June 1959 – Hyannis Port
“Grandmother, please, tell me more!”
“Oh, child, there is so much more I could tell you. From the many letters I received from Artie, I became, or believed I was a family member.
“Chadlynn passed away around 1900, quietly in her sleep. Which meant, according to Artie, Chadlynn wouldn’t have to contend with her dreams coming true any longer. Their two daughters were in World War One as nurses and managed to get through that ordeal without losing their sanity or their lives. Sam died a few years later from a heart attack.
“Artie met and married a man named Evan Walker, a Wall Street stockbroker and they remained married until her death in 1956. But she and I shared the same wedding day, mine being here in Boston to your grandfather, Joseph, and hers in Virginia before she departed for New York with Evan. Artie had two lovely children, both boys. Her one dream to be a motorcycle racer did come true for a few years. She won a few small races and one she called ‘dirt track,’ which I never understood, but she eventually walked away from it all: too much pressure from a male-dominated sport; that, and, the truth was, she had a family to care for.
“I look back on our relationship and smile. She was always a headstrong, somewhat forceful, woman, and I like to believe she was the driving force behind Evan’s success. Want to know the most interesting part of our friendship? Other than the one time we first met, we never saw each other again, but we maintained what I consider to be a special bond.
“Her brother and sister, Owen, and Diana, took over the family business after their parents passed away, and the very last thing I’ve heard about them is that they sold the business to a corporation called Kresge’s Five and Dime, the owner being Sebastian Spering Kresge; from what I understand, he is doing quite well. As to what happened with the twin siblings, I wish I had more to tell, but I don’t have much. The only thing I heard about Diana is that she was working to compile a Kincade family history from all the letters and papers accumulated across the years. Perhaps one day I will come across the published version of it. I would very much like to hear all those stories again…”
She paused with a faraway look in her eyes. After a minute, she continued.
“Ah, I do know that their older sister, Roselyn, almost had a career in music. She studied under Randolph a few years but an unavoidable thing happened; she developed rheumatism in her hands.”
“What happened to Frank and Jeremy, though, Grandmother?”
“Oh, Frank, he’s a special story. It was reported he had been killed in Alaska. And he almost died from his injuries but he recovered—not fully, however. He became paralyzed from the waist down; but it didn’t stop him. According to Artie, Frank’s brother, Randolph, was beyond ecstatic, and made his way to Alaska to be by Frank’s side. Frank went on to some rather interesting things, according to Artie. He ended up as the mayor of Anchorage and, up until his death five years ago, he had been pushing the territorial governor to apply for statehood. Frank would be so proud to know his efforts paid off with Alaska becoming a state last January. Sadly, Randolph died three years before Frank but Artie wasn’t clear on how that happened.
“As for Jeremy, not much to tell about him after the war. Last I heard, he had changed his name—well, not really changed it, but used a different name to market a program he developed: body-building. He tours across the country as Charles Atlas. It appears he has done rather well, according to my sources. I would guess as much; his time at the Olympics must have triggered the idea.”
“And Azalea? That is such a pretty name.”
“Maria, you ask a lot of questions, child; Azalea passed on in her sleep in 1926, but not before she got her husband’s writings published, and they sold quite well. Artie told me in one of her letters that before Azalea retired for bed that night, she said, “Life has been both good and bad but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“As to the rest of the family, I’m afraid I cannot tell you much than I already have, and…”
A tall, well-dressed man stepped up onto the porch of her and her husband’s retreat and said, “Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Schriever will be here shortly to pick up her daughter, and your husband called to let you know that he and your son, Jack, will be here shortly, although, according to the message, Jack’s stay will be brief as he will be resuming his campaign trail.”
“Very well, Harrison, thank you.”
Looking at her granddaughter, she smiled, saying, “Politics. A nasty profession.”
“Grandmother, I want to know more!”
“Another time, my dear. The time has simply gotten away from us, Maria. Once, I was a child like you, and now—a grown woman with so many responsibilities. One day you, too, will have responsibilities, and mark my words, young lady, if you fail in your responsibilities, the world will look at you in a whole other light.
“Artie gave me the best advice once: take care to use your time wisely, for youth one day will fade away and all that will be left are memories of days gone by.”
Shortly after, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy entered her bedroom and spied the open box with hundreds of letters from Artie. Sitting on the bed, she ran her hand over the envelopes and smiled softly.
“You are a memory I shall never forget.”
Written By: Danceinsilence