By Larry Bodine, Precinct Committeeman, Precinct #238, Tucson.
I remember when as a young boy, still in grade school, I shook JFK’s hand. JFK would be 100 years old this week, were he still alive.
The day was August 17, 1962, and President John F. Kennedy spoke at the opening of the Oahe Dam in South Dakota. It was a beautiful day in the summer, and cars from hundreds of miles around lined up in rows on a big hillside.
At the bottom of the hill was a podium with cloth fluttering in the wind. The hydroelectric dam is the second largest one on the Missouri River. It took 14 years to build.
JFK stood at the podium and spoke in that unmistakable accent. You can listen to his speech on Youtube.
I was so optimistic that I wanted to join the Peace Corps.
I felt so idealistic that I wanted to serve my country.
Before he left, he walked into the crowd of well-wishers and shook my hand.
Then he climbed into a black Lincoln Continental convertible with two American flags flying on the front bumper and rode off as thousands of people cheered. I have never forgotten that day, 55 years ago.
Where have you gone, Jack Kennedy?
As I look around the toxic Arizona legislative leadership and governor, I ask myself, “where are the political leaders who inspire us?”
I don’t see them. Certainly not in our state Capitol.