Memories of JFK are filling the media around the anniversary of his death. I have one.
I attended a graduation event at West Point, where my older brother was a cadet. My father and I sat in the last row of the bleachers, which had been erected on the parade ground. We had a fine view of the field and the hills along the Hudson in the distance. I remember turning to see what was happening behind the bleachers and spotted President Kennedy arrive in his Cadillac convertible, climb out, and stroll to the reviewing stand. I did not think this at the time (one did not have such thoughts), but the president was an easy target for anyone with a gun and a grudge. Security checks were something in the distant future. He must have felt safe on a military facility, even if no one was stopped at any gate.
That’s all I recall from that day, perhaps because seeing the president so close is not something that happens often or to many citizens. (I was even closer to Clinton more than once, but those are other stories).
This is a contortionist of an article, which does the journalistic equivalent of showing both the light and dark side of the moon. Writer present unvarnished reality and polished myths, which results in indictment and praise. I thought of a stand-up punching bag, which I had played with as a child. No amount of abuse would keep it down.
Such a feat can only happen with JFK, one man whose fans ignore what his distractors serve up on a regular basis. The love-hate article has something to please and/or alienate everyone.
Of course, someday someone might stick a pin in the stand-up doll...and, no amount of adulation will re-inflate the myth.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.