I didn’t go to college, therefore when I tell a historical tale, it’s without pedantic bells and whistles.
But what better way to learn, I say, and a lot more interesting to decipher what you read in your own words.
June 5, 1968 Los Angeles, California.
Robert Francis Kennedy is on a respirator after being gunned down in the kitchen of The Ambassador Hotel.
Here he is, sprawled on the tile floor, a 17 year-old bus boy comforting him.
He utters a few short sentences, before never regaining consciousness.
Mrs. Kennedy and Ted, the last brother left, are told there is no hope, but can’t bring themselves to shut off the machines keeping Bobby alive.
Jacqueline Kennedy is en route from New York to hold vigil with her late husband’s family, particularly close to RFK, who never left her side when Jack died 5 years earlier.
She’s the one who tells the doctors, on behalf of the Kennedy family, to cease the artificial means, allowing her beloved brother-in-law to peacefully die, with dignity.
26 hours after he’s shot, Robert Francis Kennedy is no more.
I’m forever amazed by this story, how once again, Jackie’s strength is called upon as young as she was…34 when she led the country in 1963, 39 as she more or less went through it again.
Where, pray tell, does strength like that come from, and is it fair to have to always be the one to hold everyone else up?
What does matter is, knowing that it happened, that in the worst of times, courage rides in on her charger.
I think it was no accident how much Jackie herself, loved to ride.
Waterford, Ireland 1967.
I have this photograph framed, in my living room.