Looking like a basic scoutmaster—in rumpled Bermuda shorts, sneakers and pullover shirt—Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy stirred a potful of bubbling barbecue sauce and spareribs. “This is nothing,” Teddy said as he licked sauce off his wrist, “you should have been here this morning when I cooked bacon—it was my answer to Jerry Ford and his English muffins.”
In still another appearance to point up the high visibility of his noncandidacy, Ted Kennedy took a three-day public vacation during the congressional recess. This time it was an outing in the Berkshires of his Massachusetts constituency, and in tow were his sister, Eunice, her two kids, his three children, four of Ethel Kennedy’s brood and the miscellaneous offspring of some friends.
The group pitched tents in a park, swam in a pond, staged a canoe race (which turned into a canoe sinking), played touch football and did some sightseeing. As he frolicked in the streams along the Mohawk Trail with the children (there were 14 in all, including Ted Jr., whose leg was amputated in November, 1973 to prevent the spread of bone cancer), Kennedy steered clear of politics. “Eunie would make a lovely First Lady,” he said, parrying inquiries about his own plans. Eunie, who calls her brother “Eddie,” is married to Sargent Shriver, who has his own designs on the White House. “As for me,” Teddy/Eddie said with a smile before joining Eunice in a canoe to challenge the children, “I’m only interested in getting reelected to the Senate.”
Before turning for home, the group stopped off at the huge subterranean Northfield Power Station, which supplies electricity to New England. Then the entire party took a boat ride on the Connecticut River. Upon returning to shore they were greeted by an ensemble of senior citizens who crooned Irish ballads. Ted and Eunice joined the singing for a solemn chorus or two of When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.
“Being out here is exhilarating,” said Kennedy, as the cars and kids were topped off with gas and ice cream en route home to Hyannis Port. “There’s no place lovelier than Massachusetts, it still bespeaks the ruggedness that made this country great.”