In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
"Bobby"

Yes, I too am reveling in reading and hearing the words “The majority party, the DEMOCRATS!” as much as I savor reading and hearing “The minority party, the REPUBLICANS.” God, what a long, nasty fight it has been and now our moment has finally arrived. Oh, how we deserve this! I pray it will bring about a sea change.

I am hesitant about seeing the film. I was at The Ambassador all those years ago with my husband and friends who had worked for RFK. Our friend, Joel Siegel, was a speechwriter for him and my (ex)husband, a photographer, was on the stage next to RFK and Rosie Grier. (Just this year, via e-mail, he told me he never got his film back from the FBI.) I will never forget the exuberance and hope that filled that room as Bobby left the stage. The camera lights had been turned off and I was shuffling through the crowd toward the exit to look for my husband. Suddenly I heard what sounded like firecrackers. Then a tsunami of panic and pain hit me and the people around me and then spread behind us in fan-shaped waves to the back of the room and out into the foyer. People were screaming that he had been shot. I recall so vividly watching the wave as it engulfed smiling, laughing people turning the smiles and laughter to screams and tears. People in the front of the room were crying and shouting while people in the back of the room were still innocently smiling and laughing. The present, the past and the future in the same moment, in the same room. It was amazing. I jumped up on a table to look into the kitchen. I was worried about my husband who I had last seen right behind Bobby as he walked into the kitchen. I could see a crowd of people standing and kneeling around something on the floor. I kept hearing howls of “He’s been shot, God-damn it, he’s been shot. Not again, God-dam it. He’s been shot.” The helpless anger, rage and anguish in those voices I will never forget, nor have ever heard again.

After the shots I found myself in a stupor in the foyer. Men were getting into fist fights over whether he was dead or not and were shoving each other into the fountains. Women were screaming and crying. I was holding some strange man as we sobbed together. Suddenly I heard loud shouts of “He’s got a gun, watch out, get down, he’s got a gun.” I was shoved to the floor. I heard lamps breaking, more screaming as the lights were going out. A sofa was overturned onto the man and myself. I managed to raise my head off the floor long enough to see Sirhan Sirhan being rushed through the crowd surrounded by police with long guns pointed outward like a moving human mace. I don’t recall how I found my husband or friends that night. I must have given my name and phone number to the FBI because they called me days later. I don’t know what I said. I wanted to say something helpful, something that would catch who had really done this because I just couldn’t believe, nor do I today, that 3 great men, all with similar dreams, were all gunned down in such a short time. I think that is when this new evil began.

Back at home with our baby son, mesmerized with horror, we watched over and over, as a 22-year-old mini-skirted me kept jumping onto the table. We heard over and over Walter Cronkite telling the audience to watch the young women jump onto the table and throw her hands over her face in horror and grief and then a hand reaches up to my back and I disappear into the crowd. My mother was on the phone when we got home(the FBI kept us there until early morning) as she had recognized me from the news and thought I had fainted and been hurt.

I remember waking in the morning and being devastated that he had died. I simply couldn’t comprehend that such a grand man could have been brought down even though we had just lived through the eerily similar murder of MLK and before that JFK. How could it have happened yet again I screamed. I grabbed my baby and ran to the elderly neighbor’s house and collapsed in tears. I cried for days. I gave up on politics for a long time after that. It was only this current poisonous administration that awakened that old passion in me. I wonder if we will ever return to something even close to what we had back then.I was watching the PBS special about RFK this year and burst into uncontrollable sobbing watching that scene again. It was grief not only for my lost youth but for a time when I had hope, when I never imagined anything like the administration we have(HAD!) today. The spectacular chasm between a man like RFK and bush was so overwhelming that it racked me with pain so deep, so profound and unexpected that I paced the floor and wept all night. Oh, God, what we lost that night!

I wonder who they interviewed for the crowd’s reaction to that terrible night at the Ambassador Hotel. It would interesting for me to know.

Thank you for your blog and for your dedication. Keep celebrating!!

6 comments:

an average patriot said...

littlebill
You know I am very psyched the Republicans are the minority and they have proven that they forever should be.
I also must say that this misadministration cemented my faith in the Democratic perty never to be shaken again and I did a post on that about a year ago.
Now I must say this story is very interesting but I read it this morning and just re reread it because it made me think. Being 22 in 1968 who wrote this your daughter? Just curious, take care!

LittleBill said...

This was written by a very close friend and Bay Area fellow birdwatcher. She is a member of the blog (Badger) and lives in Mill Valley. I hope this superb blog will encourage her to write more.

Good to hear from you, AAP. My son-in-law took many pictures of LittleBill and the new kitten Merc and will print them as soon as possible to add her picture to the blog.

Vigilante said...

Badger, I am ashamed to say, I reacted the same way to the martyrdom of RFK and MLK. After the Democratic convention of 1968 nominated the warmonger, HHH, I decided the country was not worth saving. I took up tennis and other self-absorbed pursuits. I didn't wake from my sleep until the 1992 primaries. Bush and his Asses of Evil have me back up to speed.

As to the movie, Bobby: I haven't read anything about it. If it's mainly about his assassination and not his life, I will have nothing to do with it. I vaguely remember the movie JFK traded on the brand "JFK", but was also mostly about his death. If "Bobby" is pitched the same way, I'll blog against it.

Great post, BTW!

LittleBill said...

Vigilante:

Not sure I understand your position. Though I haven't been able to bring the movie up yet, it is the actual footage of what went on. Seems to me that it can only add to the account Badger gave,especially for those who were not born yet or too young to remember.

LittleBill said...

I recently learned that there is a new movie about Bobby's assassination, made with actors doing most of the acting.

I called my friend who was actually there and is the young woman who jumped up on the table, and she tells me there is a DVD available with the actual footage of the tragedy.

Vigilante said...

I thought that was what we were discussing. (I got my memos crossed. -At least I got the memo thjis time.)