Chatterbox has solved the mystery of the Gridiron Club’s sole “honorary member.” In an earlier item, itself the sequel to an even earlier item about recently-retired UPI White House correspondent Helen Thomas’ apparent efforts to blackball William Safire from the venerable 60-member club for prominent Washington newspaper journalists, Chatterbox puzzled over the identity of the club’s “honorary member,” one Kevin Deverich of Los Angeles. (His name appears at the bottom of this list of non-active Gridiron members. To see a list of the club’s active members, click here.)
Kevin Deverich is the former general manager of the Capital Hilton, where the annual Gridiron dinner has been held for many years. Apparently this sort of honorific has been bestowed on Capital Hilton general managers before. Deverich no longer works at the Capital Hilton; for some time afterward, he was an executive with Merv Griffin’s hotel chain, which includes the Beverly Hilton, where Deverich apparently had an office. After that, the Nexis trail turns cold. The woman who answered the phone at Griffin’s hotel chain said she didn’t know where Deverich was working now, and declined to pass along a phone number. It’s all starting to sound very noir.