Nixon vs. Kennedy - CA

by Laraine Newman
Print Email

laraine_newman_cameo.jpgsendpicture1.jpgMy first memory of a Presidential election was the Nixon/ Kennedy race.  I was  8-years-old and the rally song to the tune of “Whistle While You Work” told me everything I thought I needed to know about politics:

Whistle While You Work
Nixon is a Jerk
Eisenhower has no power
Kennedy’s going to work.


Not very clever come to think of it. My folks were liberal Democrats and Kennedy was their man.

nixon-sticker-small.gifOur neighbors up the street, Sven (11) and Vincent (8) came over to play one day having just come from a Nixon rally with their family. There they stood at our front door wearing faux Straw Hats, just like you saw on Main Street Disneyland or in The Music Man.

That was the visual imprint I’ve never forgotten all these years.  Both brothers were towheads, just short of albino.  You just didn’t get any whiter.  That’s what I thought it meant to be a Republican.

jfk-sticker-small.gifThe boys came upstairs with my brother and me and when they told us where they’d been, we reacted with the indignation of our half-baked political notions.

I had twin beds that were catty corner to each other and I remember my brother and I, jumping from bed to bed, criss-crossing through the air, clutching our stomachs and making loud retching sounds. This went on for quite a while.

jfk-civilrights-flyer-small.gifSven and Vincent stood there, bewildered and not very moved by our opinion. This made me madder. I wanted to be persuasive. I wanted them to re-think their parents’ position.  What was the matter with them anyway? Why didn’t they ‘get’ that Kennedy was just…well…better, therefore he should be President?

Everything about Kennedy seemed so ‘now’, while Nixon was stuck in the past, so clearly reflected by the choice of the Straw Hats. The only thing missing in my mind were arm garters and handlebar moustaches.

Here are some lyrics to a Kennedy campaign song:

Do you want a man who’s seasoned and knows just what to do?
But not so dog-gone seasoned that he won’t try something new?


Something new….something new.  You mean like “change”???? Where have I heard that before?

 

Laraine Newman is a founding member of The Groundlings Theatre Company and an original cast member of Saturday Night Live.  She lives in her hometown of Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.

 

Laraine Newman is interviewed at Mental Floss

SNL Quiz Redux on Mental Floss  

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

 

restaurant news

buccan
Florida
by Nancy Ellison

buccanlounge.jpg

If ever there is a restaurant – cool and hot at the same time – that belongs somewhere wondrous like in LA, buccan is it. Unbelievable beyond adjectives and totally filled with great vibes,...

Read more...
The Smuggler's Speciality Restaurant
London - British Isles
by Laura Johnson

ss_town.jpg

One of my favorite bites of 2009 was a bit of a trek, which is most unfortunate because if I lived nearby I would be a regular. I'd eat there so often they'd probably have to name a table...

Read more...
Dorchester: 224 Boston Street
Boston
by Kitty Kaufman

224 3Last year Boston Magazine named owner Kevin Tyo's 224 Boston Street: "Best Dorchester restaurant, neighborhood casual." Sadly, their website doesn't say when they opened. It's got to be 20 years...

Read more...
Bludso's BBQ: A Joint Even Veggies Will Love
Los Angeles
by Annie Stein

bludsologoThis is like an April Fool’s Day joke; a BBQ joint write up by a vegetarian! There is a method to this madness. After all there’s more than one way to come at anything!

Here’s the theory; there are...

Read more...