Because of me Irish ethnic background, and lifelong obsession with the 1960’s, I always tell this story. It was St. Patrick’s Day 1968, Robert F. Kennedy’s last parade. Me father took me sister Mary Anne, me best friend Earl, and me to the parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Mary Anne was then four years old. Earl and I were both eight. Up to a point it was a completely typical St. Paddy’s Day Parade. Captain Jack McCarthy, the host of our local ‘Popeye’ cartoons, was there. He was always the anchorman of WPIX’s official coverage of the parade. The Ancient Order of Hibernians were the most prominent of all organizations present. As they marched, they played, on their Bagpipes, fifes, and drums, classic traditional Irish music, including ‘MInstrel Boy’.
There was one thing, however, which made that particular parade stand out for me family and friend. That was the day we got to meet R.F.K. It wasn’t much of a meeting, though, considering we only got to say hello and to shake his hand. I still remember it, to this very day, as a highlight of me childhood.