Posts tagged Bobby Kennedy
Posts tagged Bobby Kennedy
Bobby and Ethel: Unconditional love..
(I got these photos from the amazing Ethel Kennedy documentary that can finally be watched on the internet)
Young Bobby Kennedy
Fifty years ago, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy went for a walk — a 50-mile walk, to be exact — trudging through snow and slush from just outside Washington, D.C., all the way to Harper’s Ferry, W.Va.
He had no preparation, and no training. And in spite of temperatures well below freezing, he wore Oxford loafers on his feet.
In honor of the 50th anniversary, the Kennedy March is being reprised by a group of walking enthusiasts this weekend. Ray Smith, one of the walk’s organizers, says, “I think it’s our little way of trying to respect that legacy that the Kennedys left us.”
No Laughing Matter
The impetus for Kennedy’s strange and incredible feat was a challenge issued by his brother, John — then president of the United States. The Kennedys were notoriously athletic, and JFK in particular was concerned about the decline in American “vigor.”
The White House had discovered a 1908 executive order from another fitness fanatic — President Theodore Roosevelt — who had said that all Marines should be able to hike 50 miles in three days. President Kennedy agreed, and reissued the challenge to the Marines of his own time. Not to be outdone by his predecessor, the president asked that his Marines complete the 50 miles in just one day, joking that perhaps his staff should take on the challenge as well. For his brother Robert, though, it was no joke.
“Bobby told me just as I was leaving the office, ‘I’m going to see you tomorrow at 5 in the morning,’ ” recalls James Symington, who was Robert Kennedy’s administrative assistant at the time. He laughs as he remembers Kennedy’s determination.
“I said, ‘Why would you want to do that?’ Bobby had no — [never] had any sense — that there was anything he couldn’t do,” he says.
Keep On Walking
So Kennedy set out, along with four of his colleagues and his dog, Brumis — a Newfoundland weighing more than 100 pounds. Symington joined him, with Brumis jumping on him playfully, several times knocking him into the canal that they were walking along.”He wasn’t trying to kill me, but he damn near did,” Symington says, laughing.
After 25 miles, the group was ready to give up. But the press had caught wind of what Kennedy was doing, and a helicopter arrived soon after with photographers and journalists. So Kennedy set off again, this time accompanied by just two of his aides. The last of them left him around 35 miles in. Kennedy is rumored to have said to him, “You’re lucky your brother isn’t president of the United States.”
The so-called Kennedy March earned a lot of media attention and sparked a nationwide obsession with extreme walking and hiking. Ordinary people from around the country took on the challenge, and for a brief moment, Americans got serious about physical fitness.
The fad of the 50-mile walk was short-lived, however, and more grave concerns soon overtook the American people. The Kennedy March was replaced by the March on Washington, and the extraordinary feat performed by Robert F. Kennedy was quickly forgotten.
Young Bobby Kennedy in Palm Beach
Ethel Kennedy at home in Palm Beach with her daughter Rory Kennedy, a documentarian, and her grandchildren Zachary, four; Georgia, nine; and Bridget, seven.
Rory’s children are three of Ethel’s 35 grandchildren.
Portraits of her famous clan line the walls of Ethel’s living room
For anyone suffering Kennedy fatigue, think again. Ethel, a documentary about Bobby Kennedy’s 84-year-old widow made by her eleventh and youngest child, Rory, (who was born after her father’s death) is a grand surprise. What may be lost in objective distance is amply compensated for by the laugh riot of Ethel’s escapades recounted by her children, and illustrated with a treasure trove of archival photographs and family movies. Ethel, who hasn’t given an interview for 35 years, talks bluntly to her daughter about her experiences, beliefs, and times of unspeakable grief, before gamely moving on. Megan O’Grady interviews mother and daughter in Vogue’s July issue. Ethel airs on October 18 at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.
Photographed by Bruce Weber
A rare photo of a casual RFK and formally dressed JFK.
Bobby Kennedy and his eldest, little Kathleen, around 1952.
Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter has nabbed her first big acting break: Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy has scored a role in Aaron ‘The West Wing’ Sorkin’s HBO pilot. The Newsroom, a show about cable news, also stars such boldface names as Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn, and Dev Patel. Of course, Hollywood is nothing new for the Kennedy clan: Kathleen’s great-grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy, formed one of the Big Five studios.
Best-selling author Jerry Oppenheimer is writing the first biography of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. following the tragic death of his wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, last month. Oppenheimer — who’s written tell-alls on Hillary and Bill Clinton, Anna Wintour and Barbara Walters, and who released a biography of RFK Jr.’s mother, Ethel Kennedy, in 1994 — has signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press. He tells us of Bobby: “He had none of the movie-star looks of his glamorous cousin [John Kennedy Jr.], but he had a far more dramatic, far more successful, far more controversial and far more scandalous life.” He added: “I want to make it clear I am not out to do a hit job on this guy. Bobby was in his teens when he lost his father. He was so wild, his mother basically kicked him out of the house … he’s had a difficult life. This is a man who is driven by a lot of passion and also driven by demons, it is really a cautionary tale. He is a sympathetic guy, but he is also driven and ambitious and — what we know now about his relationships with women — rather reckless.”
In the shadow of JFK…
The voter of tomorrow
An American Prince: Bobby Kennedy Jr.