After years of planning and saving, our big adventure was upon us on June 5, 1968 - we were going to Ireland with our mom, to visit the country of her birth, and meet our great-grandmother!
I'd like to tell you that the trip went well, but I suffered from incredible motion sickness as a child (well into adulthood, to be honest), and I had a major freak-out at the sight of the plane that was taking us from Toronto to London (England). The small airport in my northern home town could only accept propeller planes, and I was terrified of this jet with no visible means of lifting us into the air. I suspect that I cried and threw up for at least the first couple of hours of the overnight flight, much to the distress of those around me.
The Aer Lingus flight from London to Dublin was much easier for me as the plane had propellers. It was also packed with Irish Americans heading home for visits with family, just as we were. The sky was blue, the sun shone, it was a perfect morning, and we had just cleared the British coast when the pilot made an announcement.
Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated.
The happy conversations turned instantly to sobs, grownups around me, women and men alike, were crying uncontrollably.
Even the 7-year-old me was aware of who Bobby Kennedy was. He was, after all, on the news nearly every night of the week, and usually on the cover of The Toronto Star, too! Yes, I did read the paper. No, my parents never stopped me. They had a subscription and it was delivered to the magazine shop in town late every afternoon, where dad would pick it up on his way home. I've mentioned in previous blog posts how I credit this habit with my success at trivia.
I've talked about this in a previous post:
and to this day, I remain inspired by the Kennedys and their vision for the world.
"Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not?"
Senator Ted Kennedy's eulogy for his brother