(This is an "Encore" Post. I thought it was appropriate today.)
A long time ago (while the earth was considering cooling) I was in Palm Beach for a benefit concert at The Breakers for Stetson University - where I was in school. They had farmed all the singers out to homes of friends of the university to stay overnight. I was staying with the Nemecs at the northern end of Palm Beach. They told me that the Kennedy Compound was just down the beach. Naturally, as it was 1963 and pre-assassination, I wanted to see anything Kennedy.
So I took a walk down the street. All of a sudden, just in front of the Kennedy "mansion" the gates flew open and out came the longest, whitest Lincoln Continental limousine I had ever seen. And the top was down. Driving this land yacht was the most handsome youth I had ever seen. And yes, it was a Kennedy - Teddy, the youngest. Talk about star quality! Talk about handsome and charismatic. He had it all and there it was right in front of me. He waved at me, turned and drove down the road and I never saw him in person again. I have told that memory many times throughout my life - especially whenever the senator made the news. I even told it last week when he came to my beloved Duke for his surgery.
That said, this morning I had one of those amazing dreams my brain gives me at random. I'm just going to write it down. Some of you will get the Sandersville references and some won't, but that doesn't matter.
In the dream we are all at Jane McElrath's swimming pool in Sandersville, my home town. Across the other side of the pool there is Ted Kennedy on a chaise lounge looking thin but as he looks today only with dark hair. I walked over to him and he sat up and offered me his hand to shake like any good politician or gentleman. I said to him, "I've been telling my story about you for 40 years and now I'm going to tell it to you." And he said, "Oh, you mean that morning in Palm Beach when I had the new convertible? Ha!!!" And he had that wonderful Kennedy smile and he thanked me and said, "How could I forget that morning, Richard?" What a dream. What a man.
C. 2008, Richard C. Wall