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1967_08_26--028_SP At Home with Heir Apparent

;r•-'.r- ,n • to I l.: MU VW. All II III 'lilt 1111 SOM. oil 11.1111 Sen. and Mrs. Kennedy, accompanied by dogs but, for a change, not children, stroll across lawn toward beach. House in background is outside the "Kennedy compound." Kennedy summer house in Hyannis Port, Mass., where the family moved shortly after my visit to Hickory Hill. On the Cape, moreover, Bobby has much more time to enjoy being a father, because he is away from his senate office, and from the Senate itself. Like his late brother Jack, he spends long hours on the beach—sometimes alone, sometimes with one or more of his children—or in the water or sailing on it. And the inevitable touchfootball games, which involve all the children except five-month-old Douglas—along with any visiting friends who can stand the pace—are as strenuous as they ever were in President Kennedy's day.) When the senator had changed into the old faded jersey and shorts again, we climbed back up to Hickory Hill. There he suggested we have breakfast on a coffee table in the library. The older children had all left for school, but two very small toddlers were all over the place. We had hardly settled ourselves when a loud wailing "Da-a-a-a-dy !" resounded outside the open library door, and in toddled the second youngest of the Holding baby Douglas, R.F.K. cracked, "Look as though you're enjoying it ; it will be good for me politically." Kennedy children. The senator addressed the youngster in the razor-sharp voice of a drill instructor of Marines addressing a boot on Parris Island. "Matthew ! Maxwell! Taylor! Kennedee e!" he boomed. "What, Daddy?" the child asked sweetly, trying to reach his arms to Daddy across the coffee table. The senator boomed again, "Stand up! I want to introduce you !" With a proud grin, he did so. The child looked up at me, and put out his tiny right hand for a handshake. I squeezed it, acknowledged the introduction, and looked at the beaming face of the senator. "Matthew! Say how old you are!" "You mean on my next birthday?" little Matthew shot back. "Yes, on your next birthday." "Three." "Show with your fingers how old you will be!" Little Matthew was having the time of his life. He put up his right hand, watched his first finger go up, then his second finger, and finally his third. He held them there very still, for inspection and approval. "That's right," the senator said. And he helped Matthew across the coffee table for a hug and kiss. Next he explained to Matthew—and to little Christopher. not quite 4 years old, who had also come into the library now—that he was about to go into serious conference with this visitor, so why 29


1967_08_26--028_SP At Home with Heir Apparent
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