Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic

aturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic (1968)
… because it’s 4th of July 

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

This performance of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is from Robert Kennedy’s funeral. So this week, we focus on him. 

1) During WWII, when he was just 17, Robert Kennedy enlisted in the Navy. He was disappointed he was never involved in combat. Tell us about a time when you felt fate/circumstances kept you from something you wanted. As someone trying to build a writing career, it seems like that’s always the case. Right after I accepted my current job at a closed-captioning company, I was offered a part-time crime-writing position with a newspaper I’d done some work for. It was the job I would’ve preferred and more the direction I wanted to go. 

2) Bobby was trained as an altar boy and throughout his life regularly attended early morning mass. When is the last time you attended a worship service? Last Sunday. With the exception of a few missed weeks recently, my fiancé and I have been going back to church. Mostly just so they’ll let us get married.

3) He may have been an altar boy, but he was no angel. During junior high he was suspended for punching a classmate. Who is the last person who made you very, very mad? I’m mad at a friend’s husband for being a dick and not prioritizing his marriage or trying to solve issues within it.

4) He had his first date when he was a senior in high school. Looking back, Mary Bailey Gimble told Kennedy biographers that she knew he had a crush on her and wondered why it took him so long to ask her out. Tell us about one of your early crushes. Man, I’d rather not because 99% turned out to be assholes later in life. Glad I picked a winner when it really mattered.
5) Bobby’s wife Ethel is as bubbly and talkative as he was introspective and shy. He was organized, she’s messy. While opposites may attract, do you believe the happiest marriages are between partners who are more similar than different? Honestly, I think it depends more on how you handle the differences than they differences themselves. On the outset, my fiancé and I seem like total opposites, but our personalities and similarities we do have mesh really, really well. I think if you have a good attitude and as long as they’re not major clashes that are dealbreakers or are significant lifestyle differences, it can work just fine.

6) By November 1960, when he was 35 years old, Bobby already had served as legal counsel to two Senate committees and run his brother’s successful Presidential campaign. He was looking forward to a quieter life teaching lawbut gave in to family pressure to become President Kennedy’s Attorney General. Tell us about a time when you were at a crossroads. Who influenced your decision? I think I influence my own decisions more than anyone else. I talk to other people, but the biggest factors are my feelings on the situation, my well-being, and what I want in the end.

7) In 1777, Colonists celebrated July 4 with the firing of cannons and muskets, followed by a public reading of the Declaration of Independence. What is your neighborhood doing to observe the day? I’m sure we’re having a parade and fireworks, but other than that, I don’t know of anything else.

8) The Revolutionary War still raged during that summer of 1777. General George Washington allowed his soldiers to celebrate with a double ration of run on July 4. Do you know anyone who is serving in the military this 4th of July? I know tons. My dad is retired military, my brother is Army, one of my future brothers-in-law is a Marine, a friend of my fiancé’s is in the Air Force, and my best friend’s husband is in the Navy. My grandfather was also a Marine and his dad was in the military, too, and I know my other grandfather and some uncles served, too. One of my uncles worked as a medic for a long time. I am basically surrounded by military.

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