Richard and Bobby
Robert Kennedy died on June 6, 1968
Ann: Richard? What is the going on with Bobby coming in on the 52d anniversary of his death?
Richard: Like it, love? Just one of these little tricks that we like to play to keep you on your toes. No complacency here, no siree, guess you won’t be taking us for granted, huh?
Ann: Was I? If so, I grievously apologize, this little coincidence that you guys came up with really packs a punch, for Anita too and no doubt many others. Which is perhaps the point?
Richard: Yes, we need him now. I loved Bobby. He was a truth teller, the big ego was ruthless (and yes, I loved to tease him about that) but harnessed to the service of his mission, and that mission was to alleviate poverty and injustice. And he was a worker. He was smart but not so much that he could take it for granted, and he had learned how to focus, how to work.
He made our lives brighter with his wit and humor and no-nonsense approach to life. We weren’t stars to him, just people that interested him. He asked me incessantly about my background, about my family in Wales, the ties, the hardships, the loneliness of growing up in the midst of family that loved you but basically had no use for you. In that we bonded.
I knew him when I was in one of the best periods of my life, in the magical world that Mike Nichols created for us on the set of Virginia Woolf. However harsh the play, the scenes and they were brutal, we returned to the safety of the nest that held us safe while we explored the brutal depths of the human soul. I really hated George. And Elizabeth’s character also and yet I knew them intimately – which made me hate them all the more.
Bobby and Ethel were the antidote, the high minded, dedicated public servants who loved to have a good time. And yes, both of us can hear him saying that he gave as good as he got, and that he definitely did. Had I taken another turn in my life I would have been a writer and poet, and I think Bobby also had these inclinations. But it was not to be, and both of us were consumed by our respective worlds, he to go down in glory and I to drag out a lingering death of humiliation.
And now he leads again, and I am privileged to be back in the trenches. The Lord works in mysterious ways, praised be to God.
June 6, 2020