My "Dear Uncle John" letter

I have a confession to make.

John Kerry is actually an old family friend of mine. In fact, growing up, I knew him as my beloved “Uncle John.”

I have a scrapbook I keep of my Uncle John. It has many treasured memories.

One of the oldest items I have is a Christmas card from Uncle John. It’s from 1969, when I was barely two years old. I even saved the envelope it came in – I was fascinated by the Cambodian stamp and postmark on it, even at that age.

A few pages later in the book is a postcard from the early 70’s. It features the Eiffel Tower on it, and it is signed by “Cmdr. John F. Kerry USNR).” He also sent me the autographs of several North Vietnamese officials Uncle John was good enough to collect for me.

Ah, here’s another cherished heirloom. It’s Uncle John’s number from the time he ran the Boston Marathon. I don’t recall the exact year, or his time in running the race, but that’s OK. He doesn’t, either. And my mother was really happy that he had the number cleaned before he sent it to me, so it doesn’t have any icky sweat stains.

And here is a leaf from the time he took me hunting on Cape Cod. I fondly remember crawling through the woods, trying to be as quiet as I could, while Uncle John kept his eye out for our prey. He was just sighting in on a 16-point buck – a trophy prize anywhere, let alone on Cape Cod – when I slipped and my elbow snapped a stick on the ground. The buck started, Uncle John missed his shot, and the buck escaped. He said he wasn’t mad, but I could tell he was disappointed.

And here’s my ticket stub from Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, where our beloved Red Sox blew their chance to defeat the Mets and break the Curse of the Bambino. Uncle John really had to work to get us to that game – he called in some favors to get out of a charity event in Boston he had promised to attend and we sneaked down on a private plane. He even got his friends at the Boston Globe to cover for him and say he was really there. But Uncle John had promised to take me to the game as a birthday present (I had turned 19 the day before), and he kept his promise. I’ll always remember that evening – I think Uncle John nearly cried when that ball went between Buckner’s legs, not 30 yards in front of us, costing the Sox the game and the championship.

Uncle John and I drifted apart after he divorced his first wife. It was kind of hard to stay in touch with him – for a while he was living out of his car, and the post office won’t deliver to “Silver Chrysler Lebaron parked on J Street.” And when he married Theresa Heinz, he suddenly had so many addresses I didn’t know where to write him.

I tried to get back in touch with Uncle John a couple years ago. I was unemployed, and hoped he’d use his connections to help me get a government job. I wrote him at his office, but it took forever for him to write back – it was like he was never there, not even to get his mail. And when he did answer, all he sent was a bunch of campaign literature about how many jobs he’d helped create through his work in the Senate. At that point I decided that I would sever all ties with “Uncle John” and do anything I could to hurt him back.

And that’s my shameful confession. I understand that Kevin will probably bar me from posting any more here after this, but this has been preying on my conscience for far too long. They say confession is good for the soul, and I feel so much better after coming clean with you fine readers.

J.

THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR (PART I)
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  1. Rodney Dill October 25, 2004
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