|Ted Kennedy. 1932-2009.
||[Aug. 26th, 2009|02:39 am]
Generous and Fierce
I was once within mere feet of him, ten at most. These kinds of things happen when you intern in DC, working the door of an award dinner. He was with his secretary, who had worked for him for decades. I didn't notice him at first; he looked--walking toward the elevator--like any old man: head bowed, age spots on his cheeks, shuffling toward the elevator. |
But later, on stage, introducing Tony Bennett, the nights honoree, he was the mythologized Ted. His voice, his posture, his stage presence -- he was no longer the man who had walked in, but the statesman you watched and listened to with giddy veneration. Even in real life, it felt as if I was watching a man on television, too much of an icon to exist in real life.
But then, while Tony Bennett was performing, he called Ted back on stage. Arms on each others shoulders, they sang--and it was Tony, or more specifically his voice, that was iconic -- Kennedy became the good friend singing out of pitch--for just a glint of a second he became someone other than the political demigod, always just out of our reach.