Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Jack and Joe Kennedy in Arizona
I went to see my lovely, dear friend Elson on Saturday (a former CCC enrollee and LEM), and we got to talking about how he met Jack and Joe Kennedy at the J-6 Ranch near Benson in 1936 when his CCC crew was working there. I've heard the story before, but it's a fun one, so I wanted to share it. Joe Kennedy (the father) sent his sons Joe and Jack to the J-6 Ranch, owned by Jack Speiden, in the summer of 1936 to toughen them up. According to Elson, they were "as white as a sheet" when they arrived in Arizona, but when they left they were "as brown as a nut." Speiden worked them really hard, apparently not giving them a soft ride due to who they were. Elson and his CCC buddies were making fun of their accents one day when Joe said to them, "Y'aaaaall are the ones who talk funny!"
Elson gave me a great article on the Kennedys in Arizona, "John F. Kennedy: His Days as an Arizona Cowboy," by Bob Thomas. I'm not sure where the article was published and haven't yet been able to track it down. I hope to be able to locate the publication information and give the publication, along with Mr. Thomas, their well-deserved credit.