BACK in the Era of a True ‘First Lady’

    No, let’s not dwell on the first ‘First Lady’ of the Entitlement Era, I’d like to show you just a hint of an actual–one of the most real–‘First Lady.’  No, it won’t be Laura Welch Bush.  Those who read this blog when it was published regularly, will remember than Mrs Bush was–and still IS–my first choice for the ‘best, most congenial, most regal, most “presidential,” Number One First Lady of all Time!!

    Last month I found “Mrs Kennedy and Me” by Clint Hill (and Lisa McCubbin) on one of the ‘Less than $XX’ tables at the local Barnes and Noble.  I was a high school senior when President Kennedy was assassinated so I clearly remember the First Lady, but I only saw her in the public context of her ‘office.’  Mr Hill‘s book puts a far more accurate edge on Mrs Kennedy‘s life during the Camelot Era; to a lesser extent the president and their two children’s lives. 

    I have to set the stage before what I consider one of the most telling quotes in the entire book.  The time frame is October, 1961 and the Kennedy Administration had just found out–after a U-2 flight–that the Soviet Union was installing offensive nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba.  During the course of dissemination of this secret information among those who have ‘a need to know,’ Mr Hill briefed the First Lady on the family’s safety as it might relate to the Cuban Missile Crisis:

“In the event…. a situation develops…. where we don’t have time to leave the area, we would take you and the children into the shelter for protection.”

Before I [Mr Hill] could explain any further, she pulled away from me, in what can only be described as defiance, and said,

“Mr Hill, if the situation develops that requires the children and me to the shelter, let me tell you what you can expect.”

She looked me straight in the eyes.  She lowered her voice, into a deep whisper, and with complete and utter conviction said,

“If the situation develops,” she repeated, “I will take Caroline and John, and we will walk hand in hand out onto the South Grounds.  We will stand there like brave soldiers, and face the fate of every other American.”

W-H-E-W!!  Can you imagine Michelle Antoinette, The First Lady of The Entitlement Era, even consider that move?!?  Not I!!

Comments, anyone?

Til Nex’Time….

Blogger Note:  After the Kennedy assassination; before the ‘internet era,’ I researched Clint Hill for my personal knowledge.  In the ubiquitous broadcasting of the Kennedy-Dallas motorcade, Mr Hill is seen climbing onto the presidential limousine trunk lid to return Mrs Kennedy to the passenger cabin.  

Agent Clint Hill climbing onto the Presidential Limo

He then shielded both President and Mrs Kennedy from any future gunfire.

Clint Hill continued to head Mrs Kennedy’s protection detail until after the 1964 elections when he was assigned to President-elect Lyndon Johnson.