On The Books

Thumb_jfkl-01_0001-AR-8242-C It’s amazing that they’re still writing books about John and Jackie Kennedy as if they were still here to read them.

Granted, it is the up and coming fiftieth-year anniversary of Dallas but still, it feels like one more excuse to commercially exploit the Kennedys.

I’ll admit, I too never get enough of their famous lore that let’s face it, is the same over and over again, just put differently.

These Few Precious Days, by Christopher Andersen had me pretty enthralled even though it had a slow start wanting the reader to think, despite JFK’s notorious libido, he still deeply desired his long, suffering missus. It gets much less sugary twenty pages in.

What I’ve learned romping through my fifth decade is, love come in many unexpected forms. That, I love you and only youI’ll never look at another…is really not quite how it is. I think many men and women conveniently compartmentalize their feelings in order to juggle them more efficiently. Some, like our former president, act on them, but I like to think that the majority of us do not. But of course what do I know, I’m from Connecticut, the don’t-tell capital of the world.

Jackie, though beautiful and allegedly tormented by her husband’s roving eye, was no picnic either. She was moody, mercenary and known to be mean-spirited making fun of others in order to entertain. No, I’m not condoning Jack’s wandering penis, but one could see why a partner might look elsewhere. Of course he looked on the hour, but we’ll ignore that, just this once.

We solely blame him, so all I’m saying is, it takes two to Twist, one of JFK’s favorite tunes.

Speaking of tunes, Mr. Anderson’s title was taken from September Song, a wistful ballad JFK liked to sing at parties. One could say that’s when his Irish came out.

I did love all the anecdotes about the kids. You don’t read a lot about our 35th President reveling in his fatherhood. He called Caroline, Buttons and John Junior, Sam lighting up whenever they toddled in. The name John John was coined because his dad would call, “John John…John,” and the little boy would come running like an adorable imp. Very sweet tales indeed…and much more interesting than Jack’s afternoon dips in the White House pool with Fiddle and Faddle, two young female aides who apparently excelled at the breaststroke.

Did he really have sex in a golf cart with such a bad back? I may have read that in another book but hey, they all blend.

I love what actress Angie Dickenson said about her brief romance with Jack..It was the most exciting seven minutes of my life. Well he was busy running a country Angie. Who has time for foreplay when there’s a Cuban Missile Crisis going on.

I don’t know why rampant infidelity remains so fascinating, especially where the Kennedys are concerned. The section when Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday is written like it’s current news. It does disturb me that Jackie knew about their affair worried that, an unhinged Marilyn, might spill the beans to the press. According to Anderson, as long as Jackie wasn’t humiliated publicly, she’d turn a blind eye to Bunny’s antics…her pet name for Jack (bunny indeed).

This is an area where I ache for her.

Call me provincial, but I could never be with a man who stuck it in all nine holes and according to some, most men are so inclined. Like Nora Ephron wrote in her novella, Heartburn and I’ll paraphrase…a man, given the opportunity, would have sex with a Venetian blind. That’s why, to be safe, I try opting for shades.

We mustn’t forget what a young first lady she was, in her early 30s with a political plate spilling over the sides. How do you deal with a force like John Kennedy sired from a man who looked at sex like a snack one has during the course of their day.

A man’s first role model is his dad after all, so he was taught by Papa Joe, the big daddy of philanderers.

What does all this mean in the scheme of things? Nothing, since every player is long dead even though they still pique our interest from that great White House in the sky.

I will say, the part when baby Patrick dies just weeks before Dallas is very poignant. Bringing a baby to full term then losing him is pain to both parents that can only be imagined.

Do I recommend These Few Precious Days? Sure I do, because we never get tired of reading about Camelot even though, sadly, it was more like Les Miserables.

The lesson, if there is one, is that life is really made up of moments…some happy, some incredibly sad…so when I look at Jack and Jackie in that way, I think they did have some very precious times together during their stormy ten year marriage.

You just have to kick around the debris in order to find them.

SB

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks...A New York Diary, can be found on Amazon.com and Model Behavior: Friends For Life from Shebooks.com
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10 Responses to On The Books

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Ten years is such a short time to be married. My previous publisher lived across the street from Jackie and often saw Caroline and John Jr. coming and going. It makes you stop and think, how many women wished they could be the glamorous Jackie, never knowing the other side of the coin.
    My mother and I made pill box hats in a variety of colors and fabrics, thanks to Jackie’s influence.

    • She lived in my neighborhood where it’s not unusual to see the rich and famous…but when she walked by, it was a whole other matter. She really had a queen-like presence about her, and when she died, the neighborhood was swollen with grief. All the store owners loved her because she was so polite to them…not demanding never expecting deferential treatment. Everyone knew when she was given last rites because her cook told Harry the butcher at the gourmet store. We knew before the press did. How bizarre is that…any neighborhood, even this one, is like Mayberry if you live in it long enough.

      Love that you made Jackie hats. Thanks for writing Skinny. Always a pleasure.

  2. beautiful. Camelot is a time in America where we looked past the debris and saw what we truly wanted to see. Youth, beauty and power. My sister had a pillbox hat for my mother’s funeral, and a nice suit, she loved Jackie. She looked so grown up and pretty. Great post, as always!

  3. Alva Chinn says:

    Thanks for this…another good read!

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