Inside the Bohemian Grove (Spy 1989):
The jokes fit right into the Grove's Ayn Rand R&R mood. "My grandmother always said, 'You can find sympathy in the dictionary,'" a guy with a cigar said, walking on the River Road. I'd made it in that day for breakfast at the Dining Circle, the most lavish meal of the Bohemian day, an experience redolent of moneyed western ease. The rough wooden tables were piled with perfect fruit. As I sat down a great glistening arc of melon was slid before me. Today they were offering Alaskan cod, sautéed lamb kidneys, eggs, French toast, bacon, sausages. The encampment's rules about dealing with waiters reinforce the heartless but egalitarian values of the Grove. Tipping the help is strictly forbidden, but so is reprimanding them. It's easy to imagine that many early Bohemians started out as laborers and had to remind more aristocratic visitors that social mobility was a cherished ideal. In the Grove's Club Med-like plan, the meals are covered in the fee for the encampment, which, judging from schedules I'd seen from two years back, ran about $850 on top of annual dues.
A waiter in a red jacket dropped an uneaten chunk of the bright red cod into a waste bin, and the Bohemians at my table talked about presidents. It looked as though Richard Nixon would once again not show. One old-timer said that Nixon was feuding with the board of directors. He was waiting to be asked to give a Lakeside Talk, but the club wasn't going to invite him until he had shown them the respect of visiting Cave Man camp for a weekend or so. In my informant's opinion, there was bad blood; Nixon's resignation 15 years ago had offended the club's honor -- it had been so un-Bohemian. The feud was unfortunate because Nixon and the club went back a long way. In 1953, when he was vice president, Nixon led a ceremony honoring Herbert Hoover's 40th year as a Bohemian. It took place at the Waldorf-Astoria, in a room piled with redwood bark and branches shipped to Manhattan from the Grove. In 1971, when the press corps forced him to cancel his speech at the Grove, President Nixon had wired the club to say, "Anyone can be president of the United States, but few have any hope of becoming president of the Bohemian Club."