|JFK Jr. and his wife Carolyn, 1996. Getty Images photo.|
I saw an article in the New York Daily News, published on the 17th anniversary of JFK Jr.’s death last weekend, in which the writer made the claim that everyone who lived in Manhattan at the time JFK Jr. was alive had a JFK Jr. story. Is it true? Maybe it is. Here’s mine:
I used to attend a poetry and fiction writing workshop every Wednesday night that took place in the home of the instructor, who lived in Tribeca. The sessions normally ended at around 10 or so and anyone who wanted to join the group would head to Walker’s, a nearby restaurant, to grab a bite to eat or drink. Walker’s was next door to the loft apartment that John shared with his wife Carolyn. One night, past eleven, I was sitting in Walker’s with my writing cohorts when I looked out the window and there was John, just outside, alone, walking towards his building. He was tall, extremely handsome, in a suit and tie, with a little smile on his face. He was absolutely alone—his wife wasn’t with him, there were no photographers around, there was no one else even on the sidewalk. He just seemed like a good-looking guy going home after a long day. None of my companions took note of him and I thought later that I was glad the one and only time I ever saw this man who had been photographed so many times over the course of his entire life was walking home at night as any private citizen would, as any New Yorker would, no one following him, no photographs being taken, no one even seeming to know who he was. He looked content and happy in that moment and that’s how I will always remember him.
The day he died I was in California for a high school reunion and I could not believe he and his wife (and one of her sisters) was gone—John and Carolyn seemed like the Prince and Princess of Manhattan! One of my writing friends told me the Wednesday after John and Carolyn died Walkers was packed to the rafters with reporters and cameramen, all wanting to eat after the long day of staking out the front door of two people who had perished in an airplane crash. Honestly, what did they think they were going to see?
|Carolyn and John, May 1999. They both had incredible smiles! Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters.|
I was so sorry John and his wife came to such a sad end but I was also relieved his mother wasn’t alive when it happened. I don’t know that she could’ve survived the grief.
I cannot believe it has been 17 years since he passed away.
If you have a JFK Jr. story to share, I’d love to hear it.