The Hope and Promise of winter morning smiles~so soon turned tears~on a sunny afternoon~now 50 years~


Paul Schutzer—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Not originally published in LIFE. John and Jackie Kennedy walk to JFK’s inauguration ceremony from the White House, January 1961.

Read more: John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration: LIFE Photos From January 1961 |

The Hope and Promise of morning smiles~~so soon turned tears~~on a sad afternoon~~now 50 years~~

~~Requiescat In Pace~~

~~It is a most base impertinence to ever hazard how Lady History will remember any men of the present day~that said~I hazard that of the American Presidents of my century and our small part of the new century~who will be remembered at all by Lady History in Her books later written~touching on our yet still infant nation~are~Teddy Roosevelt, Frank Roosevelt, Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan~on this Friday, November 22nd, 2013~those of us who were alive and old enough to be past the age of reason and capable of understanding the concept of death~a terrible Rubicon began to be crossed in Dallas that marked~what~by now~in full crossing~of that forbidden river~fully so~the end of America’s Age of Innocence and of her people’s admiration, respect for and trust in~American Presidents~as with others~I offer my brief, personal, memory of Jack Kennedy today~50 years long now on past his murder~on that other Friday~November 22, 1963~

President John F. Kennedy in Fort Worth, Texas,
on Friday morning, November 22, 1963.

[Photo Credit: Rob Hinnant]

JFK-And-Jackie-Kennedy-Leaving-Carswell-AFB-In-Fort-Worth-Texas-11-22-63 (1)

 ~~Leaving Fort Worth to head to Dallas~~and sad destiny~~

[Photo Credit: Rob Hinnant and]

851a. The Kennedys Arrive In Dallas On 11-22-63 (Higher-Quality Version Of This Cecil Stoughton Photo) (1)

~~From the blue skies of Texas to the far space of heaven~~

~~~The death of John F. Kennedy plunged the nation into an unprecedented period of  grief and mourning that one would have to have been of reasonable age to fully appreciate~~~

John Fitzgerald ”Jack“ Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963)

IN ONE WORD:  Intellectual~~




Most unlike Senator Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr., I actually did know Jack.

When he was a Senator in city, I was already irremediably deep in the “swim” of Washington.  I liked Jack very much.  He was kind to take the time to be friendly and talkative to a boy far too young to ever be able to vote for him~~and a boy from a family so blatantly, and actively, on the other side of the political ball field from his own.


He was very interested in ideas.

We spoke about the Russian invasion of Hungary in 1956 and how outraged~~at age 4~~I’d been that the Americans left the Hungarian freedom fighters hanging. Jack said he agreed that we encouraged the uprising and then abandoned the fighters.

Politics is a very peculiar sport.

Jack was sold to the public as a too pretty to believe paragon of virility, home and hearth. He in fact was very frail and sickly throughout all his life~~and in great pain.

He was terribly shy and was forced to stand for politics only following the death at war of his older brother.

He was socially hesitant~~his money was so new and so audaciously acquired that I always felt, while watching him, that he was starring in his own home movie of  Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme~~trying too very hard to guess how rich people behave.

I admired his mind and his intellectual curiosity.

I think he is the only truly intellectually curious President I’ve known or ever read about, save, perhaps, our Mr Jefferson~~about whom Jack and I spoke more than once~~and for whom there was, for both of us, great admiration.~~~


 Joe Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Not originally published in LIFE. Lady Bird Johnson, Jackie Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon during JFK’s inauguration.

Read more: John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration: LIFE Photos From January 1961 |

~~Waiting to formally introduce himself to the Americans~~and to the world~~on that frigid morning~~

Jack was very young~~and largely unknown to the Americans who had entrusted him with the highest political office in the land~~as a consequence~~he and his men realized that it was imperative  for him to give a startlingly good speech.

They succeeded~~

 The Kennedy’s employed very good writers~~first-tier men~~and they made for Jack~~an exceptional speech and he made~~an equally exceptional~~and~~memorable delivery~~to my mind~~no other President of our time has given a speech from which anyone can remember a single word~~Jack delivered what we used to call~~a barn burner~~very impressive~~very impressive~~and whole sentences of it are embedded in the collective memory bank of the Americans~~~


And~~the word went forth~~to friend and foe alike~~ 


November 2003 event 012

~~The principal need in America is the promotion of the possibility for the average man to get and keep a good job with good benefits paid by the employer~~as was done not very long ago.~~


~~Bene Nati, Bene Vestiti, Et Mediocriter Docti~~

~~La crema y nata~~

~~Artista de la conquista~~


 ~~In sunshine and in shadow~~I hold tight to the Republican view of time and money~~I write night and day~~yet~~while impecunious~~I am vastly overpaid~~in that taking pay to do what I love is unfair~~to my employer~~in a fair system~~under such circumstances~~I should pay him~~not he me~~I am far, far too old a man to be sexually confused~~praise Jesus~~but I am yet young enough to be politically confused~~is anyone not~~in an absolute sense~~I am a Catholic Royalist~~in a practical sense~~I am a Classical Liberal~~a Gaullist~~a Bonapartist~~an American Nationalist  Republican~~in either sense~~my head is soon for the chopping block~~to hasten my interlude with Madame La Guillotine~~I write without fear of any man~~

~~Κύριε ἐλέησον~~

Rejoice and Glad!!



~~The Original Angry Bird~~The Catholic University of America Screaming Red Cardinal Mascot~~



  Wednesday, 22nd Novembre, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013

Tweets: @jtdbegg


"Jean-Marie Le Pen is a friend. He is dangerous for the political set because he's the only one who's sincere. He says out loud what many people think deep down, and what the politicians refrain from saying because they are either too demagogic or too chicken. Le Pen, with all his faults and qualities, is probably the only one who thinks about the interests of France before his own."~~
French actor~~Alain Delon




The Catholic University of America
Logo of The Catholic University of America.svg
Seal of The Catholic University of America

Motto~~Deus Lux Mea Est~~


2 thoughts on “The Hope and Promise of winter morning smiles~so soon turned tears~on a sunny afternoon~now 50 years~

  1. JFK was without doubt the most overrated underachiever to occupy the White House in the 20th Century. Apart from his womanizing – a family trait, to be sure – he and his brothers accomplished little, if anything, domestically or abroad. Yet, JFK inexplicably holds an esteemed place of honor in the Democrat pantheon.

    His rival for the White House, so vilified by the same media that fawned over Kennedy, accomplished much domestically and internationally. Perhaps with the passage of time and more sober assessments of each man, our view of each will be more balanced.

    • Bernie–While I have in other venues written of Nixon’s capacities~~which were substantial~~buzz through this~~

      Jack Kennedy made speech on speech and sent budget on budget to the Hill to slash taxes, slash taxes, slash taxes~~you should google some of his speeches–he made many of them~~CUT TAXES~~most particularly so in the marginal brackets. As for foreign policy~~he was a vociferous anti-communist–likely more so than any other President.

      Jack’s political fixations were Killing Communists and cutting taxes~and he was quite serious about both~~what the devil is wrong with that twin policy?

      I do not agree that Jack was overrated—I think instead that he was completely misunderstood–by both right and left~~by both his fans and his detractors~~he was most unlike his brothers–from whom we get the modern concept of a Kennedy liberal.

      I remember when Stewart Alsop was dying at the NIH when we were at seminary and he still held the inside back of Newsweek and wrote–I think very poignantly of Jack–“Jack was an arch conservative adept at throwing liberal confetti to the people.”

      I could not find a way to say it better myself.

      As for girls~~lots of guys like girls~~I very likely like girls far more than Jack~~we’re supposed to like girls~~

      — John~~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s