Saturday, June 7, 2008


The other day was the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Robert Francis Kennedy. Although I was young at the time, I remember finding out about it.

I was staying with my grandma, my aunt, and my cousin for a few weeks in a town about an hour and a half away. My cousin Lynne is 7 years older than I am and when I was young I absolutely idolized her. I worshiped the ground she walked on, and therefore just LOVED spending several weeks with her at the beginning of each summer.

My aunt ran a beauty shop out of her home and always got up early because some of her customers were early birds. It was nothing for her to have her first appointment of the day at 6:00 am!

On June 5, 1968 she came into the bedroom to wake Lynne and me up, to tell us about RFK. Although I didn't know much about politics way back then, I did know that he was young, charismatic, and an extremely popular politician. My aunt was shocked. Lynne was shocked. Grandma was shocked.

Over the next several days we watched all the news reports on TV about RFK's assassination, funeral arrangements, and the actual procession. I can remember seeing the funeral train.

I can recall being so surprised that Bobby and Ethel had TEN children and she was expecting number ELEVEN at the time! Much later on I was even more surprised to find out that apparently all eleven were delivered by c-section!

Thinking of all those children growing up without their father really upset me at the time. I was vaguely aware that his death would have an impact on our nation, but I was young and my thoughts were more focused on his kids. Now as a parent, I have SO much respect for Ethel, having been left to deliver a baby 6 months after her husband died, and then take care of that daughter and all the other children.

Of course it's been all over the news the past few days, and the question of the day seems to be "How would our country be different if Robert Kennedy had been president?"

I sure as heck can't answer that, but for me, his death sort of took away my childhood innocence.


Paulie said...

I had planned to vote for him. . . I liked him better than John, although I would have voted for John if I had been of age then.