Most of the people around Jack Kennedy had met him after the war when his political career began, and Jackie hadn’t met him until 1951. So almost nobody outside the family knew him from 1933. So that was important to her. And he saw much less of them when she moved outside of the United States after her marriage to Onassis. But when she returned in the mid-’70s and started working in New York, they were teenagers by then, and they would go over to his place by themselves. So they knew him quite well, Caroline probably a little bit more than John Jr.
Archive for May, 2007
Doing the research for the book and talking to some people, I found conflicting evidence on that. Gore Vidal said he was the gofer. I think the phrase he used was, “Lem was the guy who carried the bags for Jack.” And he called him “Jack’s slave” at one point. But other people discounted that. Jack’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, said that the friendship was very equal. And I did find evidence in the letters when they were both at college—Lem was at Princeton and Jack was at Harvard—I did find evidence when they got together in New York on weekends, it was as much Jack who was suggesting their getting together as it was Lem. So it wasn’t always Lem asking for the time. The friendship seems to have been quite mutual. And in one of the interviews with Gore Vidal [Pitts had three interviews with him], he seems to concede that the friendship was a bit more than carrying the bags.
For those readers too young to remember the White House in the early ’60s, here are a few facts: It was home to the youngest president ever. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was 43 years old (a first … and a last) and Catholic (also a first … and a last). The first lady was Jacqueline Kennedy, and the couple had two children, Caroline and John Jr. The First Couple had many gay friends, though the early ’60s was not a time when that was discussed.
The visually delicate yet heavily talented Rachael Sage, who played the 2005′s Houston GLBT Pride Festival, performs on Vol. 1 and conceived Vol. 2. She and other like-minded artists, like Melissa Ferrick, Ellis, and Girlyman, have waved their fees, with all proceeds to hurricane relief and hunger projects. Good music for good causes. From MPress Records (www.mpressrecords.com).
— Preview: Nancy Ford
Out performer Susan Werner has been making a name for herself on the singer/songwriter circuit for some 15 years. The Iowa-reared, Chicago-based singer began her career in the folk/pop realm, with acclaimed discs such as Time Between Trains and New Non-Fiction, and then later, reinvented herself as a crooner of original standards on I Can’t Be New. On her latest CD, the groundbreaking The Gospel Truth (Sleeve Dog Records/susanwerner.com), Werner makes her boldest statement to date. The dozen songs (including a hidden track) capture the passion and praise-filled expression of spirituals and gospel music, but without the bible thumping. In fact, the subjects of the songs range from close-minded but loud-mouthed preachers in “(Why Is Your) Heaven So Small.” to random acts of kindness and generosity in “Help Somebody.” to losing one’s faith in “Lost My Religion.” to getting your fair share, regardless of your religious affiliation, in “I Will Have My Portion.” But what gives these songs their glow is the way in which they are delivered, with a thundering gospel choir or an organ or both.
Benjamin Franklin said the only certainties in this world are death and taxes.
In Young Soul Rebels, an interracial sex act in the bushes turns into a murder, which sets off a police investigation and waves of controversy in London’s black community. The year is 1977, and there is fighting in the streets, and the authorities seem more interested in harassing the victim’s friends than in solving the crime. A riveting look at the forces of race, class, and sex that reshaped the U.K. just before the Thatcher years, Isaac Julien’s breakthrough film, which won the 1991 Critics’ Week Prize at Cannes, is as exciting as ever today. 1991. Directed by Isaac Julien (Looking for Langston). From Strand Releasing (www.strandreleasing.com). — Preview: Troy Carrington
SMILING FOR LIFE Randy Mitchmore (l), D.D.S., of LifeSmiles has been elected president of the Houston Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. On May 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Mitchmore hosts “Give Back A Smile” at his 1722 West Alabama office. The fundraiser, with refreshments, entertainment, and a silent auction, focuses on helping victims of domestic violence who have had their smiles damaged as a result of abuse. Details: 713-592-9300 www.LifeSmiles.us.
Life, she’s a pendulum. For decades, cinematic and literary representation of homosexuality almost always ended badly: The story’s finale found the hero/ine either swinging at the business end of a noose, or, perhaps even more damaging, switching teams to live happily ever after with the opposite-sex co-star.
HISTORY BOY. What do Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Joan Crawford, Mae West, Johnny Depp, Muhammad Ali, and Pope John Paul II have in common with renowned gay showman Jade Esteban Estrada? All have been honored with the title of Kentucky Colonel, Kentucky’s highest acknowledgment of ambassadors of goodwill and fellowship around the world.