By: Honey Good
Our young family was spending the Christmas holiday at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida. Jacqueline Kennedy was vacationing at the same resort with her children. I met her as the young widow of President John F. Kennedy.
I am going to tell you about our conversation and my impression of Jackie Kennedy’s look and style.
Here is my story!
“Meet me at the Shell Shop at ten o’clock. I am taking the girls with me,” said Michael, my late husband, as I heard the screen door close behind him.
I arrived right on time and saw Michael racing toward me, jumping down two steps at a time.
“Hurry! Hurry! I want to introduce you to Jacqueline Kennedy before she leaves the shop. I have been talking to her for over ten minutes!”
He grabbed my hand and raced me up the steps, opened the screen door, and there she stood! The shop was so tiny I almost ran into her! I stopped short with Michael and quietly looking straight into her buttercup brown eyes, I blurted out, “I was a great admirer of your husband, the President”.
Her immediate response was a lowered head, and then she looked up and looking me straight in the eyes her exact words to me were, “Yes, he is missed.”
We then began a casual conversation. I immediately noticed she was shy, but an interested woman. She spoke to me almost in a whisper. She asked me my name, told me she'd had a conversation with Michael and that she was vacationing with her children, John and Caroline. I said I was doing the same.
And then her eyes caught sight of my Hawaiian bracelets! Her buttercup brown eyes widened as she said to me, “I am taking delight in your bracelets. They are so special. Please tell me about them.”
Now we became two young women discussing a subject all women enjoy…jewelry!
I told her the story and the history of Hawaiian jewelry and explained why each piece of jewelry had inscriptions in black enamel. (I will share the story with you another time, darlings!) She loved hearing the history behind the bracelets and became more effervescent. We both smiled and laughed together softly. As we said our good-byes. we took each other’s hands but not before I visually took in the style of Jacqueline Kennedy, the First Lady of the United States.
This was my visual impression.
She was wearing white shorts (wrinkled) and a black T-shirt. She wore a thin gold wedding band and her nails were unpolished. There was no polish on her toes, not even a clear color, and she wore plain black sandals.
I was surprised that she was not beautiful. She wore absolutely no make up; she did not have great hair or white shining teeth. What gave her style were her high cheekbones, a perfect body, her carriage, and her beautiful brown eyes.
I followed her life closely. Her marriage to Onassis, her role as a mother, how she created her style, her career as an editor, Maurice Templeton, the jeweler who she quietly loved in her later years after Onassis, and her last illness.
The only time I was glad she had passed away was when her son John accidently flew to his death. I don’t know how she would have handled that.
The last time I was close to her was at Arlington National Cemetery. I visited her grave to pay my respects. I remember saying: “For one brief shining moment you brought the United States of America, Camelot. How we miss you and your dream for American society".
I think every woman reveres the name Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the first Lady of the United States of America. I know, I do.
Do something GOOD today: teach your children the history of the US Presidents.
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