I was driving out of the Lincoln Tunnel, normal speed, thinking about the job interview I had just finished with a human resources guy at J.Walter Thompson. I wanted to be one of the “Mad Men” decades before the TV show brought us the 1960’s focus on a nation’s willingness to be coopted by symbols, not substance. Shame on me. But I could turn a phrase and I was fresh out of college with a short-sighted ego.
A semi-tractor-trailer began to veer(driver asleep) and in a blur my car was spinning around. Everything went gray–my heart didn’t have time to beat fast. But I got my miracle. Not injured. Car totaled.
Eight hours later, a little after midnight, I was listening to rock on the radio when a voice cut in. Robert F. Kennedy has been shot in a “ballroom” at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. A few minutes later: Robert F. Kennedy is dead at 42.
Whatever sorrow I had about the loss of a car was gone, replaced by the death of a man I thought could straighten our country.
I always drive extra carefully on June 5 and without fail, I think of RFK and what we’ll never know.