Death comes at the end


On the historic Beacon Hill, the senator was fondly remembered by newsmen

The rich and the famous take their August recesses to Nantucket, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Thus Boston is usually the place to be in the late August, but this year? Not so much. President Obama is vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, which made the security on the island extremely tight. So, this year, I decided to settle on the mainland side. I was there for less than 36 hours when that perennial spoilsport Teddy Kennedy dropped dead down the road.

Within minutes helicopters were whirling; news crews were en route. It totally ruined my vacation (and Ted’s too, probably). So, the next morning, I came back up to Boston only to find that the entire Commonwealth has stopped working to honor their fallen senator.

On Thursday, I decided to see the funeral procession from Hyannis Port to JFK Library. The governor (who was more than willing to appoint someone immediately to the empty seat) has sent out an invitation to his friends and all state employees to come out to honor TMK. So there they were, in the sun, waiting for hours for the procession.

It was delayed by the family members arriving late to the Kennedy Compound (and a traffic accident on the freeway). They had to hire an addition bus at the last minute to accommodate all Kennedys. The former congressman Joe Kennedy (RFK’s younger son) was in the front seat of the bus, waving all politician-like. A lot of people in the crowd suspects he wants his uncle’s seat, and are willing to give it to him.

The hearse arrived nearly an hour later than predicted, making life hell for the reporters who had to interview every random lawmaker who came their way to accommodate for the time being. Finally, it went down the historic Beacon Hill, past all historical places the Kennedys left their mark on (which is to say every place in the Commonwealth) and to JFK Library. (It reminded me of Christopher Buckley’s novel Boomsday, in which WASP-y Sen. Randolph K. Jepperson of Massachusetts, a watershed parody of Teddy, had his political epiphany inside JFK Library).

Tomorrow, I am leaving Boston; security and traffic to the airport will probably be harsh, too. Fifty senators are flying in; so is PM Brown. What a rigmarole.


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