Thursday, August 27, 2009
Outdoor Painting, Ted Kennedy
Toni and I planned to go kayaking today, but it didn't work out. Instead, I went with Diana to paint outdoors at Gleason Cove. I like the little painting I did, and it certainly captures the sunny day. I did in in oil, simply because I'm getting tired of watercolor and don't have all my colors in acrylic. Oil is messy outside, and I think this is actually the first time I've used it. The look is different from acrylic because of the creaminess of the paint, and besides the fact that two bugs got stuck in it, I really didn't have much trouble.
Ted Kennedy died the day before yesterday, and I was unexpectedly upset by it. He has had brain cancer for over a year, so it was expected. Still, I always thought of him as a rather sad figure never quite able to live up to his brothers. I remember the incident that ruined him politically as if it were yesterday. Even then, I defended his actions, seeing things the way I thought he did and understanding his predicament. I was loyal to the Kennedys, beginning with John, waving my John F. Kennedy for president poster and wearing my plastic "straw hat" with the read, white, and blue paper band. I was stunned when he was assassinated and sat mesmerized in front of the TV for the four days the event was shown, analyzed, commented on, and replayed. I was there when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald on national TV. I was at the funeral, saw John-John salute the casket as it passed on the way to the cemetery. I saw the lighting of the eternal flame (which went out shortly thereafter and was re-lit). I cried and cried, losing a piece of my optimism and naivte for good. Later there followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, and then Bobby Kennedy............that haunting popular song, "Has anybody here, seen my old friend, Martin......Abraham, Martin, and John. I still choke up when I think of it.
Ted Kennedy was not particularly well-known then, except as Jack's little brother. He is the one who lived on, though, and doggedly persued the same dreams his brothers had, in a quieter way. He earned his own place. He lasted. His death seems to put a period at the end of an important sentence. And because I was there for all of it, it makes me feel old now that they are all gone. I'm the last generation who knew them. I feel as if so many important people left without me, left me to see what comes after, left me to face the anticlimax alone.