a new obsession with the past.

When I began working under my fabulous boss, Nora, in Boca Raton, I had no idea she would spark an interest in the style, grace, and all things Jackie Kennedy for me.  I’ve thanked her since.  For nearly five years, I’ve been curiously researching off and on about the Kennedy family.  Since Christmas, I’ve become quite obsessed.

I’m so intrigued by their persistence in creating a private, yet polite life to the public, the Newport style of home restoration which is serving as my inspiration for our Rock Forest home, the daily lives of Jack and Jackie (which were often separate) in the 50’s through the assasination, and her grace that followed during her unspeakable time of grief.  Ideals on parenting, marriage, personal contact with the public, and the veiled way things were done in the Camelot era fascinates me.   I literally can’t stop reading about it.  Can’t!

I’ve been engulfed in three books (shown below) since Christmas, and also eight audio recordings as Jackie narrates her oral history contribution to the project she started 50 years ago to preserve the memory and documentation of JFK’s presidency.   Her voice alone is worth listening to…it’s sort of charming and yet raspy, and you can hear the lighters clicking in the background as she chain smoked her way through a difficult interview four months after she buried her murdered husband.  (I’m not advocating smoking, but it gives a younger generation an idea of how casual and ordinary smoking was for the generation before us.)  I really love the photo below; makes me want to travel with a girlfriend and sit for hours in an adirondack chair in a foreign country.

Since the JFK Library undertook the huge digital archive project on in 2011 (somewhere around there) in celebration of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s presidency, I have been getting lost in oral transcripts of friends, family, and cabinet members.  I have no clue what I’m looking for, but I feel like I’m learning so much and lucky for me, there is still quite a bit to wade through.  I’ve read the following books (some more factual than others, but all are interesting) and would recommend them highly :

And books below are on my reading list.  I’m taking recommendations as well.   I probably won’t be reading the Mimi Alford book either…she’s approximately 50 years too late and the seven figures she received is probably enough royalties to suffice her, without the $25 for the copy I would buy.  I think there were probably dozens of books that could be written on the affairs of Kennedy’s, men and women alike, but there’s just no need to drudge it up with no one living to defend themselves.  Maybe blissful ignorance is the route I choose to that regard.

Until then, I’ll just be learning.  Obsessively.    Oh, and decorating the new house with a dash of Kennedy inspiration if, God willing, it will actually close on time.  More on that soon.