“Another Kennedy book,” was my first thought when seeing this title, but after the first ten pages I came to realize it wasn’t just another Kennedy book. It was a crash course in sailing for a land locked mid-westerner like myself and I found myself sailing right along with the family. The Kennedys sailed when grief was everywhere, during wedding weekends, in times of joy and unthinkable sadness, At times they sailed alone. One account of Teddy sailing alone at night with just his skill and the stars following his brother Bobby’s death was especially touching . And the competing among family member is long standing going back to Joe, Jr. and Jack in their youth.
Old Joe Kennedy purchased the first sailing vessel for his two older sons and the race was on, entering races together and against each other. Interestingly, the Kennedy women competed against all comers, too, and Eunice and Ethel are among the finest sailors in the family. Ethel still holds her annual sailing picnics for her expanding family and she is well into her 80’s.
Christopher Kennedy , son of Robert and Ethel, was author James Graham’s right hand during the research for this book and they became friends. Chris often took the author sailing, although he was not much of a sailor at the time. Many sailing days later while Chris and Graham were returning to shore for lunch, they came upon a number of children of varying ages with a instructor. The children were taking lessons in sailing and water safety and when they saw Chris they all smiled their toothy smiles and waved eagerly. Chris turned to the Graham and said, “They are mostly Kennedys”.
As one generation of Kennedys sails into the sunset, so to speak, another generation comes over the horizon and the reader now understands why the family loves the sea. “We are tied to the ocean, and when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch--we are going back from whence we came.” John F. Kennedy
University Press of New England
272 pages, 6 x 9", 28 images
Cloth, $29.95, Ebook $22.99
To order: 800-421-1561