Kennedy Wedding: Patrick J. Kennedy Married Amy Petitgout

We love the the Kennedy’s at Caffeinated Politics!  CP also loves a well-written account of the news….this one is perfect.

Under a nearly cloudless Friday sky, former Rhode Island congressman Patrick J. Kennedy married Amy Petitgout, a New Jersey school teacher, in a small, private ceremony in the backyard of his family’s Cape Cod compound.

Kennedy wore a blue blazer and white pants; the bride, a white sleeveless gown.

More than 100 family and close friends attended the ceremony. U.S Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who had served as the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s legal counsel, officiated. Patrick’s older brother, Ted Kennedy Jr., served as best man.

Onlookers gathered on the beach near the compound to catch a glimpse of the ceremony, which started around 5 p.m. and ended about a half-hour later.

Kennedy, Petitgout and her 3-year-old daughter from another marriage, Harper, then walked up to a nearby bluff overlooking the water to pose for photos.

They eventually joined guests under a large white tent for the reception. A fireworks display was expected later in the evening.

“Men [dressed] in blue and the boys in powder blue. It was very cute. And the guests had a beautiful view of the water,” said Rochelle Borden, a Boston-area resident who was among the onlookers. “It was lovely. They really tried to be understated. It was very, very nice.”

The buzz around the compound was perhaps more subdued than past Kennedy weddings.

Young children biked past the house without giving the media gathered outside a second glance. Mothers pushing strollers peered intently down the street, but no more.

“We were surprised. We thought it would be much busier,” said Eileen Gareau, a Worcester resident who came into town with her daughter and her niece to catch a glimpse of the wedding party.

She shrugged. “This is exciting. It’s always exciting to see a Kennedy.”

More than 50 wedding guests — women in summer dresses and men in tan suits or blue blazers and khakis — came via charter bus, as is custom for many Kennedy gatherings.

Guests who came in their own cars did not drive up in the black luxury vehicles that might be expected at a Kennedy wedding.

Justice Breyer was driven into the compound in an old Volvo station wagon.

Police officers stationed at the top of the road did not recognize Breyer initially and stopped the car. They soon apologized and let it through.

There were little quirky touches to the day.

A green-and-white golf cart — likely one of the many that the family uses to shuttle guests in and around the compound — had a small sign affixed to the back that said, “Just Married.”

A police officer pointed out what appeared to be a neon sign on a bluff that he said would be lit up during a fireworks display that would read “Patrick Loves Amy” — or something to that effect, he said.

And just hours before his wedding, Kennedy and a group of about a dozen guests took a ride on his late father’s sailboat, the Mya.

Returning from the trip with two hours to spare, Kennedy said he believed that his father, who succumbed to brain cancer two years ago in August, had blessed them with a good day of weather.

“I could not have asked for better weather or a better bride,” Kennedy said. “Dad is working it all out from above, making sure we had a good day.”

He added that the late senator would be on everyone’s mind. “We’re back at my dad’s house, doing what he would have loved to be doing …enjoying each other’s company and being surrounded by family,” Kennedy said. “I’m so thrilled to be here in the place that he loved so much.”

Among Friday’s wedding crowd was at least one notable Rhode Islander: Frank DiPaolo Jr.

Dressed in a light blue seersucker suit and holding a cane, the 104-year-old North Providence resident was the first off a charter bus that was shuttling guests from a nearby hotel to the compound.

Kennedy has said he has known DiPaolo since he was a student at Providence College.

It was DiPaolo who introduced Kennedy to the neighborhood’s political leaders and threw Kennedy his first fundraiser as he launched his political career as a state representative from Providence.

DiPaolo, also the longtime doorkeeper at the Rhode Island House of Representatives, has been one of Kennedy’s most trusted advisers and friends ever since.

“It’s really something,” DiPaolo said of Kennedy, a longtime bachelor, getting married. “We did meet a lot of young girls, but then Amy came along, and she’s the one.”

The 44-year-old Portsmouth resident announced his engagement to Petitgout, a 32-year-old sixth-grade teacher, in March 2011.

He met Petitgout in 2010 during an event in Atlantic City where he spoke about his aunt Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s work helping found the Special Olympics.

“My father spoke about his ‘true compass,’ guiding him through his journey of life,” Kennedy said in an engagement announcement. “I have found mine with Amy.”

Petitgout will take Kennedy’s name.

Their wedding came the day after Kennedy’s birthday.

It also came a day before the 12th anniversary of the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, and her sister. Kennedy, who had been piloting the plane, was the son of the late President John F. Kennedy.

The family gathering also comes as two family disputes over the Kennedy legacy, including the future of the famed Cape Cod compound itself, have become public.

One is a dispute over the planned transfer of ownership of the main Hyannis Port house, which the family has owned since the late 1920s, for possible use as a museum.

The six-acre compound served as President Kennedy’s summer White House. Later, it was where Ted Kennedy lived.

In the other dispute, the family of the late Robert Kennedy has publicly expressed frustration at their father’s treatment in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

The family is considering moving dozens of boxes of archival material from there.

Kennedy, the youngest of Ted Kennedy’s children, represented Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District as a Democrat for 16 years and served as a state representative for four.

His decision not to run for reelection in 2010 marked a milestone: for the first time in 63 years there would be no Kennedy serving in elected office in Washington, D.C.

Kennedy has since been named a visiting fellow at Brown University.

And, having struggled for years with depression, drugs and alcohol, he has also helped launch One Mind For Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to studying neurological brain disorders.

The Land Of Camelot Grows

I still am fascinated and inspired by the Kennedy family.  As such the following news made me smile today.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest child of Robert is a first-time grandmother. This is also Ethel Kennedy’s first great-grandchild. One of Kathleen’s daughters, Maeve, and her husband, David McKean, had a boy named Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. Maeve is senior director at the office of Global Affairs at HHS. David is legal director at the Servicemembers Defense Fund.

George McGovern Remembers Sargent Shriver

Worth a read.

Sarge was an idealist, a man of boundless heart, and a hard-headed businessman who from the ground up built a government program—and he was never afraid to call it just that because he disdained anti-government stereotypes—that has become an enduring force for American purpose and compassion, vastly popular at home and around the globe. I once encountered him in a corner of Africa, his suit jacket off but his tie in place, working with Peace Corps volunteers as they dug a well.

Sarge’s gift, his magic then and always, was not what he could do, however important, but what he could inspire others to do—which he saw as the most important challenge of all. With President Kennedy, he was the new face of America that made the country once again a shining light to people everywhere yearning for a decent life.

I watched him take up the same cause here at home after I had gone to the Senate when he agreed to command the war on poverty. It’s fashionable now to see the Great Society as over-reaching and underperforming. But millions were lifted out of poverty—and if the job was unfinished, it was because a different war, in Vietnam, drained the resources that could have made the difference from Mississippi to simmering urban ghettos around the nation. Sarge was never given the tools to finish the job, but he never gave up or gave in.

Sargent Shriver Dies At 95, His Activism Made A Difference

One of the good guys who understood the good that can come from government and what being involved in the political process can achieve has died.

R. Sargent Shriver, who was responsible for launching the U.S. Peace Corps after marrying into the Kennedy family and joining John F. Kennedy’s White House, has died, a family source told CNN.

Shriver, whose full name was Robert Sargent Shriver, was 95. He had suffered for years from Alzheimer’s disease.

For more on Shriver’s amazing life click here.


Sargent Shriver In Critical Condition

Another memory from Camelot.

Former Peace Corps director and vice-presidential nominee R. Sargent Shriver was in critical condition Monday at a hospital in Maryland, a spokeswoman for the family said.

The 95-year-old was admitted at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda early in the day, the family said in an e-mail statement attributed to spokeswoman Kirsten Seckler.

No other details about his ailment were released and no more information about his condition was available late Monday. Shriver announced in 2003 that he had Alzheimer’s disease.

He served as the first Peace Corps director in the administration of his brother-in-law, President John F. Kennedy. He also was Democrat George McGovern’s running mate in 1972.

Shriver’s wife and Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver died in 2009 at age 88.

He is also the father of former NBC reporter Maria Shriver, who is married to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The handsome Shriver is often known first as an in-law. But his achievements are historic in their own right and changed millions of lives: the Peace Corps’ first director and the leader of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” out of which came such programs as Head Start and Legal Services.

Within the family, he was sometimes relied upon for the hardest tasks. When Jacqueline Kennedy needed the funeral arranged for her assassinated husband, she asked Shriver.

Shriver had fought for integration in Chicago and helped persuade Kennedy to make a crucial decision in the 1960 campaign despite other staffers’ fears of a white backlash: When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed in Georgia that fall, Kennedy phoned King’s wife and offered support. His gesture was deeply appreciated by King’s family and brought the candidate crucial support.

Soon after taking office, President Kennedy named Shriver to fulfill a campaign promise to start the Peace Corps. Although it was belittled by some as a “kiddie corps,” Shriver quickly built the agency into an international institution.

Pictures Inside Of Lee Harvey Oswald Casket, Up For Sale

This coffin is up for sale.

Who would want it, along with the embalming instruments?

He was interred in a pine coffin at Fort Worth, Texas, shortly afterwards. But almost two decades later, his widow Marina and brother, Robert, had the coffin exhumed, after hearing extravagant rumours that his body had been replaced by that of a Russian intelligence agent. A check of dental records by pathologists revealed that the body had not been switched. The remains were duly transported back to Rose Hill cemetery, before being re-interred in a fresh coffin.Oswald’s original coffin has remained ever since at the Baumgardner Funeral Home, the local undertaker which handled the exhumation. They are now cashing in on their brush with historic notoriety by selling it through the LA-based auctioneers Nate D Sanders. “There’s just a lot of interest in Kennedy and anything to do with his assassination,” said Laura Yntema, auction manager at the California-based company.Her catalogue tells the item’s colourful story, noting that it is made from discoloured pine and measures 80 inches long by 24 inches deep. The coffin was badly water-damaged.


The original coffin in which suspected Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was buried will go on the block on Dec. 16, (just in time for Christmas for the person who has everything!) with bids starting at $1,000. Auction officials anticipate it will sell for much higher.

The Los Angeles auction will also include embalming instruments that were used on Oswald, among other items.

Oswald was arrested about an hour after President Kennedy was shot to death in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. He himself was shot two days later, and was never brought to trial.

Oswald was buried in the casket until 1981, when a legal dispute between his widow and brother led to an exhumation.

“We got a call from the funeral home that this was a coffin that Mr. Oswald’s brother had disposed of after Lee Harvey was exhumed. I never expected that call, but I got it,” Sanders said. His auction house is one of the best-known for JFK assassination memorabilia and other historical collectibles, he said.

Recalling JFK, And Days Gone By

This time of year we always reflect back and think how things mights have been… 

I was surprised, however, when not long after our return Mrs. Kennedy decided to join her husband on his trip to Texas. It was so soon after the loss of her son, and she hadn’t accompanied the president on any domestic political trips since his election.

Nevertheless, when we left the White House on Thursday, Nov. 21, I could tell that Mrs. Kennedy was truly excited. I remember thinking this would be a real test of her recovery, and that if she enjoyed the campaigning it would probably be a regular occurrence as soon as the 1964 race got into full swing.

The first day of the trip was exhausting. We had motorcades in San Antonio, Houston and finally Fort Worth, where we arrived around midnight. It had been a long day for everyone, and Mrs. Kennedy was drained.

On the morning of Nov. 22, I went to her room at the Hotel Texas to bring her down to the breakfast where President John F. Kennedy was speaking. She was refreshed and eager to head to Dallas. She had chosen a pink suit with a matching hat to wear at their many appearances that day, and she looked exquisite.