Monday, September 18, 2006

John F. Kennedy . Who was he? and can we really know who he was?....

Perhaps more than any individual of the last 50 years John F. Kennedy has been so well known and so little known.
Since I am approaching fifty I can remember him. I used to pretend I was him as a boy. I watched him do press conferences and I was quite taken with him as a person, speaker, an a icon.
Personally I like him still, but historically he has been terribly mis-cast...and we really do not know him as a person. Frankly, much of what has been made of Camelot is pure nonsense. Jackie Kennedy herself regretted creating the myth, as it gave the administration of Kennedy's a look like it was beyond perfection. It was not.

John F. Kennedy was born in 1917 in Brookline, Mass. When he became President he was only 43 years old. he gave the impression of vigor, strength, and power. Truthfully he was very sick man. He had "Addisons disease", and was troubled with a very bad back. Was on many kinds of drugs....and was also seeing "Dr.Feelgood"....

He was a Congressman and a Senator before his father worked on buying the office for him. I have to give a lot of credit to Richard Nixon, he could have made a stink out of all the buyouts and bought votes. But he walked away with quiet dignity. I have to give him credit for that.

Kennedy's father Joe Kennedy was a failed ambassador to England and also wanted to be President. But FDR could smell him a mile away. I have always enjoyed the comment that FDR made of Joe Kennedy after FDR put him in charge of the stock market and creating regulation ....They came to FDR and said of Kennedy ..He is a crook...FDR said and I am paraphrasing.."I know, but it takes a crook to catch a crook"..He knew what Joe was all about.

Jack Kennedy grew up in this environment...After WW2 and the PT109 incident,,,His father marketed him like a box of laundry detergent.

He never wanted to be President....But once he started it he enjoyed it.

I was very saddened by his death and I recall it very well...I remember my mother crying and eating an entire bag of Tootsie Rolls as she dealt with her grief.

Sadly who he really was will never really be known by most people. What we saw was what they wanted us to see...and very well packaged product.

Johnny we hardly knew ye

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