Crowley remembers Sen. Ted Kennedy
By Howell Dennis
Edward Kennedy, the youngest brother in one of the most powerful political families in American history, has died at the age of 77.
Kennedy was married to former Crowley resident Victoria Reggie, the daughter of Crowley native Judge Edmund and Doris Reggie, for the past 17 years.
He had been fighting brain cancer since he was diagnosed in May of 2008.
Kennedy was the patriarch of the Kennedy family and one of the most powerful and longstanding members of Congress over the past several decades. His death marked the possible twilight of a political dynasty.
Known as “Teddy” he was the brother of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and Robert Kennedy who was fatally shot while campaigning for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination, and Joe Kennedy who was killed in World War II.
When Robert Kennedy was killed it was widely assumed that he would take his brothers place in the a run for the presidency. However, a scandal involving the drowning of a young woman after a car he was driving plunged off a bridge into a tidal canal on Chappaquiddick Island after a night of partying ended those hopes. He did eventually seek the Democratic nomination in 1980 but lost to incumbent President Jimmy Carter.
He devoted the remainder of his life to his career in the Senate where he became known as “The Lion of the Senate.”
Republican John McCain called Kennedy “the most effective member of the Senate if you wanted to get results.”
He made a few visits to Crowley following his marriage to Victoria “Vicki” Reggie and had made some friends in the area.
“My heart goes out to Vicki and the entire family,” said Crowley Alderman Elliot Dore. “I was in Vicki’s class in high school and I remember at our reunion he introduced himself as “”Ted” and just tried to blend in as one of us.”
“Well I first met him in Washington, Vicki was working for me at the time,” said prominent Crowley resident Bill Broadhurst. “He was really a wonderful man with a great sense of humor.”
“I recall he once visited Crowley during Christmas season and made a trip to Wal Mart,” said Broadhurst fondly. “He was with Vicki at the time and the clerk told him that he looked just like Edward Kennedy. Vicki told the clerk that he was Edward Kennedy to which the clerk replied ‘What are you doing at the Wal Mart in Crowley during Christmas season?’ Edward replied ‘Well I’ve heard that the Crowley Wal Mart has the best Christmas sales in the country’.”
Kennedy was a strong supporter of President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan, having called health insurance to all Americans the “cause of my life.” Knowing that his days were numbered, he recently urged Massachusetts lawmakers to change state law so that the governor could quickly fill a Senate vacancy as the chamber debates the contentious healthcare issue.