Let’s Grab Our Balls And Go

images-6 I love this expression, apparently a favorite of John Kennedy’s in essence, his way of saying, let’s suit up and show-em what we got.

OOH, such a masculine mix of words now obsolete since they’d be considered inappropriate and more than a little politically incorrect.

But in the early 60s, JFK was so dazzling, with perhaps the exception of Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) who was about to check out, who cared.

This was a time when men lived by the direction their balls took them in, common sense not always to follow.  John Kennedy was the last of his kind unless you consider his younger brother, Robert, wrestling with his older brother’s testosterone tipped legacy that let’s face it, killed him.

If RFK hadn’t opted to pick up JFK’s gauntlet in 1968, he would have lived.  Of course then who would he had been, not the man we still dream of who, if he had run and won, the country might have been saved, to quote writer, Pete Hamill.

I’ve been on a Bobby kick, reading 6 books still counting as I pen this.

He’s always been someone I’ve found fascinating beckoning me repeatedly to Arlington to pay my respects.

What impresses me more than the hop, skip and a jump in proximity to his brother’s images-7 snazzy grave, is the simple white cross gracing his.  220px-Robert_F._Kennedy_grave_in_Arlington_National_Cemetery Talk about representing the man speaking eloquently of who is buried beneath it.

Of all the books I’ve exhumed from the library stacks laced with so much dust they’ve made me sneeze, my favorite has to be Jack Newfield’s (1938-2004) RFK: A Memoir, written in 1969, a year after Bobby died.  It truly blew me away with its noble candor and reverence for a man who might have really been a great president.  Newfield who began interviewing him two years before he died, was there when Bobby breathed his last making his story much different than the one he had intended to write.

It inspired me to rent Emilio Estevez’s film Bobby, made in 2006 at the actual Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles where he was mortally wounded, right before it was torn down.

I guess the state of California could use a stronger landmarks commission since as far as I’m concerned, that was hallowed ground so casually razed, for what…another strip mall or apartment complex?

When I think of our present leaders, with the exception of maybe golf, balls never come up.  Bill Clinton was the last to have them, squeezed by a young, busty aide I’ll admit, but also flourishing a foreign policy impressive to read about providing we can forget about Monica long enough to even have an interest.  But men in government nowadays just don’t have the same bluster and pluck of those gone by.

Obama’s take on anything is like thumbing through the Spiegal Catalog thinking, why am I bothering, it’s not like I’d ever buy anything in here.  Our 44rd president leaves me flat, though I feel for him dueling with a Republican Congress resembling Spanky and Our Gang, who at least were funny.

When I read about the Bay of Pigs along with the chronic coup to kill Castro, and the senseless war in Vietnam we now see was a near apocalypse, one nonetheless can still hear the drums beat, raising passions of our citizens, even if they were misled by the Kennedy mystique.

Where am I going with all this?

Not sure.

I’m just still, all these years later, mighty impressed with Bobby Kennedy (who preferred being called Bob).  Not with his brother he so loyally served whose death he never got over blaming himself, but his heart, despite Sirhan’s barrage of bullets, that never really stopped beating for the poor and oppressed.

The doctors at Good Samaritan Hospital, after declaring him brain-dead, couldn’t understand how his heart continued to beat so strongly.

I swear, I can hear it pound through all these pages I’ve been reading.

He’s my hero 47 years after his exit from the world as someone who might have made that difference.

Could just be the romantic in me…    images-6 who knows.

Recommended reading:

RFK: A Memoir…1969, Jack Newfield

Assassination: RFK 1925-1968…1969, United Press

The Dark Side of Camelot…1997, Seymour H. Hersh

The Last Patrician… 1998, Michael Knox Beran

In Love With Night…2000, Ronald Steel 

The Last Campaign…2008, Thurston Clarke





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, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Books, Cinema, Family, History, men, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Let’s Grab Our Balls And Go

  1. Elle Knowles says:

    Susannah, you read the most fascinating books. One day I hope to find the time to follow in your footsteps. Got these on my TBR list now! BTW – Glad to see you got your picture on your gravator. Love it! ~Elle


    • I cleared my cookies as they say and suddenly there I was. As for reading, I’m never without a book. It’s amazing how many opportunities there are in the course of a day to knock off a few pages. You have a Kindle that I’ll bet fits in your purse so gracefully. Reading, there’s nothing quite like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This hurts so much and I will never forget either assassination, and at what cost to this country. I believe Bobby would have made a fabulous President. This post summed up my feelings on the subject stupendously, Susannah. :o)


  3. micklively says:

    The “establishment” trucks no threat. Maybe the reason you see no “men with balls” in our current crop is because establishment has wised up and filtered out.
    The 60s was such an optimistic age. Everyone had change on their lips. The status quo backlash was inevitable. Why would those holding power relinquish it? Democracy is a side-show. Obama, democratically elected on a ticket for change, has been in knots ever since. It’s another shot in the arm for cynicism, apathy, disenchantment. The people need something to get behind? Send some nukes to the Ukraine.


    • You’re on your bully pulpit Mick, like in Hyde park in London. I like when you say the 60s was an optimistic time. Nicely put. Turned so violent…to think he was killed by a kitchen worker whose hand he went to shake.

      Liked by 1 person

      • micklively says:

        Yes, we didn’t go to Speakers’ Corner. I don’t suppose anyone would have listened.
        It is sad Bobby was slain in that way.


      • All because he had a soft spot for Israel according to his killer who still languishes in jail. The Kennedys were most impressive when, after Sirhan Sirhan was given the death penalty Ted Kennedy as the family spokesman came forth and said, my brother would never want a life taken, even if it was the one that had taken his own. That’s how SS got life imprisonment instead of the gas chamber.

        Liked by 1 person

      • micklively says:

        That shows real courage.


  4. I was only an infant when all of this was going down, but my parents and older siblings talked about it often, reenacting every minute of their day when these men were robbed of their young lives.
    I have always been fascinated with the 60’s…always. It has got to be one of the most turbulent decade on record. Assassinations, war, rock music, drugs, over doses and yes, balls. Everyone had them! WTF happened? Now we have a bunch of kids raised in bubble wrap letting their P’s & Q’s run the show.
    Gotta go before I go completely crazy …lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It was a very sacred time. I often wished I was 40 now but then I would have missed growing up in the 60s. It was exciting. Now everything is so proper and politically correct and guess what? We still have racism and all that other crap even if people say the “right thing.” Oh yes, and the politicians still can’t keep it in their pants!


  6. My sis has a soft spot for Bobby. We both especially love the picture of him saluting as his brother’s hearse goes by (I believe that is what was happening. If wrong, please let me know.).


  7. MJ says:

    A great man indeed.


  8. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I’ve always wondered what would have happened if Bobby had been elected president. One of my aunts (the rich one) just loved him and poured a ton of money into his campaign. There was just too, too much tragedy in the Kennedy family.


    • That’s so interesting that your aunt was such a supporter of his. I know we’re into the myth of him, but he did have qualities other men did not. I was reading how, he’d go into these slums that were so dirty…smelling so bad people couldn’t tolerate it, yet he’d go right in and pick up a baby whose stomach was distended from lack of nutrition…holding him as if he were his own. I mean, come on. If nothing else his heart was bigger than most…sigh


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