I was born six years after President Kennedy was assassinated. My only “memories” of Kennedy have been shaped by 50 years of media coverage and the memories of others.
It’s been said that many northern New Mexico homes in the 1960s had two photos hanging on the walls: One of the Pope and another of President Kennedy. My Great-Grandparents had both photos on their wall in Las Vegas. My Dad recalled his Grandma Emily referring to President Kennedy as “Juanito.”
To this Day, my Dad has a photo of President Kennedy hanging in his home office. He also has a photo of Marilyn Monroe. Go figure.
I do have one unique story about President Kennedy. When I traveled to Cuba for the first time in 2008, I got the opportunity to walk through Ernest Hemmingway’s Havana home, which is now a tourist destination. Among the many fascinating items I saw in the home was a NewsWeek magazine with an illustration of then-candidate John Kennedy on the cover. The headline read: “Can Anybody Stop Kennedy?”
|Photos of me posing with the replica of Hemmingway's kitchen phone|
Our New Mexico delegation was at the home for a specific reason: we were donating a replica of an old phone that Hemmingway once had in the home. There is a famous photo of Hemmingway talking into the phone in his kitchen. Our Cultural Affairs Secretary, Stuart Ashman, tracked down the replica and worked with officials in Cuba to arrange for the donation. Everyone in our delegation took turns posing with the phone.