What sad news to awaken to this morning–the report of the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. I shook Ted Kennedy’s hand once, or rather, he shook mine. Having wandered into the lobby of a Boston hotel in the early eighties, a bit woozy from the dim lighting and libations of the Tiki Lounge, I could tell that something was about to happen and started to get out of the way. Within a heartbeat or two, the doors to the hotel opened and in strode Teddy Kennedy at the head of his entourage. My eyes got as big as saucers as he marched across the lobby, at first in my general direction and then, for the last ten paces, surely, inevitably, inexorably right at me, with a look in his eye like he had just spotted a relative in the crowd and needed to say hi. Which he did. He grabbed my hand, nodded, smiled as I choked out something to the effect of “Give ’em hell, Teddy,” and then he was gone. I was left with the thought: the energy, the decisiveness, the genuineness, the power. Someone on NPR commented this morning that Ted Kennedy had more impact on his country overall than either of his brothers. And I guess what he said in 1980 has a special meaning today:
For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end.
For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.
For all you Kindlefolk, here is Teddy’s life captured from the up-to-the-minute Wikipedia in pristine mobi-formatting if you want to revisit the scope of the life of this great American: Ted Kennedy from Wikipedia.