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2 July 2016
Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!
[This week links to a recording that was made of Andy Williams at RFK's funeral, but I'd like to add the marvelous version that Judy Garland sang as a tribute to JFK, after his assassination. She wasn't allowed to mention him on her show, but there was no question about why she sang it.]
Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic (1968)
... because it's 4th of July
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
This performance of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" is from Robert Kennedy's funeral. So this week, we focus on him.
1) During WWII, when he was just 17, Robert Kennedy enlisted in the Navy. He was disappointed he was never involved in combat. Tell us about a time when you felt fate/circumstances kept you from something you wanted.
It was in grammar school. They were starting a ballet class in our school and I really wanted to take lessons, but my mother told me, sadly, that I was too fat and she was sure they would not take me. I still remember the pain of that day and wonder if my lifelong weight problems and low self esteem would have followed me all my life if I had been allowed to take ballet, and if I hadn't learned so young that I was "too fat" to do what I loved.
2) Bobby was trained as an altar boy and throughout his life regularly attended early morning mass. When is the last time you attended a worship service?
It's been many years. There were lots of straws on that camel's back, but the final one was when the church forbad a priest and nun from having ecumenical services for the gay community in San Francisco. I decided that the allegiance I pledged to the Catholic church each Sunday was a lie and I didn't believe in it any more, so I decided to stop being hypocritical.
3) He may have been an altar boy, but he was no angel. During junior high he was suspended for punching a classmate. Who is the last person who made you very, very mad?
Very very mad? I can't think of anyone in my personal life, but all I have to do thse days is turn on the television and there are plenty of people who make me very, very angry.
4) He had his first date when he was a senior in high school. Looking back, Mary Bailey Gimble told Kennedy biographers that she knew he had a crush on her and wondered why it took him so long to ask her out. Tell us about one of your early crushes.
My first boyfriend was Bill Farrngton. He was the nephew of our next door neighbor and we became friends after he was hospitalized following an auto accident. When he got out of the hospital, we started dating and dated for 3 years, until he decided to go into the seminary, where he remains today, as a Jesuit brother.
5) Bobby's wife Ethel is as bubbly and talkative as he was introspective and shy. He was organized, she's messy. While opposites may attract, do you believe the happiest marriages are between partners who are more similar than different?
I've only had one marriage, s I can't say. Walt and I are similar in some ways, different in others. it works for us.
6) By November 1960, when he was 35 years old, Bobby already had served as legal counsel to two Senate committees and run his brother's successful Presidential campaign. He was looking forward to a quieter life teaching law but gave in to family pressure to become President Kennedy's Attorney General. Tell us about a time when you were at a crossroads. Who influenced your decision?
My plan was to become a nun after high school. I had my trunk packed and my plane ticket purchased when my friend, Sister Anne, came back to San Francisco to talk with me. She said she and the other sisters didn't think I was quite ready yet and suggested I wait 6 months to see if I really still wanted to go. Six months later, i enrolled at UC Berkeley and never entered the convent.
7) In 1777, Colonists celebrated July 4 with the firing of cannons and muskets, followed by a public reading of the Declaration of Independence. What is your neighborhood doing to observe the day?
There is always a big city-wide celebration at the park a few blocks from our house. Good food, activities for the kids, music (our kids' band, Lawsuit, used to play there every year), and after dark, fireworks. We went regulrly when the kids were younger, but now that we have an empty nest, we don't really go, though Walt goes to the Boy Scout pancake breakfast at the high school in the morning.
8) The Revolutionary War still raged during that summer of 1777. General George Washington allowed his soldiers to celebrate with a double ration of rum on July 4. Do you know anyone who is serving in the military this 4th of July?
No, I do not.
9) Celebrity chef Rachael Ray says she considers mini-hamburgers, or "sliders," the All-American food. What will you be eating this 4th of July?
We had planned to go to the big BBQ that my son and my brother-in-law throw on the beach in Santa Barbara every year. It's our son's 46th birthday and it's always a gala celebration, with every possible meat that can be barbequed (e.g., tri trip roast, ribs, hamburger, hotdogs, chicken, salmon, and even pork belly). About 60 people attend and everyone brings something to eat, from potato or macaroni salad to fresh fruit. I usually order a big cake.
But because of my mother's fall and the need to give her antibiotics 3x/a day, along with some workmen who can only come to fix our garage door on the weekend, we decided we would have to give up the trip this year. I don't have a clue what we will be eating but it will be nothing traditionally 4th of July.
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