In the summer of 1966 I was standing with my father at the Lower Mills station
outside of Boston. We were headed to work. A Mattapan-bound trolley stopped to let off a crowd. My father and I were mystified by the hubbub, until the trolley pulled away from the platform and we spotted Robert F. Kennedy.
The forty year-old politician was campaigning for his brother Ted.
My father was a staunch Republican from the State of Maine, but sensed an opportunity to meet the future president of the USA and rushed me across the track to RFK, where the young NY senator was pressing flesh with his admirers. He shook my hand and I wished him good luck. Our trolley was approaching and my father and I ran to the other side. Once seated on the trolley, a passenger asked us, “Who was that.
My father said, “The next president.”
We prayed for that future, but two years later after winning the California primary a gunman shot RFK dead in LA.
It’s been over forty-four years since his death and every day of this presidential election it what becomes clear is that America and the world lost a great deal more than a man’s life.
I cried that day and I cried during Ted Kennedy’s eulogy in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
“Some men see thing as they are and ask why, my brother dreams things that never were and asked why not.”
No one in politics talks like that today
In 1989 I was vacationing in LA. My friend Adriana Kaegi of Kid Creole and the Coconuts was working on a video for the LAMBADA at the then-deserted Ambassador Hotel. I was a little hung-over from the previous night and didn’t think much about the significance of the location until I wandered into the Embassy ballroom and said to myself, “I’ve been here before.”
Not in person, but I climbed onto the stage where RFK announced his victory. I stood at the dusty podium. His hands might have touched the wood andÂ I looked to the left.
The kitchen door was open.
Rosie Grier was RFK’s bodyguard. The ex-LA Rams linebacker had been elected to protect the candidate from the crowds. Later he said that the candidate’s security plans called for an exit through the audience, however someone yelled, “No, Bobbie this way.
And RFK entered the kitchen.
The film portrays the exuberant chaos and then a man sticks a .22 in the face of RFK and pulls the trigger.
Standing in that empty kitchen I realized this was a killer’s killing zone. There was nowhere for the victim to run.
I cried once more for the loss of RFK
We are not the same as we were in 1968, although the trolley into Ashmont from Lower Mills is still free as it was on that day in 1966 and that is a good thing.
We miss you Bobby.