Thoughts and Observations
From the Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Editor in Chief
WWW. T WITTER.COM/RICKCLONG
You Just Never Know
WHEN JERRY PARR WAS A LIT TLE BOY in Miami during the 1930s, he walked with his dad to see
movies at a neighborhood theater.
One of those movies, “Code of the
Secret Service,” featured Secret Service
Agent Brass Bancroft. He served his
country, got the bad guys and lived with
courage and integrity, whatever the
cost. Critics panned the movie, and it
never drew big audiences. But for Parr,
watching Bancroft’s adventures was
life-changing. By the time he walked
out of the theater, he knew he wanted
to be just like the heroic agent.
I’ve known a few Brass Bancrofts
over the years. You probably have, too.
Role models who unsel;shly do the
right thing without regard to the consequences — those are the people I want
to be like when I grow up.
Parr didn’t aspire to be “like” Bancroft; he became him.
After graduating from Vanderbilt
University in 1962 with a philosophy
degree, Parr joined the Secret Service.
During Parr’s 23 years as an agent, his
duties ranged from protecting visiting
dignitaries to leading the protective
detail for several presidents.
Parr was ready when John Hinckley
Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan on
March 31, 1981, outside the Washington Hilton Hotel.
Parr is the agent who grabbed the
president and shoved him into the back
seat of the limo.
When Parr saw blood coming out
of the president’s mouth, he redirected
the driver to nearby George Washington
Hospital. The doctors there said Parr’s
quick actions helped save the president’s life.
Parr’s dad couldn’t have known that
a Saturday afternoon matinee would
have such a big impact on his son’s life.
But life is like that. Seemingly little
moments often produce big results.
PEI is committed to creating little
moments for our members.
The 2017 PEI Convention at the
NACS Show will be Oct. 17-20 in
Chicago. Thousands of members,
experts, innovators and other industry
professionals will come together and
create numerous “little moments” that
lead to big results.
Maybe one of the people you’ll
network with, listen to, learn from and
be inspired by will be your Bancroft.
We hope to see you there!
And by the way, the actor who
played Bancroft was Ronald Reagan,
the future president whose life Parr
saved more than 40 years later.
You just never know.