Sunday, November 24, 2013

A very different TEA PARTY…

9 years before the presidency JFK was running for the US Senate in the state of Massachusetts and his mother Rose was one of his biggest backers. She decided to host a series of teas in and around the Boston area to introduce John, (or “Jack“, as she called him). She felt, and rightly so as it turned out, that she would not only get the women to vote for him but that they would motivate their husbands to do the same.

The year was 1952 and I was in my Junior year at Boston University. I was studying for a Journalism degree and our class received a blanket invitation to attend one of the teas. It was considered quite a coup to be invited so I was thrilled. I was not disappointed. Not only were Rose and John there but most of the rest of the female side of the Kennedy clan as well... serving tea and sweets and extolling the virtues of their brother and son.

John was more than charismatic and the women’s heartbeats were practically palpable as he “played” the room, teacup in hand. I remember thinking that politics might be an exciting career but I’m glad now that I never pursued it.

A side line to all this was that Joe Kennedy, John’s father, chose the advertising agency that my dad worked for to promote his son’s campaign. We all, in my family, voted for Jack but we had little use for his father. He had been the Ambassador to Britain in 1938 and his actions before, during and after that time were often suspect, to say the least

I remember the night my dad came home after John won the Senatorial campaign. He had a long, slim box wrapped in gold paper and he threw it on the table. “This”, he said “is what we get for spending hours listening to that bastard Joe Kennedy” and he opened the box to reveal a silk tie with a hand painted Kennedy crest on it !

My dad  was the last person in the world to be seen wearing a silk tie so I wasn’t surprised by his anger …but I can’t help wondering what that tie would be worth today !!







Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Can you imagine what Sotheby's would get for that?? What an exciting insight you had to that famous family.

4:08 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Wonderful anecdote. I was too young to vote in 1960 but did see Nixon give a speech with my Republican banker father. I did vote for LBJ in 64 though....:)

4:06 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Whom you have rubbed shoulders with is quite awesome.

6:02 AM  
Blogger possum said...

I would like to see that tie on Antique's Roadshow - not that it is an antique... but it would be fun to see what they had to say.
I was in high school when JFK was elected, and in Turkey, but in college back in the USA when he got shot. I was too naïve to understand what any of it meant.

I ordered the Book Thief in spite of the word Nazi in the reviews. I don't do well reading about that era or area during that era. But, I will give it a shot.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Such an interesting story. I wonder what happened to the tie. That would be a collector's item.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I would have to agree with your father's assessment of Joe Kennedy. But, I agree with your comment of his charismatic son, John. I too was taken in my his boyish good looks and recall the day in High school when his assassination was announced on the PA system.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I too met a Kennedy. I was training as a chaplain at Morgan Memorial in Boston. There was a candle shop their for Flame of Hope Candles, a charity Rose Kennedy supported. It was staffed by mentally handicapped young adults. Mrs Kennedy as a tribute to her handicapped daughter did what she could for such charities.

10:46 AM  

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