September 12, 2011

JFK, the bookworm.

"He was a voracious reader who brought books with him into the bathtub, and even tried to read at meals and while doing his tie."

From the Jackie tapes. Also, he changed into his pajamas before taking a midday nap and, each evening, he knelt by the side of the bed to say his prayers. Went to confession too:
As president, he occasionally slipped into a confession booth in Palm Beach, Fla., "like anyone would," she said, with a Secret Service agent holding a place in line for him and the priest never knowing he'd just had the president in the confessional.
Can we get some fact-checking on this stuff?

29 comments:

phx said...

Can we get some fact-checking on this stuff?

But what difference would that make?

Irene said...

She believed it was a "nap"?

traditionalguy said...

That JFK was a reader makes sense. His quick wit in press conferences and seductive powers with women goes along with a voracious appetite for reading.

That JFK believed in the efficacy of a confession also makes sense. The hiding of the extra women in his life from Jackie was taking up all of his mental power to compartmentalize. So a regular confession went a long way to keeping him sane.

As for weeping for an armed unit facing a superior force, JFK could empathize better than most men. He had to fight the Empire of Japan before they lost their edge.

Paul Zrimsek said...

When your penitent says "Bless me, Father, I pronged Marilyn Monroe without telling my wife", wouldn't that narrow it down a bit?

Ann Althouse said...

"She believed it was a "nap"?"

LOL. So the whole pajamas thing was like the way Hugh Hefner always wears pajamas?

JohnJ said...

"He planned to oust J. Edgar Hoover from the FBI in a second term, she recalled."

Yup, as soon as his brother got a hold of the tapes & negatives.

Ann Althouse said...

The question is, did he read while fucking Marilyn Monroe?

EDH said...

changed into his pajamas before taking a midday nap and... each evening, knelt by the side of the bed to say his prayers.

Wow, some of my earliest memories in life are of me changing into my pajamas before bed and kneeing by the side of my bed with my family to say my prayers, which recital of dearly departed included (the then deceased) "President Kennedy."

Irene said...

"LOL. So the whole pajamas thing was like the way Hugh Hefner always wears pajamas?"

I can picture JFK in a smoking robe. Without socks.

gerry said...

That JFK believed in the efficacy of a confession also makes sense.

Jackie also stated that she wasn't sure if his beliefs were genuine or only superstition - she thought he wanted "that" to be on his side if it were true, in any case.

Teddy had multiple counseling sessions, basically on his deathbed(which likely included the sacrament of Penance). Trying to cheat the devil may be a Kennedy predisposition. I wonder if it works?

edutcher said...

This is all too "little boy"; he was more of an adult than that. Jack Kennedy once warned one of his girlfriends sleeping over at Hyannisport (separate rooms, interestingly enough), "Lock your door. The old man likes to go roaming at night".

Irene said...

She believed it was a "nap"?

Apparently she believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, too.

Ann Althouse said...

The question is, did he read while fucking Marilyn Monroe?

She always rode him, so it's possible.

WV "outies" (no kidding) What Jack told Jackie his playtime was.

Fred4Pres said...

These are not facts, they are Jackie's thoughts. I assume some of it is true, but a lot of it reveals more about Jackie's thought process (and self delusion) than JFK's.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann Althouse said...
The question is, did he read while fucking Marilyn Monroe?

9/12/11 10:31 AM


Saucey Althouse!

traditionalguy said...

Professor, you are thinking like a woman who wants pillow talk and intimacy..

Jack would fuck Marilyn a while, then read a while, then fuck her again.

That way he could do Marilyn about 5 times per book.

The downside was Bobby wanted to try for 6 times to one up his brother.

J Edgar was the score keeper.

pm317 said...

Also, he changed into his pajamas before taking a midday nap

When I first read this, I was trying to imagine Obama renewing the tradition in the current WH.. add mid-day naps to the list of golf, sports, parties, vacations.

J said...

The question is, did he read while fucking Marilyn Monroe?

Probably, at least until the Kennedy gang had her offed--but Marilyn had pals too...e.g., Sinatra's gang,and DiMaggio (who had mob ties..Murder Inc via Frank Costello..his accountant for years) --and both knew..Sam Giancana, Marcello, Bonanos, etc. SamG. had ties to the Dallas rackets..and 'Nawlins--and probably to Clay Shaw.

Connect the dots--JFK's hit a payback for MM? Es posible. But get this..the first reports were of a mauser-like weapon.Why?? Dallas cops involved-some sharpshooters---a klansman most likely made the fatal shot (palsiesof..LBJ as well), and Oswald's the mob's stooge (not really known as a Red to mobsters). Klan and mafia, togetha.

Paul Zrimsek said...

And it seems to me you lived your life like a Kindle in the wind.

DADvocate said...

Voracious reader? I work with a guy who may be the most voracious reader in history.

He reads while he walks, everywhere. In the hallways, down the sidewalk. Plus, standing at the urinal, etc. All with only one good eye. I don't know how he's avoided being hit by a car while crossing the street and reading at the same time.

William said...

The secret of many happy marriages is widowhood....I suppose some of this is true, but it is far from The Truth. Well, it's not just what she and Schlesinger wanted to believe, it's what we all wanted to believe. There's a time when I would have swallowed all of this hook, line, and sinker. Now it adds just another layer of cynicism to another layer of self serving myths.

lgv said...

It's true.

Well, the voracious reader part. JFK was known to read for speed; I've heard as fast as 2000 words per minute. If this is true, I doubt he could do Marilyn 5 times per book.

Apparently, he had a voracious appetite for other things as well.

So, if a make a list of statments about someone and you start with the one that is true, does it make the rest of them more believable?

ndspinelli said...

I think the only people on their knees next to the Kennedy bed were Marilyn Monroe, Judith Exner, and Angie Dickinson..and they not be praying, they be playing the Irish flute.

Christy said...

Well! That's why Jackie had the sheets changed (and ironed) twice a day. At 12 I couldn't figure that out.

Do I really think the guy who was on pain pills constantly for his back got on his knees to pray? Even if he was betting with Pascal, I've my doubts. But who knows? He wouldn't have been the first grown man still driven by his mother's hand.

Mark in Spokane said...

Assuming that Kennedy was a highly compartmentalized person, I find most of the interview quite believeable. Religious observance and (by Christian standards) immoral behavior are not mutually exclusive. An insightful and curious mind (constant reading) is quite compatible with a wandering eye. And the idea of extreme formality (jammies before nap time, prayers before sleep) is also not incompatible with forms of disorder in his personal life. If anything, these contrary tendencies tend to reinforce each other in many people -- garage is a mess sp make sure the yard is extra tidy, so to speak.

Jose_K said...

It was the side effect of cortisone

AJ Lynch said...

Fifty years from now, Michele Obama will be telling us how Prez Obama was an ESPNworm.

Dad29 said...

Kinda hard to maintain anonymity when you confess that you sent the CIA to off some 3rdWorld twit, no?

Fred4Pres said...

Did Churchill change into PJs during the day? I thought he just stayed up all night, so he was sleeping during the day (and only to be awaken for emergencies).

Ralph L said...

Ted Sorensen did JFK's reading for him.

I believe there's a tape recording of JFK negotiating his speed reading rate with a friendly reporter.

Barry Dauphin said...

Confession in Palm Beach, FL, and the priest wouldn't scratch is head listening to someone with a Boston accent--- "Gee, that guy sure sounds like president Kennedy. It must have been Vaughn Meader"