Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Teddy ... The End Of An Age

I have always liked the Kennedys. If they didn’t exist, someone would have had to invent them. They were larger than life in all aspects, and they demanded the best from everyone, including themselves. The balance sheet of their lives had equal entries on both the public service columns and the scandal columns. But, that’s what made them interesting. They truly were America’s royalty. After the deaths of JFK and RFK, Ted Kennedy became the last hope politically for that generation of the Kennedys, but he screwed it up – royally – with the Chappaquiddick incident in July 1969. How devastating that must have been for the Kennedy dynasty. But Ted Kennedy did go on to redeem himself, and became the "Lion of the Senate". It suited him, somehow. At the end of the day, he ended up contributing more towards the political community than anyone else in the family. His star didn’t shine as brightly as his dazzling two older brothers, but it burned slowly and steadily. He was once famously quoted as saying "I think about my brothers every day. They set high standards. Sometimes you measure up, sometimes you don't."

I think the most interesting thing Ted Kennedy did during his career was writing the children’s book, “My Senator and Me: A Dog’s-Eye View of Washington”. It’s a children’s book, and it is meant to explain the process of government and how a bill becomes law -- from the point of view of Kennedy’s dog Splash. It’s also a brief biography of Kennedy and Splash. What an original idea.

He was greatly loved by his friends and family, and I know they will miss him.

16 comments:

O. Joy said...

What an awesome post and tribute... yes - sadly the end of a certain era.

Meggie said...

Very nice tribute. Yes, they were great men, with feet of clay, just like everyone else. I do think they genuinely cared about their country, & the people, and not just pure power.

Maureen said...

I was 13 when JFK was assassinated so it's interesting to look back on how innocent it seemed then before the Marilyn and Mafia connections reared their ugly heads. Now with the paparazzi and the internet, it'd be really different. I suppose that's why Mad Men is so popular.

Wenderina said...

I thought all the blogs I follow would be posting on this today...but you are the only one. Leave it to a Canadian to do it right. Well done.

The Bug said...

I was really sad to hear about his death - it really is the end of an age. I didn't know about the book - I'll have to check it out.

Land of shimp said...

Jo, as you said elsewhere, we are clearly sharing a brain at times!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Jo, you are always on top of what is happening in this world we live in. Nice tribute, you are right that he did indeed contribute the most of the three brothers. All that no doubt pales today to a family mourning the loss in their lives.

TheChicGeek said...

Jo, that was a lovely tribute and it is the end of an era. Even if you didn't agree with his viewpoints, you have to acknowledge and appreciate his dedication to our country here in America. He gave his heart, his soul, his all!

Gaia said...

Yes, they were definately larger than life. There was a documentary on them titled "Kennedys don't cry".
I had it recorded into a VHS, It was 20 odd years ago, now trying to download into a DVD. Hope the tape is still in good condition. Those were some of my memories of the people I admired. Martin Luther King included.

the walking man said...

America has not now or ever had any royal since the revolution of the 18th century. Not the Adams, Roosevelt's Bush's, or Kennedy's. But that said Edward Moore Kennedy and his passing has marked the end of a liberal committed political chain. There are still some of the tribe out there; watered down versions of the generations that came before.

I personally am hoping that in death "Ted" can accomplish the one thing he never was able to in life. His legacy in the congress should be a Universal Health Care bill. Much the same as LBJ herded the civil Rights Act of 1964 through that same congress after the assassination of JFK.

The Panorama said...

"If they didn’t exist, someone would have had to invent them."

That describes the Kennedys so aptly.
Good post, Jo.

Russell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russell said...

PBS had a documentary on the Kennedys last night. As I watched it, I was reminded of the two masks associated with drama -- the Greek muses Thalia and Melpomene.

The Kennedys have always been a study in contrast. Espousing the highest ideals in public and showing a bright, positive and bigger than life persona -- but such a dark, tragic private life.

I think Bobby may have been the most consistent relative to his public and private life. But, yes, I do agree with your observations. Most excellent post as always.

Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't know him personally so can't attest to what a good guy he was. I found some of his actions to belie his politics, but I feel for his family.

Escapist said...

Beautiful wrte up.


joliiees:-)

Deedee said...

Well said, Jo. I too was compelled to write a brief piece about Ted. It's truly the end of an era. I hope his nephew Joe will pick up the torch.