Grayson • Olive Hill Quarterly Spring 2019 - Page 13

decorations, and campaign materials were found in nearly every corner of the library. I can remember collecting Kennedy half dollars and reading a book at my grandparents about JFK. It was no wonder his presidency was referred to as a fairytale-like recreation of Camelot. Although his assassination occurred years before I was born, I can still remember hearing people talk about Kennedy. It seems regardless of political affiliation, and whether you personally liked his style or not, his memory is still strong. I made my way to a room that was setup to mimic election night, when Kennedy and Nixon battled to the very end. I watched old news reel highlights of that night and could see the excitement recreated from that election. This is where my biggest surprise of the visit occurred. As mentioned, I have heard about Kennedy my whole life. To me, and perhaps I am wrong, I always thought he was popular in Kentucky. I studied the electoral map from that night, and found my eyes focusing on the Commonwealth. I can’t believe I didn’t know this, however, I found that Kentucky gave its electoral votes to Nixon. I was surprised, honestly. This proved a couple things to me; it pays to study history, and you are never too old to stop learning. Our ending destination was York Beach, Maine. I had always heard how beautiful Maine was, but I found out for myself on this trip. The way the ocean slams into the rocks of the coastline was unlike any beach I had ever seen. It is no wonder that President Bush made his home in nearby Kennebunkport. We drove there on a day trip to see the home of President Bush. It was a day or two after his birthday, and his family was in town to celebrate. As we enjoyed a famous Maine lobster at Mabel’s, we chatted with the waitresses about the Bush’s. A charming couple, everybody that we spoke with was quick to give praise to them. When I was in grade school, the election that pitted Bush versus Dukakis was in full swing. This was the first memories that I have of an actual election process. I can remember people talking about who they were supporting. I didn’t understand it, but I could tell that this was important. So, laying eyes on his home was a sort of personal history for me. I can remember the fear that gripped my young heart, watching him give a stern speech about the war that was raging in the Persian Gulf. Most of my earliest memories of a president giving comfort to a nation was from President Bush. So, again I brought those memories from my childhood in Kentucky with me. Although, this was not the traditional “Finding Kentucky in Other Places” article, Kentucky was certainly there. We brought it with us. The memories and values from the Commonwealth are held in my heart, and even in New England, Kentucky was there. SPRING 2019 13