Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Fine Romance Book Signing

Martha's Vineyard resident Susan Branch is currently doing her book tour for,
'A Fine Romance'
A Fine Romance
Here's the books description:
A thrilling ocean voyage on the Queen Mary 2 from New York City to Southampton culminating in a two-month ramble through the charming backroads and small villages of the pastoral English countryside in the spring of last year is the subject of this delicious travel journal that Susan has painstakingly hand-lettered and watercolored in the way many of us have grown to love over the years.

Join Susan as she recounts her lighthearted ramble of discovery through the historical homes and gardens of art and literary heroes, along ancient footpaths, through wildflower meadows and fields of lambs, into tea rooms, pubs and antique stores. This lovely hard-cover book includes hundreds of photographs and a red ribbon sewn-in book mark. A FINE ROMANCE is a work of art, part love story, part travel guide and all dream come true.

260 pages; 6" x 8", with dust jacket. All books purchased from our web store will include a personally signed bookplate from Susan.

"A Fine Romance has everything you need to plan a trip of your own, including an extensive Appendix that will cross-reference with links on my blog. But in case you would rather stay home, comfy in your armchair, you should know that I did everything in my descriptive power to help you smell the breeze across the Yorkshire Dales, see the view from Beatrix Potter's bedroom window, and hear the clatter of teacups in an English tea shop." Susan Branch
You can look at her events schedule to go to a book signing if your in New England.

Monday, May 13, 2013


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Article all about Hyannis, Cape Cod. A harbor Village with a Bustling downtown here.

Jackie Kennedy and The Duchess of Alba

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The Duchess of Alba and Jackie Kennedy admire a rose garden in Sevilla in 1966 when she played host to Mrs Kennedy.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kennedy Nanny

Marta Sgubin has spent most of her life caring for three generations of the Kennedy family, including Jackie Kennedy, her daughter Caroline, and granddaughter Tatiana, since arriving in America 45 years ago.
Italian-born Ms Sgubin was in her thirties when she joined the family to be the governess for the then 11-year-old Caroline and eight-year-old John Jr., children of the late President John F. Kennedy.
'John was a little rascal!' she revealed to ABC in a recent interview, referring to Jackie's late son, who died in a plane crash at age 38. 'He was always ready to do something to you, that you didn't expect. It was mischief.'

Ms Sgubin quickly became Jackie's close friend, and when the children grew too old for a nanny, she became the family's cook before taking care of Caroline's own children, Rose, Tatiana, and Jack Schlossberg, who are now in their twenties.
Nicknames for the grandchildren include Moma or Lola for Rose, Momo or Lolo for Jack and Lolita, Momina or 'The Golden Child,' for Tatiana; and for Jackie, it was Madam.
'Jackie had this personality, very classic, you could put a bag on her head and it was still good,' she said.
Kennedy nanny: Marta Sgubin has spent most of her life caring for three generations of the Kennedy family, including Jackie, her daughter Caroline, and granddaughter Tatiana, since arriving in America 45 years ago

Kennedy nanny: Marta Sgubin has spent most of her life caring for three generations of the Kennedy family, including Jackie, her daughter Caroline, and granddaughter Tatiana, since arriving in America 45 years ago
Part of the family: Tatiana, who calls Ms Sgubin 'a saint,' described her nanny as 'selfless, kind, regimented, and loyal'
'I call her Madam because in French it's Madame and in English I took the 'e' out and it's Madam. One day she says to me, "Do you know what a madam is?"
'I said, "no what is it?" She said, "You don't want to know, but call me Madam, it's too cute".'
Tatiana, who calls Ms Sgubin 'a saint,' described her nanny as 'selfless, kind, regimented, and loyal.'
Recalling fond memories of Tatiana's late uncle, she explained how John once let loose seven black water snakes from the Everglades in the house to spook his sister and nanny.
'They were going from toilet to toilet in the house,' Ms Sgubin recounted. 'When I picked him up from school, he was just laughing hysterically.'
She said she loves the family like her own, recalling the deaths of John Jr. and Jackie with tremendous sadness.
'It affected me as much as it affected them. I work for them, but I love them. I love all of them,' she said.
'They were all very dear to me. To lose them was always a big loss. And that you have to deal with by yourself.
Cooking lessons: Nicknames for the grandchildren, who she still sees often, include Moma for Rose, Momo for Jack and Lolita or 'The Golden Child,' for Tatiana (pictured); and for Jackie, it was Madam 
Cooking lessons: After preparing meals for the Kennedy clan for 45 years, Ms Sgubin is a wonderful cook and teaches Tatiana
Kennedy gran: Caroline Kennedy's children, inlcuding Tatiana, who are now in their twenties, consider Ms Sgubin a grandmother figure
Family ties: Ms Sgubin said she loves the Kennedy family like her own, recalling the deaths of John Jr. and Jackie with tremendous sadness
'It's not to be together everyday that brings you close. It's the way that you feel about someone that makes you close, and the hard times you go through that make you close,' she said.
She recalled when time when she was homesick for her dog Pucci in France. Jackie gave her a portrait of a long-haired Dachsund and told her that they would have him sent across the Atlantic if she wanted him.
When she wrote a cookbook in 1998 called Cooking for Madam about the recipes she cooked for Jackie, one year before his death John Jr. wrote the foreword, in which he described his nanny as 'part of our family.'
It was after a long overnight flight across the Atlantic that Ms Sgubin, an immigrant from a 400-person village in northern Italy, arrived very late on the evening of September 7th, 1969 in Newport, Rhode Island for her first day of work with the Kennedy's.
She had previously been the governess to children of a French diplomat family in Paris, before taking charge of the Kennedy children, six years after their father's assassination.
On her very first night, she said she made a bold decision regarding the family's dogs had for years, been sleeping in the shed.
She recalls saying to Jackie's mother, Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss: 'No, those are our dogs, they'll sleep with me from now on.'
Her assertion was well-received by family, and almost 45 years later, Ms Sgubin is still with the Kennedys.
'I've never been intimidated,' she said. 'But I was happy that they chose me.'


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Heritage Sands on Cape Cod

I was browsing and recently came across a new development called Heritage Sands, located on Cape Cod.
Cottage Living
From their website:
Life at Heritage Sands is what a “Place on the Cape” has meant to families for generations.… A cottage that is your second home … Summer gatherings and weekend escapes with friends and family … A private sandy beach just steps from your door … Nantucket Sound sunsets … Coffee and the newspaper on a lazy Sunday morning … The backdrop for memories that will be shared by generations … A family heirloom.
Old Wharf Road was the birthplace of Cape Cod’s “cottage colonies.” Families first discovered Dennisport’s oceanfront campgrounds in the 1930s. Then year after year, family stays became longer, friendships with fellow “campers” became stronger, and Army tents evolved into simple cottages as families established their “place on the Cape” living alongside friends and family. These historic cottage colonies still exist along Old Wharf Road, and many of families that live there today have been returning there for generations. The qualities that define Dennisport’s historic cottage colonies could not be found in new construction … until now.
Heritage Sands combines classic architecture, hurricane-code coastal construction, smart design, energy efficient systems, and the community fabric that has defined Cape Cod cottage colonies. Cottages are clustered around common greens to create “pocket neighborhoods,” and crushed shell paths wind down to over 600 feet of private beach. A community clubhouse and pool can play host to larger family functions, inter-cottage water volleyball games, or a quick workout before a guilt-free day of lounging.
I contacted them, and it seems like there meant for 2nd homes, or vacation homes. Also there prices are $380k and up. A little pricey for us, but thought I'd share. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


Customized Massachusetts 8 x 10 State Art Print, State Map, Heart, Silhouette, Aged-Look Print
There are some really fabulous prints on Etsy, with a Massachusetts map.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Aftermath of Nemo

Here are some beautiful images in the aftermath of Nemo taken by Alyson from New England Living. Take a peek at her blog here.
Nemo village green photo c581f0aea5047b69490007627a13b19e_zps4f899d44.jpg
Post Nemo village green photo nemovillagegreenpath_zpsd2e9abdd.jpg


Located in Warwick, Rhode Island is a quiant home that may look small from the front...but once you step inside it is quite large.
Here are the pictures:
37 Vera St, Warwick, RI 02886
37 Vera St, Warwick, RI 02886
37 Vera St, Warwick, RI 02886
37 Vera St, Warwick, RI 02886
37 Vera St, Warwick, RI 02886
37 Vera St, Warwick, RI 02886
37 Vera St, Warwick, RI 02886
37 Vera St, Warwick, RI 02886
The home has 4 bedrooms, one bathroom and is 1,593 square feet.
You can see the listing here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Field Trip: Old Westbury Gardens

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Old Westbury Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the former home of John S. Phipps, his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps and their four children. Completed in 1906 by the English designer, George A. Crawley, the magnificent Charles II-style mansion is nestled amid 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes. Westbury House is furnished with fine English antiques and decorative arts from the more than fifty years of the family's residence.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


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New Englanders, are well known for their preppy collegiate sense of style. I pinned these pins on Pinterest.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Ledges

Located in Weymouth, Massachusetts is The Ledges.

1E1 Elmwood Plan
Winner of 2009 RHA Community of Excellence Award!
With spacious gourmet kitchens, open floor plans and roomy closets one is sure to enjoy the rich interiors of The Ledges’ one, two and three bedroom apartment homes. Dining areas are finished with chair rail mouldings and some apartments homes feature lofts for computer set ups or play areas.
With an amenity rich community you can experience a relaxing afternoon by the outdoor swimming pool or invite some friends and family members for a poolside barbeque. You can play a game of one on one in the indoor basketball court or head to the 24 hour fitness center for a work out.
The Ledges’ location puts you just minutes from major highways to Boston or Cape Cod. Also nearby are the South Shore Hospital, local schools, fine-dining, take-out, shopping, beaches, and activities ranging from go-cart racing, to golf, and so much more! You will be sure to feel right at home with A Corcoran Community.

  • 9’ Ceilings
  • Cable Ready
  • Gourmet Kitchens
  • Indoor Basketball Court
  • Package Receiving
  • Playground
  • Poolside Barbeque Area
  • Private Balcony/Patio
  • Professional Staff
  • Seasonal Swimming Pool
  • Storage
  • Washer/Dryer in Every Home
  • High Speed Internet Access
  • TV Lounge
  • Fitness Center
  • Free Weights
  • Club House
  • Garage
  • On Site Maintenance
  • On Site Management
  • Package Receiving
  • Short Term Lease
  • Play Ground
Lease Terms
1 to 15 month options.

Online Grocery Shopping

Have you heard of Peapod?

"For those of you that are not familiar with Peapod, this is a delivery service that works with Stop & Shop. You place your order online, "shoppers" pull your order for you, it gets loaded on the truck and delivered to your home! Very convenient!
You will need a minimum order of $60 to use Peapod and the delivery fee is $9.95. Orders over $100 have a $6.95 delivery fee. Here is what my readers want to know CAN save money! They accept COUPONS! The spokeswoman said that they follow the same coupon policy as Stop & Shop only they will not accept the $/$$ off coupons from Stop & Shop or competitors. You can use any manufacturer coupon that is accepted at Stop & Shop though and that included printables! They double coupons w/ a face value of up to $0.99 just like Stop & Shop as well. There are also other ways to save online with them as well that you can find on their website, for example if you choose a certain delivery time you can save $1 or $2 off your order."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Talented Teen from Barnstable

I saw this posted on Fistful of Talent and actually was humbled that there are teenagers out there, who are so inspiring, despite what the average HR daddy might think:
"I’ve been in the HR and recruiting business for a long time now and I’m not easily surprised by what I see in job applications. Well, I was recently surprised! I have an 8 month old daughter and in our quest to maintain some semblance of a normal adult lifestyle we’ve been on the hunt for a babysitter. Our job posting stated pretty clearly what we were seeking – a babysitter who was available 2 days a week for a couple of hours in the afternoon and one night every other weekend. Our main requirement was having previous experience caring for infants. And here’s what I received. I can’t decide if I love it or hate it – you be the judge. This woman has accomplished more in her teen years than I accomplished by the time I was 30!
Remember, the job posting was for a babysitter!
To whom this may concern my name is Jane Smith and I have lived on Cape Cod my entire life, I am currently following my dream and attending MassArt for Fashion Design. My main focus is costume design and I am entirely devoted to both sewing and designing. I am passionate, determined and love a challenge. I love children and have always had a way of bringing out the best and creating excitement for any situation. To bring happiness to anyone including children is such an honor and privilege. This job would be both a blessing and something I would take pride in.
I started sewing four years ago when I took the fashion class at Barnstable High school. I have now made over seventy garments. I have participated in art shows and fashion shows and have had several pieces within these shows. I was on the front cover of the Rising Stars in the Cape Cod Times and I also was in the Washington Post for both my fashion designing and determination. As you will see I have made things for formal occasions and casual settings. I am able to also revamp garments to make them more modern, as well as use unconventional materials to create everyday attire. (Such as using a laundry hamper liner to create a sundress and newspaper to create a top.)
I have been associated with two Unitarian Universalist churches for my whole life. I attend both First Parish Brewster and also Barnstable Unitarian; I was on the board for social justice and am an active member of the Gay Straight Alliance. I have been an ally for my high school and colleges GSA for several years. I also have rowed for Cape Cod Rowing through high school and attend karate classes at the Barnstable YMCA. I was also part of the Free Tibet club, Fashion Club, and Art Honors Society. I have written for a medical journal and was a featured speaker amongst several physicians at a medical conference in Chicago. In addition my poetry has been selected to be published within a collection of young poets throughout the Cape. I have volunteered to teach a dozen middle school girls how to hand sew over a 5 week program Barnstable middle school created for enrichment. I additionally volunteered at the Boston Children’s Hospital to help sew pillow cases for children with cancer and I am currently in the process of becoming an official volunteer for the hospital. I recently came back from working for 2 months at an overnight camp in PA where I gained a great deal of experience with taking care of 8 nine year old girls and teaching large art classes for children of all ages.
I hope to hear from you soon and appreciate your time. Feel free to call me with any questions or concerns. I would love to meet with you to discuss the prospect of babysitting for your child.
Just reading this makes me tired!
I don’t think she’s the right person to take care of my daughter but I feel like I need to give her a call. Either to give some advice on how to apply for jobs or to hire her for something on the spot!"

Thursday, January 3, 2013

THE KENNEDY'S: Joseph P. Kennedy

"The symbols of their privilege have filled our cultural and sartorial lexicons with fanciful images of New England homes, yachting, all white cotton outfits, tennis, Ralph Lauren, a love of all natural fabrics and preparatory schools besieged in winding ivy.

Here is a man whose privilege and stature personified American Prep, and whose rise to power fit snugly into the mold of the making of American Presidents."-Just Real Casual.

What an introduction to the mystic of the Kennedy family. Whether you're smitten or totally turned off, here's a little more about the man who made it all happen. Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. with sons Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (left) and John F. Kennedy (right). Palm Beach, Florida, 1931. Photograph by E. F. Foley 1931
Here's an article that was in the New York Times by Christopher Buckley (the photos are sourced from various sites, but inbetween the text to break it up a little.):
"The next time you land at Logan Airport in Boston, pause a moment to reflect that you are standing on landfill annexed to what was once Noddle’s Island. Here, sometime in the late 1840s, a young escapee from the Irish potato famine named Patrick Kennedy first set foot in the New World. A cooper by trade, Patrick died of cholera in 1858 at age 35. His grandson and near namesake, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, was born in 1888 in a neighborhood now known as unfashionable East Boston. The rest, as they say, is history. In the hands of his biographer David Nasaw, it is riveting history. “The Patriarch” is a book hard to put down, a garland not lightly bestowed on a cinder block numbering 787 pages of text.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., and John F. Kennedy arriving at Southampton, England, July 2, 1938.

Nasaw is the Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Not quite as disinterested a credential as one might hope for in a Kennedy biographer, but Nasaw informs us that the family placed no restrictions on him, and allowed him unfettered access to the deepest recesses of the archive. This book is a formidable labor of six years.
Kennedyland is terrain notably susceptible to idolatry, hatemongering, whitewash, conspiracy-thinking, sensationalism and other agendas. Nasaw credibly avers that he has taken forensic pains to excise anything that could not be confirmed by primary sources. I am no historian, but the evidence appears to support his claim. His research is Robert Caro-esque; barely a paragraph is not footnoted. And he is unsparing about his subject’s shortcomings, which are numerous.
Given the extraordinary sweep of Kennedy’s life — banker, Wall Street speculator, real estate baron, liquor magnate (but not bootlegger), moviemaker, Washington administrator, ambassador, paterfamilias and dynastic founder — the miracle is that Nasaw was able to tell the whole damned story in only 787 pages.

Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy and his wife, Rose, in London with five of their nine children. From left: Kathleen, Edward, Patricia, Jean and Robert (September 1938).
The book’s subtitle, “The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times,” is if anything an understatement. Joe Kennedy was personally involved in virtually all the history of his time. There has been no dearth of books about America’s royal family, but this one makes a solid case that the ur-Kennedy was the most fascinating of them all.
The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
The book can be purchased at Barnes & Noble.
Fascinating, that is, as opposed to entirely admirable. Not that he wasn’t in ways, but boy was J.P.K. one complicated boyo. To paraphrase the heavyweight Sonny Liston’s manager: Joe Kennedy had his good points and his bad points. It’s his bad points that weren’t so good.
On the positive side of the ledger, he was an utterly devoted father. He adored his children and, when he was there — which wasn’t often — was a touchy-feely, hands-on daddy. When he wasn’t there, he regularly wrote them all copious letters. He superintended every aspect of their lives. And in his own highly idiosyncratic way, he was a devoted husband to his wife, Rose, a priggish, pious, humorless and deeply boring woman, while conducting conspicuous affairs with Gloria Swanson, Clare Boothe Luce and “hundreds” of other women. {I have crossed parts of the article out, it's my blog and I don't care for opinions that are too harsh}
Also on the positive side: he was a genius at management and organization; a Midas at moneymaking. He amassed his immense fortune without even seeming to break a sweat. As a Wall Street manipulator, he was involved in some shameful episodes; but he was also the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and headed up the Maritime Commission at critical times in the nation’s history. At these enormous tasks he performed tirelessly and valiantly.
As for the not-so-good part: he was a deplorable and disastrous United States ambassador to the Court of St. James’s during the crucial prewar period. One ought to refrain from smug judgments on the commonplace biases of prior generations. Kennedy was culturally anti-Semitic, but over time his anti-Semitism metastasized into a grotesque and paranoid obsession.
His isolationism was formidable and adamant, but in that, too, he was hardly unique. A lot of Americans, notably Charles Lindbergh, wanted to keep America out of another European war. But Kennedy’s relentless drive to appease — indeed, reward — tyranny was monomaniacal, preposterous and dangerous. In his view, Hitler was really just another businessman with whom a deal could be struck. Here his business genius impelled him in a direction that would have led to hell.
But it was his profound defeatism, a trait seemingly contrary to his talent for rising to a challenge and getting things done, that was so — to quote from the subtitle — remarkable. At one point we see him fulminating at the Royal Air Force. Why, you may ask, is Ambassador Kennedy in such a rage? (“Yet another rage” would be more accurate, for you can open “The Patriarch” to almost any page and find him spluttering in fury, indignation or resentment. Or all three.) Well, the answer is that he was livid at the R.A.F. for winning the Battle of Britain and thus halting the German invasion of England. No, Nasaw is not making this up. You see, all that those brave young men in their Spitfires had really accomplished was “prolonging” Britain’s inevitable defeat. One rubs one’s eyes in disbelief. Next to Joe Kennedy, Cassandra was Pollyanna.
As the saying goes, to be Irish is to know that sooner or later the world will break your heart. Daniel Patrick Moynihan adduced this chestnut of Hibernian Weltschmerz on Nov. 22, 1963, upon the assassination of the patriarch’s son. Nevertheless, for someone on whom the gods had lavished every blessing — as well as one hell of a lot of the proverbial “luck of the Irish” — Joe Kennedy was possessed of a pessimism that ran deeper than the Mariana Trench. And yet — and yet — in the end, his suspicion that the cosmic deck was stacked against him was weirdly and tragically validated. When, in 1969, this vibrantly alive man, who over a lifetime generated more energy than a nuclear reactor, died after eight years as a drooling, stroke-afflicted paralytic able to utter only one word — “No!” — he had outlived four of his beloved nine children.
Joseph P. Kennedy and his wife Rosemary Kennedy pose with their nine children for this picture in 1938 at Bronxville, N.Y. From left are, seated: Eunice, Jean, Edward (on lap of his father), Patricia, and Kathleen. Standing: Rosemary, Robert, John, Mrs. Kennedy, and Joseph, Jr.
His firstborn son and namesake was taken from him by the war he had so desperately tried to avert. His most cherished daughter, Kathleen, known as Kick, went down in a private plane that had no business being aloft in dangerous weather (a recurring Kennedy tragic theme). Two more sons were gruesomely murdered in public. Then there was the daughter, also much loved, whose life was permanently destroyed by a botched, if well-intentioned, lobotomy that her father had authorized.
The invalid patriarch was told about the assassinations of his sons. Nasaw does not reveal whether he was told about his remaining son’s rendezvous with karma at Chappaquiddick. Probably not; and probably just as well. His devastation was already consummate. To whom the gods had given much, the gods had taken away much more.
Former Ambassador to Britain Joseph P. Kennedy has earnest words with granddaughter Mary Courtney Kennedy, 2, who sits on lap of her mother, Ethel Kennedy at Mc Lean, Va. on Nov 29, 1958. The occasion is a reception for Edward Kennedy and Joan Bennett in Bronxville, New York as following their wedding. Sitting on Amb. Kennedy's lap is Bobby Jr. 4; and David, 3, is between grandfather and mother and on right, are Kathleen, 7, and Joe, 6, all are children of the Robert Kennedys.
The dominant animus in Joe Kennedy’s life was his Irish Catholic identity. (Identity, as distinct from his religious faith.) He was born into comfortable circumstances, went to Boston Latin and Harvard (Robert Benchley was a classmate and friend). But as a native of East Boston, he was permanently stamped as an outsider. He could never hope to aspire to the status of “proper Bostonian.” This exclusion, harnessed to a brilliant mind and steel determination, fired the dynamo of his ambition.
One of the more arresting sections of the book is the betrayal — and it was certainly that, in Joe Kennedy’s view — by the Roman Catholic Church when his son was trying to become the first Irish Catholic president. The Catholic press relentlessly criticized John, while the church higher-ups sat on their cassocks, murmuring orisons for a Quaker candidate.
Nasaw cites a 1966 oral history by Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston, an intimate Kennedy friend and beneficiary: “Some of the hierarchy . . . were not in favor of John F. Kennedy being elected president. They feared the time had not arrived when a president who was a Catholic could be elected.” This reticence may remind some of the modern-day reservations expressed in quarters of the American Jewish community that a Jewish president might exacerbate and inflame anti-Semitism. Many blacks had similar reservations about Barack Obama when he first decided to run for president.

Kennedy’s Irish Catholicism, his ­outsider-ness, both paralleled and reinforced his anti-Semitism. He identified with Jews, to a degree. They, like the Irish, were an oppressed people who had also been persecuted for their religion. But in Kennedy’s view the Irish had fled their holocaust in Ireland and found haven in the New World. Now, in the 1930s, the Jews were trying to draw the entire world into a war.
Joseph P. Kennedy
Kennedy was not indifferent to the plight of European Jewry. Indeed, he tried hard to achieve some international consensus on establishing new Jewish homelands somewhere in the British Empire. His motives were more tactical than humanitarian: if European Jews could be removed from the equation, then perhaps Hitler would have his Lebensraum and . . . chill.
Back home, Kennedy shared the extremist consensus that Franklin Roose­velt was the captive of his cabal of left-wing Jewish advisers: Felix Frankfurter, Samuel Rosenman, Bernard Baruch, Eugene Meyer, Sidney Hillman and the whole schmear. (Brainwashed, as Mitt Romney’s father might have put it.) At war’s end, even as news of the Nazi death camps was emerging, Kennedy was pounding the table and railing at the overrepresentation of Jews in the government. Nasaw writes: “The more he found himself on the outside, scorned and criticized as an appeaser, a man out of touch with reality, a traitor to the Roosevelt cause, the more he blamed the Jews.” None of this is pleasant to learn.
Kennedy’s relationship with Franklin Roosevelt is on the other hand supremely pleasant; indeed, is the book’s pièce de résistance. Roosevelt’s supple handling of his volatile — make that combustible — ambassador and potential rival for the presidency in 1940 and 1944 constitutes political spectator sport of the highest order. Long before “The Godfather,” Roose­velt well grasped the idea of keeping one’s friends close, one’s enemies closer.
Roosevelt and Kennedy were “frenemies” on a grand stage, full of sound and fury, strutting and fretting, alternately cooing and hissing at each other. As president, Roosevelt held superior cards, but Kennedy played his hand craftily — up to a point. The epic poker game ended on a sad and sour note. We hear the president telling his son-in-law that all Joe really cared about deep down was preserving his vast fortune: “Sometimes I think I am 200 years older than he is.” What a tart bit of patroon snobisme. It would have confirmed Kennedy’s worst suspicions about “proper” WASP establishmentarians. Of Roosevelt’s death, Nasaw writes with Zen terseness: “The nation grieved. Joseph P. Kennedy did not.”
Rose Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy
“Isolationist” seems a barely adequate description for Kennedy’s worldview. He opposed: the Truman Doctrine of containing Communism in Greece and Italy, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, the creation of NATO and Congressional appropriations for military assistance overseas. Oh, and the cold war. His foreign policy essentially boiled down to: We ought to mind our own damn business. But in fairness, this debate is still going on. (See Paul, Ron.)
Perhaps most stunningly, his pessimism could not even be assuaged by . . . victory! After the war, we find him accosting Winston Churchill, someone he abhorred: “After all, what did we accomplish by this war?” Churchill was not a man at a loss for words, but even he was momentarily flummoxed. In Kennedy’s view, it was Churchill who had foxed (the Jew-­controlled) Roosevelt into the war that had killed his son. Elsewhere we see him lambasting — again, Nasaw is not making this up — Dwight Eisenhower, who favored retaining American troops in Europe. Kennedy “was aggressive, relentless, without a hint of deference to the general, who was arguably the most popular and respected American on two continents.” Kennedy did not know Yiddish, but he did not lack for chutzpah.
And rage. Nasaw cites an oral history — though he advises that we approach it with caution — in which Kennedy is described as browbeating Harry Truman: “Harry, what the hell are you doing campaigning for that crippled son of a bitch that killed my son?”
The Kennedy's after John F. Kennedy's election.
(A strange omission in the book: Roose­velt’s son Elliott was on the bombing mission in which Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was killed. Elliott’s plane was following behind Joe Jr.’s to photograph the operation when Joe Jr.’s bomber suddenly exploded, perhaps because of an electrical or radio signal malfunction. Surely this “Iliad”-level detail — Roosevelt’s son possibly witnessing the death of Kennedy’s son — was worth including?)
Kennedy was a man of uncanny abilities, but among them was a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And here we — or rather, Kennedy’s perspicacious biographer — arrive at the crux and fatal flaw:
“Joseph P. Kennedy had battled all his life to become an insider, to get inside the Boston banking establishment, inside Hollywood, inside the Roosevelt circle of trusted advisers. But he had never been able to accept the reality that being an ‘insider’ meant sacrificing something to the team. His sense of his own wisdom and unique talents was so overblown that he truly believed he could stake out an independent position for himself and still remain a trusted and vital part of the Roose­velt team.”
Rose Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy, their son John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie Kennedy.
As his son indelibly put it some months before his father was struck down: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” One wonders what was going through the mind of the patriarch, sitting a few feet away listening to that soaring sentiment as a fourth-generation Kennedy became president of the United States. After coming to know him over the course of this brilliant, compelling book, the reader might suspect that he was thinking he had done more than enough for his country. But the gods would demand even more."
Next time, I'll post the story of Joseph P.Kennedy according to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

REAL ESTATE SAMPLER: 96 Tilipi Run Street

Set amongst manicured lawns is a six bedroom home in Chatham, Massachusetts.

Here's the listing:

An impeccable Morris Island property, this grand Shingle-style home offers unparalleled views of the Atlantic and Monomoy islands. Offering architectural sophistication and elegant craftsmanship, this six bedroom home spans almost 10,000 S.F. over three levels. Completed in 2009, the main entrance features a foyer leading to the main living space and adjoining hallway with elevator. The main level includes an elegant en suite master bedroom, living room, dining room and luxury chef's kitchen, all with panoramic views. The expansive second level offers five additional en suite bedrooms, multiple balconies and sweeping views throughout. The lower level boasts a plethora of stunning living spaces that completes this superlative property. Meticulous attention to detail is shown in every aspect of this home's exceptional design.
What a lovely kitchen, don't you think?
Lot's of natural light, and expansive views.
Loosing count of how many bedrooms and bathrooms, are you also?
Rather nice home don't you think?
all for a mere $7,995,000

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