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Sat Jul 30, 2016, 12:54 PM

 

The teenager who cradled RFK as he lay dying

This article's almost a year old, but I came across it and wanted to share.

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0830-lopez-romero-20150829-column.html



In June, Juan Romero did something he hadn't done in decades. He celebrated his birthday, going out to dinner with his family in San Jose.

"I always dreaded when June was coming up," said Romero, 65, who has struggled for most of his adult life to let go of his crippling memory of an American tragedy.

It happened just after midnight on June 5, 1968. Robert F. Kennedy had won the California presidential primary and made his victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where Romero was a 17-year-old busboy.

A Roosevelt High School student who had moved north from Mexico at the age of 10, Romero recalled the photos of President John F. Kennedy that hung alongside those of Pope John XXIII in the homes of Mexican families.

<snip>

On each anniversary of RFK's death, Romero takes flowers to a memorial in downtown San Jose, where Kennedy delivered a speech during his winning primary run. Romero misses Kennedy, or at least what Kennedy seems to have represented as a statesman and presidential candidate. He misses him all the more in the midst of a current campaign in which the hottest topic is a proposal to build a higher wall between Mexico and the United States.

"He made me feel like a regular citizen," Romero says of the night he delivered room service to Kennedy. "He made me feel like a human being. He didn't look at my color, he didn't look at my position ... and like I tell everybody, he shook my hand. I didn't ask him."

Romero has always believed the best way to honor Kennedy is to live a life of tolerance, to work hard, to take care of family, and to not be a burden.

</snip>


Much more at the link...

20 replies, 6035 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply The teenager who cradled RFK as he lay dying (Original post)
Cooley Hurd Jul 2016 OP
workinclasszero Jul 2016 #1
loyalsister Jul 2016 #2
niyad Jul 2016 #3
sheshe2 Jul 2016 #4
90-percent Jul 2016 #5
Post removed Jul 2016 #14
Botany Jul 2016 #6
TNNurse Jul 2016 #7
NBachers Jul 2016 #8
Moostache Jul 2016 #9
unitedwethrive Jul 2016 #10
MinM Jul 2016 #11
leanforward Jul 2016 #12
Bonhomme Richard Jul 2016 #13
colsohlibgal Jul 2016 #15
workinclasszero Jul 2016 #17
fleabiscuit Jul 2016 #16
gratefultobelib Jul 2016 #18
Historic NY Jul 2016 #19
BlueMTexpat Jul 2016 #20

Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 12:59 PM

1. Poor guy....

 

The loss of RFK was devastating to not only this country but the entire world I believe.

Two terms of Bobby Kennedy would have created a USA we would not recognize today I bet.

I mourn his loss along side this poor guy.

RIP Bobby

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 01:01 PM

2. Thanks for sharing

"Bobby" is one of my favorite movies. That this man's story so memorable and still sought after is a testament to the brilliance of giving voice to the people in the background.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 01:05 PM

3. saw it when it first came out, but thank you for posting it again.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 01:34 PM

4. A sad kick and recommend.

Thanks for remembering Robert, Cooley and Romero who still mourns him.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 01:51 PM

5. What could have been

Bobby's speech in Indianapolis the day MLK was killed is one of the most inspiring speeches of the last 100 years. What a beautiful man he was and all of humanity has lost what could have been between Jack and Bobby.

But, as long as the PTB's are still doin' great, who cares?

-90% Jimmy

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 02:14 PM

6. Oh what could hald have been

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 02:28 PM

7. Well, I had not cried today until this.

I have cried several times during DNC speeches.

It is the kind of crying we all need to do.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 02:46 PM

8. I'm still devastated. As time goes on, the devastation grows. If only . . .

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 03:03 PM

9. RFK's words re-enacted...he died before I was born, but I often think.."What if..."

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 03:06 PM

10. So touching, and a tragic reminder of what could have been.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 03:08 PM

11. RFK's 1964 DNC Speech still holds the record for continuous applause ..

for a Convention Speech (22-minutes) commemorating JFK...

Peter Lloyd ‏@prlloyd63 6 Jun 2015 Sydney, New South Wales

@aflashbak Who will ever forget his 22 minutes of applause he received at the 1964 #Democratic convention

#RFK



Of course it was RFK himself being commemorated at the next DNC:



Charles Guggenheim film commemorates RFK @ 1968 DNC

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 03:09 PM

12. Thank you for the thread.

At the age of 17 he experienced what many veterans and LEOs have experienced. The thread told me of the impact his aid and comfort has done to his life. You never forget when you have done this act of caring.

He is the gentleman you ask "how do you like you coffee"? Proud to serve him.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 03:49 PM

13. I don't think the photo was credited but Bill Eppridge took the photograph and....

he published a book just before his death about his time with RFK. I met Bill just before he died and am friends with his wife.
The Link:
https://www.amazon.com/Time-Was-Bobby-Kennedy-Sixties/dp/0810971224

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 04:43 PM

15. Terminated With Extreme Prejudice

We saw who was killed, JFK, MLK, RFK, boom, boom, boom, in the space of about 4 1/2 years. Progressives all.

JFK had to be stopped. A WWII hero, a man who bought into the cold war until the Cuban Missile thing in 1962. That scared Kennedy and caused him to quickly turn against the permanent war machine. Two remarkable speeches not long before he died sealed his fate and the fate of the patsy set up to take the rap, LHO.

In comes LBJ and the war machine chugs forward, killing and maiming more and more and for what? The push against the war drove LBJ to not run in 1968 which opened a door for RFK. As he and MLK rallied people against the insanity of that war they got whacked in quick order.

In comes Tricky Dick and the dead/maimed piled up for another 5 or so years.

It isn't like people didn't shoot at Ford and Reagan but they were the actual lone nuts....two attempts on Ford but never hit, one on Ronnie that he survived.

Those three killings in the 60s changed things to the extreme.

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Response to colsohlibgal (Reply #15)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 06:22 PM

17. Many many Americans loved these three men

 

And all 3 were taken out, one by one.

Such a sadness that it all went down that way.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 05:54 PM

16. Kick...

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 08:04 PM

18. I lived through all three and yes, it was devastating. Like all the air had gone out of the room.

I must admit that I felt sorry for LBJ. I didn't know much about politics in those days. I just saw this big, not-so-handsome man taking urbane John Kennedy's place. And inheriting the Viet Nam mess.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sun Jul 31, 2016, 01:41 AM

19. To here the vocal complaints of some people today....

that have no clue of the devastation we all faced back in that time. To lose an election is one thing to lose the life of our champions is another.

Young people need to go back an look, then learn.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Sun Jul 31, 2016, 04:56 AM

20. That tragedy was devastating enough for

those of us who were not there and who were older. I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like for a 17-year-old who was on the scene and so closely involved.

This part rang a bell with me:

A Roosevelt High School student who had moved north from Mexico at the age of 10, Romero recalled the photos of President John F. Kennedy that hung alongside those of Pope John XXIII in the homes of Mexican families.


I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco in the early to mid-sixties. In those days, photos of President John F. Kennedy hung prominently alongside those of King Mohammed V (father of the then-King Hassan II), whom people considered to be practically a saint, in the homes of Moroccan families - even and especially in rural areas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_V_of_Morocco

In the US, many STILL do not fully appreciate how the Kennedys - especially John and Robert - inspired the world.

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