American Samizdat

Sunday, August 30, 2009. *
I was "introduced", you might say, to the Kennedys when I was thirteen, in 1960.

My father, who had supported Eisenhower in 1952 and Stevenson in 1956, was supporting Kennedy in the 1960 election. JFK and my dad both graduated in the Class of 1940 from Harvard. Although I was born in California, to where my father had escaped his Bostonian parents after World War II, there was a little Kennedy in both of us. I inherited mine from my dad, of course. As for him, it was impossible to grow up a middle-class Catholic in Boston without being touched by the politics - Honey Fitz, the Saltonstalls, the McCormacks, James Curley, the Cabot Lodges, the O'Neils.

My dad died in November of 1960, just days before Kennedy became president. Three years and 11 days later, Kennedy was dead. By then, Teddy Kennedy had been elected to John's Senate seat and I had been taken to Boston with my grandparents - the same people from whom my dad had fled after the war.

My father, Paul, and the Kennedys had something deep and abiding in both their souls and hearts: a sense that one's purpose was to be of service to others. Paul did that in the only way available to him, as a high school teacher (and just before he died, a college professor) dedicated to the highest level of education for all his students. He was always on the edge of trouble with his employers, because he saw and fought the evils of educational institutions' morphing into corporate training camps and statistically tracking children into segments destined to be marched into predestined careers. My dad, you see, was not a "go along, get along" sort of guy. He died, I think, of a broken heart ...

[more at P! ...]
posted by Unknown at 4:25 AM
Post a Comment

Site Meter

Creative Commons License