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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



A Ted Kennedy memory

The news this morning, with the many clips of Ted Kennedy speeches, unearthed a long forgotten memory of meeting him.

I mean long forgotten, too, because it was probably in 1960 when then Sen. John F. Kennedy was running for President. My father, a reporter for the New York Times based in Detroit, spent some time on the campaign trail that year.

On one occasion -- I can't tell you where except I think it was Ohio -- I got to tag along or maybe my mother brought my brother and me to the event to pick up my father. I would have been 10.

What I remember is being in an elevator with JFK and Teddy. Ted Kennedy was the friendly one. He offered me a stick of gum.

Television brings so many public figures into our living rooms that a personal encounter isn't as memorable or meaningful as it once was. Back in that very political year -- during the Kennedy/Nixon battle for the White House -- I could boast on the playground that I'd shaken hands with both presidential candidates, thanks to my father. I brushed Nixon's hand through an airport chain-link fence some time after the up-close-and-personal moment with the Kennedys.

I'm sure I saw Ted Kennedy again in 1974 when I spent the fall in Washington D.C. wandering through the Capitol in search of stories during the final semester of my University of Missouri master's program in journalism. Strangely, the memory that stuck, however, is the one involving a piece of gum.

-- Nancy Remsen


just be glad he didn't offer you a ride in his car!
Enough already - the man has passed away!

He was a great leader, great legislator and really cared about people - especially working people.

Perhaps you should read what some of his colleagues have written about him - and I mean the conservative colleagues who repected Ted Kennedy.
My memory was from 1972. I was a freshman at Rice and lived a block away. Kennedy came to make a speech on behalf of Tom Salmon at the school. I was watching through the cafeteria windows when a reporter came out and offered me his ticket. I went in to watch the Senator talk about his brothers and then met him in a receiving line. It kept me involved in politics for 10 years.
In 1988 after I won the Democratic congressional primary, I was in DC and as I was leaving the capitol, I noticed Senator Kennedy walking down the capitol steps. I went up to him and told him why I was in Washington(meeting Democratic lawmakers). He and I walked three blocks and talked politics. He was alone and I will never forget that exchange as he was and will be the Babe Ruth of politics.
Wow, what an incredibly boring story.
That's a really cool memory, Nancy. Very cool.
The venom on this blog is what's boring. An honest, and given the news, so personal insight is dismissed with such disrespectfulness. It's not about Kenney. You disrespect the good journalists who provide content each day. If you don't like it, offer a suggestion. But keep the venom and vitriol to yourself. It is super boring, and frankly, a downer to read.
Nice story. I met Senator Kennedy a few times as a TV news intern, and as a photographer for the AP and a few local papers. None of those memories stick, but I will always recall being on the floor of the 1980 Democratic National Convention and hearing his "The Dream Shall Never Die" speech. It was inspiring, and especially so because he had run such a lackluster campaign against sitting President Jimmy Carter.

I cherish the memories I have from those days as a news photographer, and all the famous people I had a chance to meet in informal settings.
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