John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site - John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site:
'via Blog this'
Please visit the above link should you be interested.
Donna and I visited the birthplace of John F. Kennedy in Brookline. Really, we were just out for a walk on a date together and after frozen yogurt, I suggested we explore parts of the city I with which I am unfamiliar. That is how we found Marsh Chapel at Boston University and now, when we are near by, we walk towards it and Donna goes inside to pray for a minute or two- its usually open and she uses it for silent meditation or supplication. I knew that there was a subway line towards the city parallel to the one on Commonwealth Aveneue that transverses B. U., both are the green line, so I thought that we would just head in that direction, an maybe we would have enough luck to pass the birthplace of John F. Kennedy. Not far down there's a sign marking 1/4 mile through the residential section, so I encourage her to go. When we found it, it was a house about the same size as the one that I grew up in, which was on the North Shore, except that it was 40 years older. But it has shingles and two dormers. Technically I was almost lost, but Donna was nice enough about exploring, which made the date all that more valuable. Then she was more pleased than I was. Its a guided tour, as the house is owned by the National Park service.
He was in fact born in the house with one sister and an older brother; the other siblings were born in another house nearby: I have since left a note somewhere that it was more of a Rose Kennedy musuem, but the nursery where he slept is preserved with their belongings. Significantly, Donna has a knack for finding an interest in the women of history, irrespective of the part they may have played. We we visited the Paul Revere house last summer I believe she was interested in the Colonial women. The bedrooms are restored to how they were during 1920, and Donna thought it was interesting that Kennedy's mother had attended a convent.
But I was there is his boyhood home, so it restored Kennedy as a New Englander, rather than a shattered myth (don't tell his ghost, but it was getting to be that Ronald Reagan, and everyone like him was a dipsomaniac)...but I was there in the actual house looking at the staircase that lent a human element, a human element that could be felt.
I saw his desk and remembered that Scott Fitzgerald claimed to have written his novels on a desk that had once belonged to Francis Scott Key. Most of all it is intact. It is really a typical residence from the 1920's, with a couple of finer things added. I write fairly extensively about the silent film from that era and read British novels from that decade, maybe nine or ten of them in the last three months, so my interest went further than it being the house of a President- which it is. He had a copy of National Geographic in the living room; my magazine collection is of movie fan magazines from the twenties, mostly issues of Picture Play. There is an old telephone in the hallway, by the stairs
Most of all, we needed the date and it was tucked away on a side street, the same thing having happenned one afternoon when she and I hurriedly decided to "take in" the Boston Anthenuem, which too is small and interesting because it is unique.
The postcard is from Donna; its obviously not the same one that she bought today and added to our collection.
Entry added later: This Weekend to begin Autumn
I was hoping that visiting the Kennedy birthplace would begin Autumn, which it nicely did. In regard to that, in Boston, the really is suppossedly a (Swedish) Pirate Party that is registered a third party; so actually Kennedy was more a politician than author. (There is a story that, for about a year before my marriage-then-divorce-then-engaged-for-second-marriage, I lived in the house of Senator Charles Summner, which is in Boston and does exist, and I may have attended book-signings or poetry-readings while there). But I do study the period of the twenties, their film, their novels and sometimes their poetry- the Kennedy birthplace is a museum of the Twenties, and novels put their protagonists in imaginary settings of that nature. The only thing being the art that Kennedy had was a reproduction of Whister's painting of his mother.
Saturday I wanted to begin the Autumn by continuing with the weather. The leaves have not yet begun to change and went to the bookstore. I've been reading and collecting the novels of a British novelist, E. Phillips Oppenheim and have been buying first edition copies for one to three dollars each. After looking for twenty minutes through the stacks, which seemed full of first editions of the numerous novels written by John Galsworthy, before conceding to buy the Galsworthy before having to leave I found a copy of The Governors by E. Phillips Oppenheim, bringing my collection of first editions from 1907-1937 to ten volumes which cost me fourteen dollars. The publishers were Little, Brown and Company or A. L Burt, the two exections being one Ward Lock and one Hodder and Stoughton. I've read eight since Oppenheim since June and am presently reading the ninth:
The Cinema Murder
The Passionate Quest
The Treasure of Martin Hews
The Wrath to Come
The Golden Beast
The Strange Boarders of Palace Crescent
General Besserley's Second Puzzle Box
The Illustrious Prince
It took two, now beginning three months with the volume I'm presently reading and they are all first edtions- all found in the only used bookstore I know really left in Boston. There were several old bookstores in Harvard Cambridge Massachusetts and I usually say that's why I moved here, but they have mostly left.
Sunday was saved for Donna's church service. She's the librarian at the Park Street Church and the service on again on Ephesians. As a philosophy student that's agnostic, you might like beginning with Ephesians if it isn't what you usually read. My writings were quickly jotting down that the fact that life might be absurd doesn't matter as much because love is both an abstract concept and an action, so if you require to answer what might transcend us, absurdity is only an abstract concept, like heaven, therefore love that exists can supplant meaning that exists, where you would only then require that existence improves upon essence, not only as knowledge of essence but as love now in action.
Donna, "after going to the birthplace of John Kennedy" sang loudly, and clearly and joyfully in church this week. It might also have something do with her being librarian at the church every other week. Actually, the church was there during the lifetime of John Quincy Adams, who live around the corner near the old bookstore, and to people that live in Boston it has only notoriously been just a plaque. This week I had dinner at the church as there was a student fair for Christians now attending local Universities and Colleges, though I didn't engage in anymore than evesdropping.