Thursday, February 28, 2013

No PDA Allowed

It may sound strange now, but back in the day (50s / 60s) public displays of affection were frowned upon. Considering that Jackie and JFK were nothing if not icons of their day, that helps explain why you see so few pictures of them touching. Many men didn't fawn over their wives or kiss her in front of others; such actions were thought to be signs of weakness in a man. One even had to be careful with too many compliments in front of others. Knowing that politicians and celebrities 'behaved' when cameras were around, is it any wonder that so many affairs and such scandals went on behind closed doors? Here are a few moments of the Kennedys as a couple.


We all believed that the truly loved each other, despite JFK's womanizing ways, but if you're interested in learning more about them and their complicated marriage, read O! Jackie.

And JFK's Wedding Ring...

According to this picture, JFK didn't wear a wedding band. Perhaps that was for the best, considering some of his non-marital behaviors. Also, it could've been a sign of the times. When DID men begin wearing wedding rings?
Interested in learning more about the Kennedys or in simply revisiting a 'simpler' time? Check out O! Jackie, and discover how some of those Kennedy-scandals evolved.

Jackie's Wedding Ring

 Not a terribly good picture of Jackie's wedding ring, but when you think about it, how often did you ever notice her wearing a ring? No doubt, it would be inconvenient when stretching on those gloves. Below is a replica (supposedly) of her wedding / engagement ring. I can't verify that this is in fact the 'real deal', but if so, I would love to know the story behind the stones (as I'm guessing this beauty was custom made). Is the emerald a nod to Jack's Irish heritage? If this is the ring, it's stunning and well chosen. Too bad we didn't see more of it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jackie, Not Your Poster Girl

So many love Jackie. But why? Her timeless beauty, elegant style, constant poise under humiliating circumstances, and dignity that helped a nation grieve, certainly come to mind. But really, she was a very public figure that few knew much about. One reason for that was Jackie's stance on privacy. She kept to herself, and with that, most of her opinions and personal positions. Stunning, really, since most everyone today works at creating and perpetuating a platform of one sort or another. Yet, we don't know what Jackie's take was on abortion. Sure, she was in a Democratic family, but considering her difficult journey to motherhood (and later, the tragic loss of her newborn Patrick), there's a good chance she might've disagreed with such practices becoming legal. Or what about civil rights? You won't find any pictures of Jackie among a throng of protesters. AIDS? She didn't seem to jump on the celebrity bandwagons that developed during the 80s. No, but she is remembered for stepping in and speaking against the destruction of Grand Central Terminal, which is a building...Think about it: Jackie Kennedy was one of the most famous, well-respected women in the world, and for decades post-JFK and Onassis, she could've lent her voice to any number of notable causes. But she didn't. Instead, she edited books...on Michael Jackson and...fireworks (among other topics). Perhaps it's just me, but this seems like a sad, lost opportunity...

 Even so, admiration for her will endure.

But if you'd like to explore what Jackie might've been like behind closed doors, get your copy of O! Jackie.

Article on Jackie

Although I wouldn't call myself an 'expert' on JBK, I did have a lot of fun participating in an interview with a young lady who wrote this article on Jackie. The questions also made me think hard on various Jackie-issues....More on that later.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jackie's Talents

More than just a pretty face with fine tastes in clothing and decor, Jackie Kennedy was a woman of various talents. One ability in particular made her even more valuable to her husband: her mastry of languages. Jackie was fluent in French and Spanish and could speak decent Italian. Jackie also loved painting and was quite good. Below, a painting of the White House (from the 1800s) that Jackie painted as a gift to her husband.

Discover more about Jackie--and JFK--in O! Jackie, including  a few more talents you might find surprising.

Sex, the Headache Remedy

It's been a long-running joke: women claiming they're 'not in the mood' or 'not tonight, dear' with the age-old excuse of, 'I have a headache'. So of course, having sex under such conditions would be unejoyable. Dreadful, perhaps. But JFK once quipped to UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan: "If I don't have a woman at least every three days, I get terrible migraines." I have a feeling that sentiment also means to suggest: "And sex with a DIFFERENT woman really helps keep the pain away." Well, it's a theory.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Nude Jackie...?

You might be surprised, the places Jackie Kennedy ends up least in the fictional take I created about part of her life in O! Jackie. (Think remote Mediterranean of the Eiffel Tower...various places throughout the White House...a roach-infested motel in L.A. [yes, you need help picturing the last one]) Surprisingly, though, Jackie did appear nude in public, but not intending for the world to peek. While sunbathing on a private beach, well after her White House years, a crafty photographer captured pictures of au natural. As we've often seen in the media, this is an on-going battle of 'clever' paparazzi v. personal rights to privacy. For some reason, people's fascination with nudity never dulls. Hmm. Maybe there are two reasons not to think too hard on it.

Revisit the 60s, the Kennedys, and their scandals in O! Jackie.

An Expert in Domestic Affairs

Well, if Wikipedia says it's true, then it must be.....Here's an excerpt from JFK's page:

Extra-marital relationships
Kennedy reportedly had affairs with a number of women, including Marilyn Monroe, Gunilla von Post, Judith Campbell, Mary Pinchot Meyer, Marlene Dietrich, and Mimi Alford Doctors speculated that the drugs the president required for Addison's disease had the side effect of increasing his virility.[161] The president remarked to UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, "I wonder how it is for you, Harold? If I don't have a woman for three days, I get terrible headaches."[256] Kennedy inspired affection and loyalty from the members of his team and his supporters.[257] According to Reeves, this included "the logistics of Kennedy's liaisons ... [which] required secrecy and devotion rare in the annals of the energetic service demanded by successful politicians."[258] Kennedy believed that his friendly relationship with members of the press would help protect him from revelations about his sex life.

Read more about JFK and his sexual exploits in O! Jackie--and find out what Jackie Kennedy did in an attempt to end her husband's wandering ways.

One Sick President

As much as we may grumble and complain about JFK's devotion to his womanizing, it's amazing, when you take a step back and realize all the physical ailments he dealt with on a regular basis. He suffered from Addison's disease (a rare endocrine disorder), colitis, hypothyroidism, chronic back pain (which two surgeries failed to correct), and chlamydia. Considering the list of medications he was on, it's even more amazing that he was able to function coherently. JFK was as adamant about concealing his health issues as he was about keeping his sexual escapades private. Being a man of his times, JFK didn't want to appear weak, but there were moments when his pain and discomfort were so severe that he required crutches to get around. He also utilized padded rocking chairs to ease his back, though it helped little. Another side affect of his conditions? He couldn't pick up his children. The strain was too much for his back.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

More on JFK and Civil Rights

Another article on JFK's position and actions against segregation, and dealing with heated tensions in the South. Read more here.

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 1961 file photo, President John F. Kennedy leaves the White House in Washington to Andrews Air Force Base for flight to Palm Beach, Fla. en route to the bedsite of his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, who is hospitalized after suffering as stroke. Kennedy's civil rights legacy has undergone substantial reassessment since his 1963 assassination. Half a century later, "We're still trying to figure it out," says one longtime civil rights activist. (AP Photo/WJS)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Would've Happened...

Putting all the Kennedy scandals aside, you can't help but wonder what might've happened if JFK had served two full terms in office. A new film explores teh civil rights movement and JFK's role and involvement. Read more here.

This photo provided by the Kennedy Library, show eting with National Urban League officials. President Kennedy (in rocking chair) meeting with National Urban League Executive Director Whitney M. Young, center, and president Henry Steeger in the president's Living Room of the White House in Washington, on Jan. 23, 1962. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., tells the story of Young’s boldness in dealing with civil rights issues in “The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight For Civil Rights” a documentary airing during Black History Month on PBS’ Independent Lens and shown in some community theaters. Photo: The White House, Abbie Rowe, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library And Museum

Friday, February 22, 2013

Marilyn...Channeling Jackie...?

See what you think....


Kinda looks like 'Jackie gone bad', or as close to bad as we can imagine Jackie to be.

If you wonder how 'bad' Jackie could've been--how far she could've gone, once pushed--read O! Jackie to find out.

The Wedding Dress


A little hard to imagine that Jackie didn't adore this dress. It flatters her slim figure from every angle, makes her look angelic and ethereal, but apparently, this was not Jackie's 'dream dress'. She once referred to it as a 'lampshade' and claimed it accentuated her 'flat' chest. Jackie's mother Janet had commissioned designer Anne Lowe to make the dress, and considering Jackie's true feelings, you wonder how much say, if any, she had in its design. Most beautiful of all is Jackie's veil, which belonged to her grandmother. Despite her feelings about the dress, Jackie wore it well and contributed yet another iconic piece to her stunning wardrobe legacy.

Jackie Disapproved

Ah, those adorable pictures of JFK and his children playing in the White House. Who could ever forget them? Kids being kids, and a president enjoying his youngsters. My favorite? The snapshot of John Jr. poking his head under his father's desk, while JFK reviews some paperwork.

Ever wonder why Jackie wasn't included in these photos? Jackie didn't want them taken; she said she wanted to protect the children and their privacy, and she believed in limiting their exposure to the press. JFK took a lighter view: he wanted to support his family man image, and what better way to do it?

So while Jackie was away, JFK gave the go-ahead for the pictures.....

See what other troubles brewed between the Kennedys in O! Jackie. Adorable photos were one thing, but certain behaviors stirred her fury...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Romantic Tribute and A Lone Jackie

For her goodwill trip to India and Pakistan in 1962, Jackie couldn't convince her husband to go along. JFK had no desire to sight see around the desert, but Jackie had put off going on the trip long enough. Jackie had kicked off her job as hostess with a very successful dinner at George Washington's estate, Mount Vernon. Impressed with the evening--and enamored of Jackie--the Pakistani president quickly reciprocated with an invite to his country. Jackie also received an invitation to visit from India's prime minister. Although Jack sat the trip out, Jackie didn't go it alone; Lee and other White House staff attended. Numerous pictures document her trip, but one stands out: a picture of Jackie in front of the Taj Mahal, a marble mausoleum emperor Shah Jahan built in honor of his third wife, after she died in childbirth with their 14th child. Despite her smile, you wonder what she had to be thinking, standing (alone) in front of such a majestic, enduring tribute.

Read more about Jackie and her unconventional adventures abroad in O! Jackie.

O! Jackie

Few celebrities and even fewer politician's wives endure the test of time, but Jackie Kennedy was unlike any before her or since. What made her such an original was not only her tasteful style, but the fact that despite her beauty, wealth, and fame, Jackie knew a great deal of tragedy in her life, and she was consistently needled with reminders of her husband's infidelities. Despite the rumors and underlying humiliation, Jackie's public image never suffered. She never spoke an unflattering word about her husband or his actions, even though she appeared to be the 'perfect wife' who silently suffered.

On the other hand, wouldn't you like to know, or at least imagine, what went on behind closed doors between Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy? We've long wondered. There had to be conflict, confrontation to some degree.

O! Jackie deconstructs the fairy tale, dares to create those 'what-if' scenarios of Jackie and JFK's private life.

How much could one woman really take? And at some point, wouldn't she go over the edge? Wouldn't the persona crack?

Maybe...and what if it did?

Risk it: get your copy of O! Jackie here, and explore another side of 'Camelot.'

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Full Nudity for $50

Early in her modeling career, Marilyn was in a tight spot and needed money. A photographer offer her $50 for some shots; she needed the money for rent. The catch? The photog wanted to do nude pics. Of course, looking at Marilyn, it's no wonder, but this was, perhaps, the beginning of how the industry / the business, took advantage of her and her beauty. Marilyn agreed and was paid $50 for the shoot. The photographer, owning the rights to the pics, went on to make a lot more money when he sold them for a nude calendar rendition. Not sure how much he made off the venture, but I can tell you what Marilyn made: $0.

(chose this version out of respect)

Who's Your Favorite Marilyn?


Catherin Hicks
  Poppy Montgomery

  Michelle Williams

No slight intended to these ladies and their fine acting abilities, but do any of them truly capture Marilyn? As with Jackie, there's a certain charisma--perhaps even tragedy--that only the finest performers can imitate but never duplicate.

Playing Jackie

Many women have portrayed Jackie in various ads and films, but it's always easy to spot a Jackie impostor. Much like JFK, Jackie had a certain charm and presence that can't be duplicated.



The REAL Jackie never tried too hard. Her elegance and grace translated to every photo. Her clothes always had an impeccable fit, and despite her struggles with the press, the camera loved every angle of Jackie. Plus, she was practically ageless. From debutante to first lady to New York editor, she was a woman who's beauty always captivated America's interest.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Bit of Irony

Once upon a time, Jacqueline Bouvier was a reporter.

Yes, you read that right. Her first ( and only) job as a young single lady was working as a reporter - photographer for the Washington - Times Herald. Although Jackie enjoyed the job and its modest pay (which wasn't enough to cover her monthly expenses; Daddy Jack Black had to help out), her assignments were rather 'squishy' and editorial, not hard-core reporting. But she did interview some of Washington's up-and-coming politicians, including John F. Kennedy. With an affection for writing, Jackie was inspired by the job and wanted to pursue a career in journalism. However, marrying JFK derailed those notions; he and his family wanted her to focus on perpetuating his image and building his career.

Of course, through the years, Jackie lost her love for 'reporters', especially when she realized that the always-intrusive press wanted in on every detail of her life.

To learn more about Jackie Kennedy and to revisit the days of Camelot, and the administration's scandals, peek inside O! Jackie, a fictional take on being Jackie Kennedy.

Kennedy Cartoons

Crude and inappropriate? You got it.

JFK's Portrait

Another downer. But for this creation, artist Aaron Shikler claimed that he didn't want to paint the eyes of a dead man. JFK appears brooding and lost in thought; he's slightly bent over, both elements meant to pay tribute to a fallen president. Still, the White House rendition (again) fails to capture that Kennedy mystique, that charisma that, for the briefest of moments, united a nation.


The Jackie Portrait

One of my biggest gripes is the offical White House portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy. A rendering by artist Aaron Shikler, the portrait (in my opinion) does nothing to capture the essence of Jackie. For one thing, she looks to be wearing a nightgown--a high-necked, frilly nightgown. When did Jackie wear anything with a high neckline? For those familiar with Jackie photos and images, we can all appreciate how such snapshots capture her beauty and poise. The portrait, done in what looks like 'soft lighting', makes Jackie look older, and the painting tends to look unfinished. Surprisingly, Jackie was the one who commissioned Shikler, and I suppose she must've had final say on the project. But how she approve this picture to hang in the White House and represent her 'eternally', I'll never understand.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Phony Family Photo

Where would we be without PhotoShop? This is an interesting take on a family photo. I like how Caroline looks repulsed in the Marilyn version, as she seems to be pushing away her mother's nemisis. As you can see from the original print, she's simply trying to keep herself from falling off the ledge (and poor John-John had to be cropped out altogether). What's also interesting is how at-ease and comfortable Marilyn looks in the fabricated portrait. Almost as if she could belong. She's a little dressy for Hyannis port, but what the hay.

For more twists on the Kennedys and more of Marilyn inserted into their lives, read O! Jackie.

Kennedy Memorabilia

Would you pay thousands for a bomber jack once owned by JFK? How about hundreds for letters written by Jackie Kennedy? These are just a couple of the items that went up for bid early this morning; items that had belonged to one-time aide and family friend, Dave Powers. A stash of Kennedy memorabilia was found in recent months by the Powers family (Dave died in 1998). Although these Kennedy treasures were estimated to go for hundred or thousands of dollars, many of the items, if not all of them, far exceeded expectations. That bomber jacket, for instance, sold for $570,000. Wow! Proof that the Kennedy mystique, and even the tarnished remains of Camelot, still stir deep affections--and encourage digging deep into pockets. Amazing that fifty years later, people are willing to pay dearly for a piece of Kennedy history.

Read the article here.

Afternoon Delight

Somehow, between the talks of banning nuclear weapons, The Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Cuban Missle Crisis, and the explosive civil rights issues on the homefront, JFK often made time for a nap, almost everyday. Part of that need stemmed from his laundry-list of health issues, which included back trouble from botched surgeries and Addison's Disease. Naturally, Jackie joined him for these hour long to 90 min. respites, and I'm sure we can all imagine what went on in the 'powder blue' bedroom. Of course, we might also wonder, who else did JFK take a timeout with? After all, Jackie once found a pair of underwear that belonged to another woman in their bed, so our suspicions are warranted.

If you'd like to experience more of the Kennedys 'behind closed doors', get your copy of O! Jackie. Find out just how 'tired' (and naughty) JFK could be...and find out what Jackie did about it.

The Pillbox Hat

Not only did Jackie Kennedy make elbow-length gloves and a pearl necklace part of her trademark look, she also made famous the pillbox hat. Interesting name, considering that the hat is much larger than an ordinary pillbox--and a different shape. When designers (Halston, in particular) had the chance to create an outfit or look for Jackie, they often took advantage of including a hat. Jackie had a large head and thick hair for the hat to perch upon, but Jackie didn't like hats. She gave in when it came to wearing them, obviously, and accidentally made the pillbox a sensation.

Another interesting but unfortunate fact? Jackie wore hats on the first and last days of JFK's administration. Above, she's pictured with the president on inauguration day, and below, during their infamous trip to Dallas. A mystery surround the raspberry colored hat that matched her Chanel suit: Jackie removed the hat at Parkland Hospital, where the president was taken after being shot, and no one knows exactly what happened to it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Secret Snuggle Between JFK and Marilyn

I don't know the real story behind this photo, or who these two people REALLY are, but just for the sake of our salacious imaginations, it's easy to believe this is an actual picture of the two together. What may throw you though is the thought of JFK holding and cuddling with Marilyn. Maybe it's just me, but did JFK strike you as the affectionate type? I wonder if he was more of the bang 'em n' leave 'em kind, getting what he wanted and out the door asap. Still, this could be a rare moment when perhaps he comforted her, after she cried and threw a tantrum, not wanting to let him go....and definitely not wanting him to leave her for Jackie.

Indulge even more in your JFK - Marilyn fantasies with O! Jackie, a fictional take on how that most famous love triangle really fell apart.

Who Would Marry Their Sister's Lover...?

In the summer and fall of 1963, rumor has it that Lee Radziwill and Aristotle Onassis were an item. Reports claim that this was Ari's way of getting close to the Kennedy family--and as close to Jackie Kennedy as he could get. It was also during this time, in October, that Jackie vacationed with Lee and Ari on his yacht, the Christina. It was a difficult time for Jackie, as her newborn Patrick had died in August.

But the getaway wasn't the first time Jackie and Ari had spent time together. In fact, Jackie had known Ari for years, as had JFK and the Kennedys. (Read a version of that encounter in O! Jackie, one where Jackie ends up naked....)

As we all know, Jackie and Ari end up married, but how many woman can say--or would want to say--they ended up with their sister's former lover? And we're talking Aristotle Onassis....does money really improve one's looks that much...?

But find out what other trouble Ari stirs up between the sisters in O! Jackie.

More About the Gloves

Did you know that Jackie Kennedy also had a habit of biting her nails? This was yet another reason she frequently wore gloves. Miss Porter (of Miss Porter's School for Girls) would not have been pleased with Jackie's shameful habit, but I'm sure she approved of the gloves. Notice, too, the various lengths of gloves Jackie wore: kids gloves, gloves that came mid-arm, and the famous elbow-length. Some many have seen the gloves as a display of Jackie's upbringing and many have labeled her as 'snooty', not wanting to touch the those of lower classes. But actually, the gloves not only solidified Jackie's status as a fashion icon, they also gave her a sense of security, being able to hide her 'unattractive' [her word] hands with bitten nails.

        (Jackie pictured with fellow school mates (and wearing gloves) at Miss Porter's, 1943.)

Read what drove her to bite her nails to the quick in O! Jackie. How does one of the most influential women in the world deal with her own insecurities?

"The Lady [Isn't] A Tramp"

Although this picture was taken sometime post-'Camelot', Jackie Kennedy had mixed feelings about Frank Sinatra. Once her husband was elected, Jackie didn't want JFK associating much with the crooner, due to all the speculation surrounding 'Francis' and his mob pals--and their role (or help) in the election. Jackie tolerated Frank, but she wouldn't have to worry for long. The 'Chairman of the Board' soon lost favor with the president and wasn't invited (or permitted) to White House dinners.

What caused the fuss? Find out in O! Jackie --and read what kind of moves ol' Blue Eyes tried with the famed first lady. Plus, get a peek into Frank's relationship with Marilyn Monroe.

Sometimes, a book just writes itself. O! Jackie, revisiting the 60s, the Kennedys, and the scandals.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A New Take on an Old Conspiracy

If you're always looking for your next 'Kennedy fix',  O! Jackie is one book that should make your reading list this year. Why?

Revisit 'Camelot' and the days when America loved its first family. But it's more than that. You may know JFK, the dashing president, and Jackie the elegant first lady, but what were they like behind the cameras, smiles, and behind closed doors?

This book goes deeper into the 'what ifs' and the private lives of the Kennedys like never before, and it dares to ask, "How much could a wife take of her husband's infidelities, and how far would she go to end the humiliation?"

Abandon what you think you know. Find out why other readers are saying: "Wow! This book did not disappoint," "It's captivating," and "I absolutely could not put this book down once I started reading."

Was Jackie Kennedy capable of murder? Discover the answer for yourself in O! Jackie

Friday, February 15, 2013

Baby Blues

To say that Jackie Kennedy's journey to motherhood was difficult is an understatement. In the first couple years of her marriage, Jackie didn't become pregnant. This created tension among the Kennedys, as they expected Jackie to produce a child soon after her wedding. Joe Kennedy was intent on molding his son's image as the 'family man'. Things changed, briefly, in 1955 when Jackie finally became pregnant. Unfortunately, she miscarried three months later. In 1956, Jackie became pregnant again, but her baby girl was stillborn 8 months into the pregnancy. (By this time, Bobby and Ethel Kennedy had 4 or 5 children.) But in late 1957, the streak of tragedy was broken, and Jackie gave birth to Caroline. Three years later, John Jr. followed, a bit premature but healthy. Heartache returned in August of 1963 when Patrick Kennedy, born a month early, died of respiratory distress syndrome, just two days after he was born.

Today, some medical experts claim that Jackie's two-pack-a-day smoking habit affected her fertility and pregnancies. Other experts believe that many of the complications Jackie endured were the result of being infected with Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease that her husband had contracted in college, thanks to his rampant carnal adventures.

Despite the reason, Jackie Kennedy suffered such degrees of loss that no mother should ever have to face.

Speaking of 'Affairs'....

Jackie and Bobby. Did they or didn't they?

Similar to the JFK - Marilyn Monroe rumors, Jackie and Bobby stirred up their own gossip. Did these two really have an affair, or is it just a convenient daydream? Considering that Jackie and Bobby seemed to have more in common and even appear better suited for each other, some may believe that an affair between them was a given. At the same time, Jackie and Bobby were known for being 'good spouses', meaning they were the types to be unfaithful.

But then there are the rumors.

And the books. Several books claim Jackie and Bobby carried on a 4-year affair after JFK's assassination. What do you believe?

For a different take on the emotional Kennedy roller coaster, get your copy of  O! Jackie . Find out more about their relationship behind the scenes, and discover a crucial time when Bobby was there for Jackie--and her husband was notably absent... O! Jackie ..for those of us who can't get enough of the Kennedys, their scandals, and their tragedies.