In 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died when their single-engine plane, piloted by Kennedy, plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
I remember hearing the first words of the missing plane and who was on it and knowing it was over. I knew the circumstances, watched it unfold as did everyone because John John was royalty. He was also this guy who was always downtown in Soho, on his bike, or roller blades. at bars and always a big flirt.
One summer night in 1998, out with friends celebrating Max ‘s having passed the BAR exam. We were down on West Broadway at Lucky Strike and Box a very Euro bar with great drinks. JFK jr. came in, and went to the bar. Notoriously he had not passed the BAR in his first attempt, and had real difficulty passing it later. I always saw him but I would never approach him, there was no reason to and he was always surrounded by women anyway. So the joke/idea was that we should ask him to join us for a toast to Max for his achievement, passing the BAR on his first try. It was teasing and mean and I don’t do mean. There was no way I would go through with it even though the bar was rather quiet that night and the fact was John John had looked over a few times and smiled his famous smile in our direction. My friends kept telling me to go over, he was looking and I was being ridiculous, but I had no intention.
As he was leaving, he veered toward our table and said “Hope you are having a good night,” looking and locking eyes with me and then smiled the killer smile and walked out. Well my “cool” friends all burst out into nervous laughter as I turned crimson red. I was so happy they never went through with their childish dig.
A year later he was married and missing and everyone I knew was crushed ,shocked and in disbelief. How could it be in real life, that this could happen to him? I mean why? The Kennedy curse just would not relent. I remember my first thought was, thank G-d Jackie O. had passed, and about Caroline and her utter despair over her baby brother. The Bessette family losing two daughters in a national tragedy. The search went on for over three days but I grieved knowing there was no surprise ending.
It was like Princess Diana all over again. It devastated the country and the world.
I am a sentimental person so I shared that silly story. Rest in peace, John, Carolyn and Lauren you are not forgotten.