Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stories from behind the scenes at Kennedy's Camelot

Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford

Editorial Reviews - From Barnes & Noble

Today Mimi Beardsley Alford is a retired church administrator. In the summer of 1962, Mimi Beardsley was a teenage intern beginning an internship in the White House press office. Within weeks, this tall, beautiful, impressionable woman had begun an affair with President John F. Kennedy, a link that was severed only by his November 1963 assassination. Until six years ago, when an investigator divulged the relationship, Mimi's great secret and sadness remained concealed. Even then, she only made a general acknowledgement of the liaison; it is only now that she writes candidly about this central relationship in her life. Once Upon a Secret recounts not just her presidential romance, but also the story of how she maintained silence, sometimes at great cost, about an affair that would have riveted the nation.
Edward Ash-Milby


Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss by RoseMarie Terenzio

Kirkus Reviews-

Entertaining memoir from the personal assistant and publicist to John F. Kennedy Jr. For five years, Bronx-born Terenzio worked for the iconic JFK Jr. The author recalls tense first encounters with the dashing socialite as he insinuated himself, unannounced, into her spacious office, but eventually his persistent attempts to ease the tension worked and the two became friendly. Terenzio eventually became his personal assistant at Kennedy's start-up magazine, George. The author soon discovered that assisting a Kennedy was no easy feat, but her story makes deliriously fun reading. Juggling last-minute responsibilities and thwarting the rapacious media and "annoying hangers-on" became commonplace duties in her job working for boss who could be callous and had little patience for mistakes on a schedule overflowing with business and social engagements. Terenzio characterizes herself as a hard worker with a direct demeanor and an Italian temper, a diehard Howard Stern fan who assumed the role of Kennedy's gatekeeper, constantly "controlling access to someone who everyone wanted a piece of." She also proves herself a model of loyalty, trustworthiness and discretion during her tenure on Kennedy's payroll, most notably during his courtship to Carolyn Bessette, whose friendship Terenzio also cherished. Kennedy's tragic accidental death in 1999 would end the author's association with the family, but the memory of her dedicated service is heretofore memorialized, with obvious admiration. A fitting personal tribute to a unique boss.

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