was aghast that Lloyd wrote this. A claim that a teenage boy made out with a teenage girl 35 years ago and this disqualifies Kavanaugh from being in the Supreme Court and ruins his life, is ok with Lloyd. Really. This claim is not a fact and Lloyd wants Kavanaugh to give up over this. This tells me all I need to know about Lloyd. I won’t read his crap again.

  3. John Ingham

    Favorite thing was surfing after school (Kauai HI), least favorite was the constant din of the Vietnam war in the background.

    As far as IMTS goes, it had been twenty years since my last IMTS so it would be additive prominence.

  4. Robert Ducanis


    I’d go to jail before I would ever admit to doing something I didn’t do.

  5. Dan DeBurr

    Advice: the next time you feel compelled to comment on something as political as this……don’t do it !

  6. Fritz

    So joyful to hear that you were able to thaw and recconect with your Brother amidst the venue of great renewal in mfg. Springtime moments in early Fall. Glad for you Lloyd.

  7. Don Rigglesworth

    I think your comment to “Apologize for something he didn’t do” is fine when the accusation is “Hey, you ate the last of the Ice Cream and didn’t ask if I wanted any!” but when dealing with something as serious as sexual assault to accept responsibility for something you didn’t do is not only naive, but very dangerous – especially in today’s climate, where the court of public opinion doesn’t require proof, and can be as damaging if not more damaging than our legal system.

    I enjoy your Swarf’s, but I feel that you’re way off base with this one.

  8. Gordy

    I believe that when Kavanaugh is proven innocent that Ford should do 35 years in jail for the damage she has caused, at minimum required to pay restitution that includes every dollar he could have made before the supposed revelation. Guilty until proven innocent is the new democracy apparently.
    That’s why I am a machinery builder and not part of the legal system. I admit when I am wrong (and as a engineer, even an undersized tap hole is scrutinized to the nth degree, and a lot of much bigger mistakes too, 100% busted every time), but if I am right, why would I admit to something I didn’t do?
    It will be interesting when they follow the money and where it comes from, I don’t believe she is doing this for free. I also don’t believe that will be front page news by then.

    High school was all good, but I do remember quite vividly in 1978 turtling a sailboat between senior final exams and getting towed in because the un-pinned rudder fell off and went down. Showed up in bare feet, wet clothes, and still passed and graduated. Yabba Dabba Doo!

  9. Beth

    Guys, can you not read? Lloyd never said Kavenaugh should admit to doing something he didn’t. He said Kavenaugh should admit to having a fallible memory and apologizing for anything he might have done that he doesn’t remember. I’ll bet you guys do the equivalent all the time to your wives. And since he claims to have been “stumbling drunk” at the party in question, I am guessing that saying he doesn’t remember is the truth. In fact, if he was stumbling drunk, how can he even be sure he is a virgin?

    1. Stephen Hearing

      Sorry Beth, but you should know that any apology in this political climate will be taken by the media to mean guilt. I have apologized for things I did not do to appease others and offer the olive branch, but you know that this is not something that you do now in this environment.

      1. Beth

        Stephen, I was defending Lloyd not accusing Kavenaugh. Quite frankly, I think if we condemned everyone who did something not quite kosher (no religious implication intended) in high school (or college), we’d be hard pressed to fill any office. Short of murder, terrorism, or some other capital offense, I think if the best you can do is dredge up a quasi offense from 35 years ago, you are stretching it. There has to be such a thing as atonement. Otherwise we are all condemned. I think it is terrible that this high school girl was traumatized by what happened or what she thought happened all those years ago, but if no one else has come out of the woodwork in all this time, I find this case irrelevant in this instance. That does not mean it should not be a personal issue between the two of them, but it doesn’t come into play in being a Supreme Court judge.

        And speaking to Lloyd’s question, I just had my 50th class reunion this weekend, so I have lots of fond memories of high school that have recently been brought to the forefront of my mind. I think among my favorites were going to the football and basketball games.

    2. Doug

      Unless I missed something, the accuser has not even given a place, time, date, or even a year for the occurrence of the alleged offense. How could HE possibly have claimed to have been stumbling drunk at the time? I think you’ve been confused by all of the rhetoric and lies being blown about by people with the absolute worst of political agendas.

  10. Stephen Hearing

    It is crazy to apologize for something you did not do especially in this political climate where an apology would constitute guilt no matter the context. Once again, you are trying to play the middle of the field while still leaning to the left. This is a class A judge with a proven track record of good and fair decisions. Because the left feels threatened and wants to stop any appointee of Trump, they are coming forward with false and unproved accusations. The bad part is that there are people out there who put some value in this and support this. Seems like you are one of those. What is todaysmachingworld.com got to do with this anyway. I am unsubscribing to this political blog, not what I thought it was about.

  11. Mindy Mikami


    Thanks for the mention. It was great seeing you.

    The highlight of IMTS for me is getting to see all of our customers, partners, distributors, vendors, and colleagues all in one place. Regardless of what logo we are wearing, we are all friends and family during the show. It’s like a great big reunion that happens every two years. I enjoy working in the booth and feeling the energy. This year was especially rewarding with how busy both the show and our booth were.

    Charlotte didn’t get hit too hard by the hurricane, and everyone is now back safe and sound from the show. Preparations for 2020 are already underway. Only 719 days to go.
    ( ^_^ )

  12. John Kreslake

    I took my wife to the IMTS this year. She had a great time, experienced what I have over the past 10 or 12 shows. new advances in quality, productivity, technology and applications.
    One highlight on the airplane trip was she was seated next to an exhibitor who gave her the opportunity to don his product. It was a wearable heads up display capable of accessing, displaying, communicating, data, images, documents, scanning by the wearer s he does his tasks. No need to haul bound manuals, prints and papers while trying to accomplish inspections, turn wrenches, assemble functions. I was impressed as a former aircraft mechanic and inspector.
    This show is huge, I used to be able walk it in one day, no more, and will admit to using the shuttle from the east bldg. to the west bldg. Opening day attendance was impressive, and was delighted to see many more student groups there this year. A topic you have commented on previous shows. IMTS is my manufacturing pilgrimage.

  13. KB

    I realize there are people who make up stories for various reasons, such as money, their 15 minutes of fame, or something else. If those of you who believe he didn’t do it, what do you think Ms. Ford’s motivation is for making all of this up? She doesn’t seem to be an attention seeker or so politically inclined to want to sabotage the nomination? Is she being paid off, threatened, manipulated by someone or has simply confused the incident with another person? What’s your theory?

    Is it not possible that he was so drunken that he doesn’t recall the event? My old roommate would sometimes have blackouts while drunk and she would not recall various events from the previous night. It doesn’t excuse actions, but it could explain things. I think there’s little denying that parties with alcohol were happening.

  14. Noah Graff

    IMTS Memories. Hanging out with my amico Michi (like my dad). Having dinner at Fogo De Chao with the Hydromat team, and other new friends and colleagues. Doing two podcasts! I should have spent more than 2 days there!

    High School….Tennis team matches that seemed more important than should have been. 2 suspensions. Some excellent teachers. Getting a taste of what it’s like to be a minority. Senioritis for at least three years!

    As for our latest Me2… Lloyd’s take is refreshingly contrarian as one would expect and hope. Agree or disagree with his scenario if you like, but he never made the claim that he was guilty. Chill out.

    Unfortunately studies show that our memories change over time and there is little we can do about it. Brian Williams for instance. According to many scientists he “misremembered” the incident. He didn’t make up a story to make himself look better. What motive would he have had. Later everyone who was present during the incident was interviewed and their stories didn’t totally mesh either.

    There was a great Malcom Gladwell podcast where he described a study where people wrote down accounts of where they were during September 11. They use that date because most people can recount it. In following years they asked the same people to recount it and the stories changed!

    So who knows what to believe!

  15. Ray Chalmers

    Count me hopefully among the logical readers. Were it me, I would not issue any denial but simply and immediately lawyer up, go after the accusers for slander, and stick to no comment til the cases clear. Denials simply beg the question. Also thinking of Vince Foster’s suicide note — “Here ruining people is considered sport.” Aghast was a good word back in 2015-16 when Mitch McConnell held up ANY hearing for Merrick Garland for more than a year til a new president was seated. Guilty or innocent, think the Dems want to hold up any nomination til after November with the possibility of new sheriffs in town?

    Please continue my subscription.

  16. Mo Cheese

    I have a vague recollection on lloyd touching me when I was a child. He should apologize in the next issue.


  17. Lloyd Graff

    I was a basketball player in high school, led the team in scoring, only dunked in practice. That one two handed dunk was probably the highlight of my high school life. I went to a school of many nerds at the University of Chicago so athletes were tolerated not idolized. A memorable moment was walking down 59th Street and being punched in the jaw by a guy just for the heck of it. A Mike Tyson “learning moment”. No booze, no sex, a lot of repression. I think I was happy a lot of the time. And I still delight in the memory of the leather basketball coming off my finger tips with the perfect amount of. The memory puts me to sleep at night.

  18. Lloyd Graff

    Christine Blasey Ford was authentic and extremely powerful. If she was lying, then she should win an Emmy.
    Brett Kavanaugh was also convincing in his denials of wrongdoing. But I think he is not going to be confirmed. His tone was just a little bit off.
    I am sick about the sordid process. The Democratic Senators were slimy and nasty. The Republican’s Prosecutor was too soft on Ford, but she had no weapons.
    I think the Democrats “won” but we all lost.

    1. Terry J. Donovan

      Lloyd we must have watched a different ” kangaroo congressional court trial ” Dr. Ford ( I use that term loosely) was/is in it for the money ( see gone fund me ) otherwise she would have given her letter to the police . She seemed clear about it being the judge , after that not a single clear thought , when or where , and her witnesses she dismissed because they didn’t quite back her. This is the dirties I have ever seen from the Dems. destroy a man just to delay till after the next elections.


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