Vacation Special: Robert and Bobby Kennedy

by Derrick Bostrom

Happy fucking fortieth anniversary, America.

I can still remember clearly the 6th of June, 1968. That's the day I learned that "Bob" was short for "Robert." To my mind, there were two Kennedy brothers running for president that year. I knew the Kennedys were a big family, and they all seemed to be in politics. So, to my seven-year-old mind, it followed. It was incredible to me, then, that not one but both of them managed to get shot in the aftermath of the June 5th California primary. And the next morning, when it was announced that Robert F. Kennedy had died in the early hours of June 6th, I remarked, "Boy. I wonder how Bobby's doing."

It wasn't until years later that I also discovered "Jack" was a nickname for "John." Politics was confusing to me back then. But ultimately it didn't matter so much in 1968, since our family was actually Clean For Gene that year. All the same, these two pieces of Kennedy kitsch adorn my walls to this day, as a remembrance of days gone by and in celebration of a time when we enshrined our beloved martyred leaders in terry cloth.