Friday, July 27, 2007

JFK and School

From my book, "Resilience - The Life of a Mexican American" :

In fifth grade, we studied politics and the Nixon and Kennedy Presidential Campaign. Mr Somes didn’t tell us his preference of candidate. He let each of us decide who we thought was best based on the issues.

After reviewing the issues, the class was divided about 50 – 50. I decided I liked Senator Kennedy best. He was a man who was for the people.

I wrote Senator Kennedy a letter letting him know what we were doing in class. I also said I would vote for him if I were old enough.

A few weeks later, Mom said an envelope came for me. It was in a brown envelope about eight inches long and six inches wide. I never received mail for me before. Excitedly, I opened up the envelope. It contained a letter from Senator Kennedy thanking me for my letter and a signed, autographed picture of him.

I showed everyone in my family the letter and the picture. I also showed everyone at school my new prized possession.

When I brought the picture home, I proudly hung his picture up on the wall in my bedroom.

At this same time, Dad watched the news every night. He liked Walter Cronkite and told us he was an honest man.

Senator Kennedy came to Lansing that summer for his Presidential Campaign. I begged Gloria to take me downtown to the Capital to see him. Thousands of people had the same idea. We were all on the Capital lawn listening to his speech. We felt like we were watching history when he visited.

My parents said they were voting for Senator Kennedy for President. That fall, we were so excited when Kennedy won. We all knew my father voted for him and we felt we had a personal stake in this election.

Mr. Somes was my teacher in both fifth and sixth grade, so we followed the campaign through to the election. This made the whole event very relevant for all of his students.

In sixth grade, Mr. Somes, always so caring about all his students, made learning fun and our group remained friends throughout the entire schoolyear.


ultima said...

I think it is generally understood that the Daley machine in Chicago delivered that election to Kennedy and that there was ample evidence to support a recount to ferret out all the fictitious names and other irregularities. The election in Illinois was so close that this easily could have tipped the entire election into Nixon's column. Nixon was enough of a statesman to decline this opportunity for a recount.

Dee said...

Ultima, Are you always opposite of me? I loved JFK. I became interested in politics because of him. I suppose you think nothing suspicious happened in FL for "W".

You are the only person I have ever heard say Nixon was a statesman.

But you know what? When I was all up in arms against Nixon and Watergate, my Dad said to me, "Honor the Office and do not disrespect the man." (That was my Dad and I miss him!)

Dee said...

Then, when we watched him on TV as he was giving his good-bye speech, I was doing my best to conceal my approval of his leaving. Dad again admonished me and said "Isn´t it enough he is leaving in disgrace."

My Dad was so wise. He always, always advised me stop and contemplate the events.

Imigrante said...

Rock 'n' roll will never die!

Dee said...

Hi Immigrante,
Thank you for visiting my blog. Come by often and lets talk about the immigration issues. I am wondering what your opinions are.

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