Remembering JFK’s magical effect on crowd
Thank you for publishing that picture of the John F. Kennedy rally (from the Nov. 3, 1960 issue).
I was standing 20-30 feet directly in front of him in the densely packed crowd, and there, standing right there, was the handsomest human anyone had ever seen in person. The partially angled sun was streaming through his crown of glorious hair, the color of which was a glowing rose gold. He was so handsome that it was breathtaking. To this day, I have yet to see any picture or image that looked as good as the man I saw that day. Charisma emanated off of him in waves like he was exhaling it to the entire crowd.
I don’t remember a word he said, and I doubt anyone there ever did. He truly could have been reading from the phone book for all that it mattered.
This was magic incarnate!
It is no discredit that the black and white photo you printed didn’t really capture what that day really looked like — I’m not sure any picture could, but it did rekindle very deep memories of that day in 1960. It took me back to a really magical experience. I wish everyone could have been there that day.
He cut an imposing figure, the like of which I’ve never seen since in politics. It set the mold for Democrats seeking high-ranking public office should look like and try to emulate the kind of charm that’s needed. Only Bill Clinton captured it somewhat successfully.
It was written in the history/sociology/political books that JFK was selected by a coalition of Democrat/Catholic/Jewish and Labor voters, which is partially true. What was said and what was apparent at the time of the election was that the vote that won him the presidency was the female vote. Look at the man. Look at the picture of Nixon circa 1960 and then one of JFK smiling and you’ll see why women (and men) voted for him. He looked like the man you wanted representing America to the world and to America itself. It was obvious then, but no longer mentioned.
Also in that JFK crowd with David Axelrod
To The Editor:
Congrats on your scoop — the beautiful, incisive and enlightening article on David Axelrod and his memoir (Town & Village, Feb. 19, 2015), especially with regard to his early reminiscences of life in Stuy Town.
I, like Axelrod, was in the (pictured) crowd at 20th Street and 1st Avenue in 1960 when John F. Kennedy campaigned there. I was 16 and it indeed was thrilling; I especially remember JFK’s reddish-brown hair blowing in the wind and of course his unique Massachusetts accent.
Sidney G. Schneck, ST
Feeling helpless over neighbor’s noise
The horror of it all… you work all your life to bring up your family, deal with the hardships and trials of life, health, money and serving in the army.
You think when you retire you can live the last part of your life in a friendly atmosphere where people respect each other.
And that is the way it was the past 20 years in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for me.
And then five months ago a new tenant moves in above me and destroys it all, not friendly, no respect, loud to a point where I can’t read or watch TV while they are walking with high heels or stomping around the floors without rugs or one that’s 9 by 12 in the living room. Music so loud it sounds like a band playing.
I went up to talk to them in a friendly manner but the things I tried to work out with them were dismissed (three times). It is a shame that I am not living with a smile on my face lately. I didn’t call up security because I heard from other people they don’t do much or were told not to. I didn’t think too much of the other horror stories until it happened to me, which I guess is normal.
But this is wrong no matter what age you are. The last time I went up to the tenant upstairs to try and work it out I lost it (I yelled as loud as their music) and guess what, they called security on me. I may look like the bad guy now or I got one strike against me as a tenant in a rent stabilized apartment.
I saw the neighbor by the elevator, and tried to make peace with him he told me, “Get used to it; I ain’t going no place.” What can we do? I love living here.
Lenny Weiner, ST