JULY 13, 2012
“JOHNNY, I HARDLY KNEW YE” I
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we begin our report of Chapter 12 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy. It is published by Little, Brown & Company.
The title of Chapter 12 is “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye”
Kenneth O’Donnell writes that President Kennedy personally answered letters picked at random from the 5000 which arrived at the White House on any given day.
Every 50th letter was pulled & sent to his office & sometimes he just wandered into the mail room himself & picked out some letters to take back to the Oval Office to read.
Sometimes he would write an answer himself & then have it typed by his personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln.
Kenny includes a sample letter from a young boy as St. Patrick’s Day was nearing.
The letter reads:
“Dear President Kennedy:
I like you very much. I am 10 years old. Where do the little people live? Do they have horses? Can only the Irish see them? Can you see them.
Mark Aaron Perdue”
JFK’s response reads:
Your questions are quite pertinent, coming as they do just before St. Patrick’s Day. There are many legends about the “little people,” but……if you really believe, you will see them.
My “little people” are very small, wear tall black stovepipe hats, green coats & pants, & have long white beards. They do not have horses. They are most friendly, & their message is that all peoples of the world should live in peace & friendship
Since you are interested in the Irish, I want to wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day.
John F. Kennedy”*
*I was not so fortunate to get a personal response to one of my letters from President Kennedy, but I was most happy to receive a letter from his secretary, Mrs. Lincoln, & the White House card that JFK signed for me.