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Happy Birthday, Jack — Aloha O'e
"Where's the Duke?"
JFK arriving in Honolulu, June 1963
Jack on his last trip to Hawai’i (first as President), June 1963, only a few months before his untimely murder (no thanks to Allen Dulles & Co. - The Devil himself).1 Anyway, he would have been 104 today; although I’m rather certain that he probably wouldn’t have made it that far. A gentleman’s 85 or 90 would have been nice, preferable for us all (esp. him and his family). As it happened the day this photo (my favorite) of him was taken, the first thing The President, a consummate gentilhomme, said as he got off of Airforce One was: “Where’s the Duke?” Kahanamoku that is, father of modern surfing, and Olympic Champion swimmer extraordinaire. Duke had perfected and popularized the flutter kick, which Jack used himself to great success as a swimmer on the Harvard Varsity. Hana Hou!
The day after this photo was shot (June 10, 1963), Jack delivered a commencement speech at The American University, and he read words that he composed himself (no, Ted Sorensen didn't “help” with this speech) on Airforce One during the long flight back from the Hawaiian Islands to the mainland. Reportedly he didn't sleep (much — Jack was an avid napper). Seems the Duke made a positive impression.
So, let us not be blind to our differences - - but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.
Veritas — truth. Vitam Impendere Vero (devote your life to truth). Look closely, see how much they admired — loved — him. Imagine the world had he lived. How different things would have been . . . 2
Don’t take my word for it, do your own research; and start here: SEE: “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government,” David Talbot (2015); SEE also: Talbot’s “Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years” (2008).
SEE: “Sons & Brothers: The Days of Jack and Bobby Kennedy,” Richard D. Mahoney (1999). This is probably my favorite and the best book about JFK, in that it’s authoritative and scrupulously researched. Mahoney is a real scholar and was the in-house Kennedy family pick to be the historian at the JFK Presidential Library — which means he had direct access to almost everything — until, that is, he published this book. Then he became persona non grata overnight. So it goes. In any case, Mahoney shows the essential connections, continuities, and tragic ironies that tied Jack and his brother (RFK) to their father, in particular (the mercurial Joe), and siblings — especially the eldest (Joe Jr. & Kit). Mahoney also details the myriad of inconvenient, fatal truths that directly (and irrefutably) link the CIA and others (Cuban exiles, Mafioso, a motley crew of deplorables — in other words the usual “company” men: so-called “mechanics”) to what went down the fateful day in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The other essential JFK book, in my estimation (and I’ve read most if not all of the credible/authoritative ones) is: “JFK and The Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why It Matters,” James W. Douglass (2008). The title alone says it all — or at least it touches on the essence of the matter. Read it and weep. I did.