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Dead Kennedy

Dead Kennedy

We’ve been searching for the right way to eulogize the recently passed Ted Kennedy.  Fortunately, our old friend and SA’er ‘Dixie’ did it for us. You can join the argument here, or you can ignore the bullshit and simply give a moment of silence for a good man, albeit a conflicted one.

There are three people who come to mind when a non-sailor in the US hears a sailing story.  They are usually in this order: Ted Kennedy, Ted Turner, and Dennis Connor. So if Teddy Kennedy was one of those guys who let the pros do it all, we all know a few others like that. If he was one of those guys who drank a little and then took fine young women down below to show them the stateroom, we know a few like that too. Would we ever want to be photographed and published (even while between wives) bare-assed giving the business to a woman on a boat, I don’t think so. What we do know is the man was diagnosed with cancer, had a brain tumor removed while he was awake and still the first thing he did when he got out of the hospital was hop on the boat, cast off the lines, and set sail in Nantucket Sound. Like him or not, y’all, he was a sailor.

And in his sunset year, he had his Concordia 40 “MYA” delivered down to Biscayne Bay last winter and I spent a little time helping prepare the boat after it came off the truck. It’s a lovingly maintained boat (by professionals), but not overdone, not overstated, not over instrumented. Once ensconced in his rented home on the Bay, Senator Kennedy was eager to get out on the water as often as possible, whether or not the tide permitted (but that’s another story).

Would you like to be defined by your worst act? Do people even know about it? I am offended by the story, sorry there’s so much mystery around it, but take a look at the life of this man that preceded that horrible night, and the one that later emerged.