Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Meme and Ted Kennedy

Boy it was fun watching people guess which was the lie on the meme. And I can't just reveal it, but over time, I will try and blog the true ones. And as some have noted, I already blogged about jumping in a mud puddle with Jim Morrison.

But today, I need to do a brief...

BAGMAN: "After War and Peace in Venice, I hope it's brief!!!"

...brief piece about Ted Kennedy. Because I had forgotten but I once met him, long ago. It was during the unfortunately brief time his brother was President and I was studying journalism at Northeastern and periodically working as a stringer reporter (Wrentham Correspondent) for the Woonsocket Call. Ted Kennedy, who was then known primarily as John and Robert's younger brother, came out to talk to a group of high school students. I don't even remember the occasion -- whether it was a high school function or a local Democratic Party thing.

I don't remember much about it. I must have taken some pictures of him with the kids but have no copies because I shot with an old bellows-type Polaroid Land camera and the newspaper got the prints and nothing remained behind.

In fact, I had forgotten it entirely until watching some of the coverage of his funeral.

I do remember one thing which I, now, am embarassed to admit. I remember being disappointed and frustrated that it was this upstart kid instead of the more important Bobby or Jack. I think the public opinion rap on him at the time was that he lacked their intelligence. So my coverage was just the same kind of bland blah blah but that I did for the local garden club meetings.

Gee...if I had known then that he would become the Lion of the Senate...mourned worldwide...I might have remembered more. And shot a couple of extra shots for me to keep.

You know, we never know who we are talking to or what they will do for our world. Maybe the key is to treat everyone we meet with awe and respect.


  1. Yes!! I agree. Treat everyone we meet with respect as if they will someday be in a position to help you. Aesop had the idea in the Lion and Mouse tale where the lion frees the mouse who, later graws a net that caught the lion.

  2. Great wisdom here. The people we meet may not become famous but they made do something wonderful for someone someday that merits their attention and our respect. Ted Kennedy was microcosm of smart and dumb. I am thankful that the smart won out as he got older.

  3. Thinking about some of the people I come across, I think maybe not - respect maybe and human kindness but not awe!

  4. I love that Aesop tale and it is so true. I think we are made up of a combination of everyone we have ever met in our lives. We never know what tiny piece of that experience will help form an attitude or bias in our lives. I do want to know the right answer to the earlier question, B&B

  5. I was in New York City for a week in 1968. I was seventeen. Bobby Kennedy was having a parade along 5th Avenue. I shook his hand and he was shot in L.A. two days later. Such a waste of a life. He had a beautiful smile, with sparkling eyes.
    On a lighter note,
    I always have a tremendous respect for people I enjoy joking around with. It is difficult to remain respectful when you are trying to be funny sometimes. Where's that line in the sand? The people in question may not understand the high reguard in which they are being held. We can just try our best to communicate our respect and admiration.

  6. Now there's an idea whose time has come. "Treat everyone with awe and respect" because we never know their potential for greatness.

    I suspect if everyone was treated with awe and respect they may rise to their potential for greatness more frequently than they do now.

  7. The closest I ever got to a Kennedy was photographing Joe in Boston. He was giving a press conference and there were a million photographers there - some tall ones, too. Luckily I had my pod and just raised the camera over my head.

    I, too, have passed up some people who I wished I had spent hours on. We just never know, do we?

    Nice piece. I see Bagman has returned. I think Dorothea dumped him on the beach in Thailand.