Defending Jackie

I walk by 1040 Fifth, Jackie Kennedy’s longtime address (1964-1994), most mornings.

Sometimes I gaze up to the 15th floor, other times, like today, stop to pay a brief homage. A girl was standing nearby, so I assumed she too knew that was where she lived, up till the day she died.

I smile in innocent camaraderie, a smile she doesn’t return.

I leave.

Suddenly she’s beside me, looking, at what I can only describe with passing contempt.

“Do you need something?” I ask with curiosity.

“You were thinking of that awful woman, right? That wife of the Kennedy guy?”

It was then I realized our vast age difference.

“Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of our 35th President, lived there, and yes, I was indeed thinking of her. Are you an American?”

“Yes I am,” she said, defensively, “born in Louisiana.”

I knew I was courting trouble asking, “Why did you call her awful?”

“Cause she was a whore….married that ugly Greek guy, for his money. All she cared about was money. My mother told me everything.”

“Can I ask, how old you are?”

“I”ll be 19, next July.”

“I’m born in July too, and so was Mrs. Kennedy, by the way.”

The start of a smile quickly vanished though we stayed in step.

I knew I had a choice. To insult, or educate.

“Do you read at all?” This is when that smile broke through, reaching in her bag bringing out a dog-eared paperback of Jane Eyre.

“This is my favorite book. I love to read.”

She sounded like someone else we know who just happened to be approaching her building.

“My name’s Susannah, what’s yours?”

“Harper.”

“Harper…what a beautiful name, and if you wait a second Harper, I have something for you. Okay? Talk to Nate. (the young, cute doorman). Be right back.”

I ran up the stairs, two at a time, coming back with a bio on Jackie.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis…The Making of a First Lady.

“I love to read too,” I said, “and this will give you a better idea of a woman you might even end up liking. If nothing else, you’ll learn about a very important time in our history.”

To my surprise, without argument, she took it.

“Was very nice meeting you Harper. Have a great day.”

I left before she could change her mind.

Nate told me, she started to read, Β  as she walked. πŸ™‚

SB

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 Beauty, Books, Culture, Fashion, grace, History, humanity, inspiration, New York City, Politics, readng, words and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Defending Jackie

  1. Perfect handling of a potentially very uncomfortable situation!! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Big Fat Can of Worms…truth be told, I’m such a Jackie-ite, I wanted to smack her…BUT…then there would be no potential for light in such a dark point of view. It just goes to show, how influenced we are by what others say. Her mom. See, she needs a good smack. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Lol. I am not American and have no particular opinion of Ms Kennedy. I tried watching a recent movie about her on Netflix. The trauma of sitting beside your husband when he is assassinated was well captured. But I found Natalie Portman difficult to read in the role and the cinematography and editing a bit claustrophobic. I didn’t get far. But, to be fair, I haven’t a good record with movies this year.

        Like

      • I’m not a fan of reenactments. That movie did very well, so it makes you wonder why its captive audience couldn’t just read abut her. You could have popcorn alongside a book, right Mr. Worms?

        Like

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Maybe after reading your book she’ll straighten her mother out. Those opinions may have started with a grandparent and were passed down like bad folklore. You had a perfect solution. Are you sure you weren’t a professor or a guru in a previous life?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Whenever something is taken out of context, it will undoubtedly be misunderstood. He was an ugly Greek guy with money, and she was raised with an opulent mentality, thanks to her mother who nailed it into both her daughters, money mattered more than love. It was also, during a time when she was scared. After Bobby was assassinated, she said, if they’re killing Kennedys, my kids are first on the list, hence, ugly Greek guy with enough money to protect them. I could go on and on, as you know. In any event, I hope she liked the book. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! What an encounter! You aced that one, as you usually do with uncomfortable people.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    A very interesting encounter … and you handled it with grace and dignity. Well played.

    A present for you … my new blog. Hope you come on over. https://beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The funny thing is she knew where Jackie lived and took the time to go there. I think you fed a new fan with the best possible food.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorryless says:

    Sounds like my old man. Only difference is, this young woman stands a very good chance of being enlightened, about a woman and the time she lived inside of. I never understood hating what you don’t relate to, what you don’t understand. And people who SHOULD know better, unfortunately their opinions hold weight for the young and uninformed.

    Beautiful save there, SB. You can add ‘Mobile Librarian’ to your infinite skill set.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a lovely name…Mobile Librarian. I’ll take it. I’d like to remind the world, Mrs. Kennedy was only 34 years-old in that fatal limousine, on November 22nd, 1963. 34. Yup. For that alone, she gets a pass.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorryless says:

        That would indeed grant you a pass.
        Interestingly, Jackie almost married at twenty two but thought better of it. The tired opinion that she married Kennedy to grab the society pages is nonsense, seeing as how she COULD have been doing just that before ever making the acquaintance of John. She was engaged to a Wall Street banker, but she had misgivings and broke it off. She would have scored a beautiful crib on Oyster Bay and hosted extravagant parties every weekend, but nope.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Janet, her mercenary mom, was all about money. Jackie, self-possessed as a young girl, not to mention a Daddy’s girl, knew her own mind. Her father was quite the rogue so she assumed, that’s the way all men were and though she couldn’t have liked JFK’s incessant wanderings, she accepted them as a matter of course. Couldn’t have been easy for her. So much to tell, so much to know. I remember her fondly, no matter what.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. kingmidget says:

    This is the thing that amazes me about today’s America. (Hell, it’s not just today, but it just seems so much worse today then it has ever been.) But who teaches their child to hate a woman that died seven years before that child was born? And if she taught her daughter to hate Jackie, imagine what she has done with more modern public figures. It boggles my mind. It really does.

    But when you have people thinking these things and teaching them to their children, how can the divide ever narrow instead of continuing to yawn ever wider. I’m basically an agnostic when it comes to Jackie. She lived through one of the worst tragedies in the history of our country with grace and dignity. I’ll give her a whole lot of leeway because of that, and I don’t even think she needs any leeway. She lived the rest of her life the best way she knew how and the odd thing is that I don’t remember her hurting anybody or taking advantage of anybody. So, what’s the problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dale says:

    What a golden opportunity to broaden a young person’s horizons… one who has already been limited by her close-minded parent(s). I love that she waited for you to return and took the book offered. Something tells me she won’t be taking things at face value anymore (or rather, through a single person’s eyes).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kate Howell says:

    😎

    ~Hal Rubenstein from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Education is better than ill advised assumptions. Your encounter with the young lady may allow her to see another view and broaden her horizons. Alternatively she may remain somewhat close minded to the matter, but at least she will be better able to use her opinion.

    By the way I think the dates that Mrs K lived there may be 1964 – 1994 otherwise she would have been 930 and that’s quite an age. Or have I misread the blog?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m laughing at my fax pas, now fixed. 1064 was my old address, so that’s where I’m thinking, that OOPS came from. It’s actually the second one I’ve made concerning the Kennedys. I did a podcast called, Letz Get Loud, about Jackie and got the date of the assassination wrong. Said it was the 23rd, not the 22nd. Careless errors on my part. I appreciate you pointing it out, more than the other person who Tweeted. See, I’d rather be happy than necessarily, be right. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Now that is a great way to react to someone with differing views. I love this piece. Thanks for being so generous and being such an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Eilene Lyon says:

    Wow! I’m so impressed by how you handled that. You done good, really good.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Perfect handling! I don’t think I can picture anyone else but you doing that.
    Shine that bright light of yours Susannah!
    Blessings! β™₯β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

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