The Jackie Obsession

Bloomington, Indiana, October 1972
Bloomington, Indiana, October 1972

My Calvinist upbringing in rural Indiana was completely devoid of emotion. For the most part. The only time locals allowed themselves the vanity of feeling was when a relative was hospitalized or died. Or when there were tornado warnings.

My Mother was not interested in politics. She saw all politicians as grifters. So I was shocked when she developed a fascination for the First Lady. I think the attraction was that they were the same age, that Jackie was educated and intelligent, and that she had such a unique, innovative style. She was rocking the White House world of Mamie bangs and Pat Nixon’s adoring nods. It was never the same after her.

When Kennedy was assassinated television made it feel like a death in the family. It was the most dramatic event of my childhood.

Nine years later I was sitting in my Chinese Political Systems class, leafing through a book of Warhol prints. The Jackie series struck a chord. Glamorous yet ghoulish, I realized it was the perfect Halloween costume.

Here is a list of posts related to America’s sainted widow:

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The Jackie Obsession

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