"He had big brown eyes and long eyelashes...
And every month of his life
he grew handsomer and more interesting."
CAMELOT'S LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
John -- as a boy, as a man --
matched that description of Little Lord Fauntleroy in every way.
In his book AMERICAN SON, Richard Blow describes how he came to compare John F. Kennedy, Jr., to Little Lord Fauntelroy:
excerpt from Chapter 7:
"...After about a year and a half of dating, John and Carolyn were getting married. Everyone at George, I think, guessed John's secret. But no one said a word to him, and even among ourselves, we barely alluded to the possibility...
I heard the news on a car radio on Saturday, September 21. 'Sorry, ladies, the world's most eligible bachelor has finally called it a day,' the broadcaster said. The wedding had taken place in a tiny white clapboard church--a former slave chapel with only a handful of benches and no electricity--on Cumberland Island, a little-known speck of land off the coast of Georgia [*see note-jj]. Not a single tabloid reporter or photographer was on hand to disrupt the ceremony...
First thing Monday morning, Rose left presents from John on our desks--cigars for the men, champagne for the women. A warm note accompanied the gifts:
'To: All the Gentlewomen and Gentlemen of George
Re: Breaking News
I just wanted to let you know that while you were all toiling away, I went and got myself married. I had to be somewhat sneaky for reasons that by now I imagine are obvious.
I wanted you all to enjoy these small tokens of gratitude and fellowship. You folks all do amazing work and it's an honor to have you as colleagues. This magazine has turned the corner, and it ain't because Fauntleroy does Oprah.
Thank you and good cheer to all.
P.S. Does this mean you'll all call me "Mr." from now on?'
...I was struck by the offhand reference to Little Lord Fauntleroy. It was so casually dropped in that I wondered if John were well acquainted with the source, a sentimental novel published in 1886 called Little Lord Fauntleroy. Who read it nowadays? Why would John know it?
I later learned from a biography that John's mother had once listed 'Little Lord Fauntleroy's grandfather' as a childhood hero. Doubtful that it could be a coincidence that mother and son both cited a nineteenth-century children's book, I dug up a copy. Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, it's the story of an American boy named Cedric whose valiant father dies when the child is just a baby. Though the boy doesn't understand death, he knows that his mother gets sad sometimes, and he would 'put his curly head upon her neck' to lift her spirits. 'He did what he could, and was more of a comfort to her than he could have understood.'
Because his father had been an English lord, Cedric will also grow up to be royalty. But because Cedric doesn't know that, he remains innocent and unspoiled--American royalty, distinguished by humility and decency rather than the noxious affectations of the European aristocracy who take privilege for granted.
'He had big brown eyes and long eyelashes and a darling little face.... His manners were so good, for a baby, that it was delightful to make his acquaintance. He seemed to feel that everyone was his friend, and when anyone spoke to him, when he was in his carriage in the street, he would give the stranger one sweet serious look with the brown eyes, and then follow in with a lovely, friendly smile; and the consequence was, that there was not a person in the neighbourhood of the quiet street where he lived... who was not pleased to see him, and speak to him. And every month of his life he grew handsomer and more interesting.'
It was a little unnerving, imagining the possibility of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy choosing this particular book to share with her children. Because John--as a boy, as a man--matched that description of Little Lord Fauntleroy in every way.
'I'm very glad I'm going to be an earl,' Little Lord Fauntleroy says at the end of his story. 'I didn't think at first I should like it, but now I do.'"
LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Disputed tours coming to island where John Kenendy Jr wed. Mercury News, Oct 6, 2008
...In the late 19th century, industrialist Thomas Carnegie built a mansion styled after a Scottish castle on Cumberland Island. His wealthy family still owned 90 percent of the island when the government bought it in 1972. A handful of Carnegie, Rockefeller and Candler heirs still retain private property here....
JULY 16 DARK-DAY EVENTS (John Kennedy Jr's plane disappeared in 1999)
JULY 16 A SIGNIFICANT DATE, by Scott Wenger & Jackie Jura
JFK, JR'S CRASH STILL A MYSTERY, by Pat Shannan, Media ByPass, April 2000
...For decades it has been speculated that Bobby Kennedy was well aware of the faction which murdered his brother, but he needed possession of the Oval Office in order to expose it. He was murdered at the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel, minutes after his acceptance speech for winning the 1968 California Democratic Primary. Contact magazine, among others, says that young JFK, Jr. also knew who killed his father and was willing to spill it to the American people, once he reached an ivory tower sufficient to be heard, in particular, the White House...[link to www.patshannan.com/articlejfkjr.html no longer connects]
*Note of interest: Cumberland Island, where John-John was married, is just south of the infamous Jekyll Island. See CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND
JOHN-JOHN'S BIRTH and ORIGIN OF CAMELOT ALLUSION and JFK AND CAMELOT and JFK'S CASTLE WAS CAMELOT
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