The Kennedy Curse

The New York Post reports today on more drink-fueled shenaningans in the Kennedy clan — including the recent arrests of Max and Caroline for disorderly conduct — along with a history of the family’s near constant state of scandal.

Writes the Post of the family’s Hyannis Port hijinks:

The privileged air of those carrying the family name rankles some locals. At the Hyannis Port Yacht Club, where the family docks their half-dozen or so boats, the clan is known to race its sailboats out in the sound.

“Teddy was actually a pretty good racer,” one resident said, referring to Jack and Bobby’s late brother, former Sen. Ted Kennedy.

But the younger cousins recklessly use the waters outside their sprawling estate as a playground, some residents said.

“They act like little a–holes out on the water,” said an employee at a local marina.

“They come to Baxter’s [restaurant] and get trashed and then ride their boats out. One time, they were coming out of here and hit two boats out in the middle of the water.’’

The worker added there is a buoy in the middle of the harbor that the kids like to jump off.

“They’re always getting chased off it,” he said.

Less than a week after his arrest, Max was pictured on his brother Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Instagram account sailing with country-music superstar Kenny Chesney. Max was “burying the rail,” or catching so much wind that the boat’s deck was almost vertical, the boat’s side underwater.

His teeth were bared like a warrior shouting a battle cry, his hands tightly clutching the massive wooden helm, looking like he was straight out of a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.

“They’re very high-profile, and they know it,’’ the family source said. “They make you feel less-than.’’

Read the full story here. — CC

87 Comments on "The Kennedy Curse"

  1. JFK is the only one in that family worth a damn. Wonder what old Joe would think of what his clan has become…

  2. A bunch of ‘Adult’ kids who were born on third base and thought they hit a triple!

  3. I believe they are of Joe’s ilk. He was a man who profited from his unscrupulous trading practices during the crash in 1929, was a bootlegger during Prohibition, and as US Ambassador to the U.K. he advised FDR to stay out of WWII because “democracy was finished” in the U.K. and possibly in the US. Class example…

  4. “F— off! I went to Brown and I am a teacher, sweetheart.”

    Bless your heart, Summer.

    As I am sure most readers of this blog already know, Kennedy means Helmeted Head or Ugly Head. Pretty girl, ugly soul. Liquor ridden lifestyle will soon take care of looks too. Sad.


  5. Marc Chevalier | August 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm |

    So many hearts have been blessed around here lately.

  6. FrontPorchLife | August 30, 2017 at 2:24 pm |

    I am afraid some in the Kennedy clan have become “bros”

  7. Mac McConnell | August 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm |

    I almost feel sorry for people with JFK crushes.

  8. The end of the story sums it all up.

    Like it or leave it, “They are Cape Cod royalty,’

    To which I would add, “Who cares?”

  9. M Arthur, Who am I do say, but I concur… who cares at this point… “lucky sperm club” gone wild…

  10. The bootlegging thing with Joe Kennedy is a myth. He knew that prohibition was going to end in the US, so he bought the distribution rights to Gordon’s Gin and Dewar’s in America. So he made money on alcohol after prohibition when it was legal, but he was already a very wealthy man by then. There are many reasons not to let the rich run things politically, starting with their arrogance and contempt for everyone else, but we’ll never learn.

  11. An old story, repeated over centuries and continents. Enough family money and political influence and the local cops and district attorneys let ’em off easy. Not corrupt, necessarily, they just know that trying to give them the same treatment as Joe Blow is going to result in a legal/publicity/political sh*tstorm that ties up resources indefinitely. Probably doubled when you’re talking about a Kennedy in New England

  12. Minimalist Trad | August 31, 2017 at 12:30 am |

    Just more examples of the general decline in proper behavior in our society.

  13. Gibson Gardens | August 31, 2017 at 2:35 am |

    I cannot believe the vitriol here. So much envy.

  14. Richard Meyer | August 31, 2017 at 5:45 am |

    This post is an absolute disgrace.There is no need for a politically based screed on this blog. JFK and his brother were martyred in the service of our country. i wonder whether the Chensvold family tree is so pristine?? I should also note that I am a 35 year customer of Chipp, JFK’s last bespoke tailor, and have purchased many items from J Press and the Andover shop, and hold my credentials as impeccable, and served as a major in the US Army. Please take your inflammatory crap to the (Anti-Trump) National Review, and leave it off this blog (which has often cited the Kennedy family as Ivy/Prep models). An absolute disgrace.I have already left the Facebook page over this.

  15. Sorry you were triggered, Richard. I suspect that the Kennedys are forever grateful for your defense and that the “Facebook Group” will mourn your departure.

  16. Richard Meyer | August 31, 2017 at 6:44 am |

    Trigger yourself, Rake. I could care less what the pseuds on the FB page and yourself and the bearded Chens think. When all of you put together do one iota for the US what the Kennedy family did and sacrificed, i will be waiting to hear about it. I don’t know any of the Kennedys, past or present, but I know a twit when I meet him. please get the Hell out of political smear jobs, and back to what you allegedly know something about, men’s attire. And at least I use my real name.

  17. Young Theodore may have been adept at the helm. Less so behind the wheel.

  18. ” I know a twit when I meet him” – so you’ve met Max, eh Rich? I have, and your word “twit” is apt. If that article is what you consider a “political smear job” I must caution that the news may continue to be difficult for you to bear. Tread lightly and find a safe space, my friend.

  19. Come on, guys – this is a culture blog. Please leave the partisan vitriol at the door.

  20. Richard Meyer, I get that responding to you is a waste of exercising my fingers on the keyboard… but, isn’t name calling – referring to CC at the “bearded Chens” and to Ivy-Style Facebook page members as poseurs somewhat hypocritical? Not that I expect you to actually answer…

    Kurt Nielsen, Culture blog… this post might highlight the rot in a their family culture… It’s been said on this blog that Ivy Style is about more than just the style of dress… anyway…

  21. Caustic Man | August 31, 2017 at 9:31 am |

    Richard has made it a point to plaster his reasons for leaving the FB page anywhere he can. Honestly it seems a bit dramatic. Just relax, will you? If you really want to leave the group then just leave. Send a private message to the editor if you must have your opinion known and leave it at that. There is just no point…

  22. Richard Meyer is a gentleman and a scholar. His pique is well within the bounds of critical reason and ought to be hailed rather than censured. I prefer to measure his comment in the tradition of Samuel Johnson.

  23. Gibson Gardens | August 31, 2017 at 10:18 am |

    Richard’s comments are perhaps excessively personal, but given the outrageous disrespectful comments that he responded to his intervention was I think well-needed.

  24. @Mac McConnell

    I agree with you and bless their hearts.

    @Gibson Gardens

    I cannot speak for anybody else but sadness, not envy is what I feel for these people. They have so much money and so little class.


  25. Mac McConnell | August 31, 2017 at 11:54 am |

    Well dressed New England trailer park. Drunks, junkies, murderers, whore-dogs, sexual voyeurs and predators. What’s not to like?

  26. I’m 70 years old and I’ve still got a crush on JFK.

  27. FrontPorchLife | August 31, 2017 at 2:48 pm |

    Richard, I completely understand. I felt the same way about Andy’s Trad Forum. The folks on there are nothing but pseuds. I have since left the forum (Andy will tell you that he banned me, but I left on my own good judgment). It was hard to take one particular phony trad moderator seriously when he constantly talked about how he had 6 pairs of Quoddy Blutchers.

  28. Curious about why CC chose the above picture.

    Brooks #1 and OCBD, accompanied by a wide lapeled jacket. Check out the shoulder padding. Oh my.

  29. Richard Meyer | August 31, 2017 at 6:17 pm |

    To the legendary Richard Press, as well as gibsongardens and FrontPorchLife, many thanks. To the rest, bitter herbs.

  30. Blutchers!

  31. Gibson Gardens talking about “vitriol” and “disrespectful comments” ? I recall a thread about Margaret Thatcher on FNB Talk Ivy where the esteemed Mr. Gardens posted about how he was going to have a party when Mrs. Thatcher died. What a fake, phony, fraud, leftist hypocrite.

  32. Roger C. Russell II | August 31, 2017 at 8:04 pm |

    How about some Masculine Interiors!

  33. GS

    Only a first class boor, or an ignoramus of the first water would ever say “JFK is the only one in that family worth a damn”.

  34. Mr. Korn, I am insulted, sir. I’ll have you know that I am an ignoramus of the second water. Humph.

  35. Vern Trotter | August 31, 2017 at 9:12 pm |

    Alcohol causes many of us, including me, to have this same curse!

  36. Wait, so Richard hasn’t quite finished saying goodbye yet?

  37. Gibson Gardens | August 31, 2017 at 10:23 pm |

    @ George

    What on Earth are you talking about. I have never posted about Margeret Thatcher on any site, and most definitely not on that site for former skinheads and soccer hooligans
    to which you refer. Perhaps you are confusing me with another.

  38. Vern Trotter | September 1, 2017 at 3:35 am |

    I have never understood why discussions here often evolve into a contretemps. Nothing we say makes the slightest bit of difference in the real world. The late Bill Buckley had a slew of liberal friends and they enjoyed the verbal aller-retour with good cheer. My girlfriend is a leftwing Democrat and I am a Reagan Republican; we have never had an argument in over 15 years together because we know our opinions are not worth any acrimony between us.

    CC, our moderator and interlocutor, gives us a wide latitude even though some elect to inveigh against him and other posters. Let us consider ourselves fortunate and behave as gentlemen.

  39. Gibson Gardens | September 1, 2017 at 5:24 am |

    @ Vern Trotter

    With respect, opinions do matter.

    And sadly the state of the world can be attributed to there being real differences of opinion.

    The ability to get on with those whose opinions differ markedly might not so mich be an indicatator of an ability to

    ‘live and live’, but rather of not having had a serious and worthwhile opinion in the first place.

    Good Lord, Vern, you’ll be trying to tell next that the rise on a pair of trousers matters not!

  40. Vern Trotter | September 1, 2017 at 6:24 am |

    We of course should have our opinions but without being churlish toward the others. Likely we are mostly discriminating dressers here which is a common bond and sets us apart from the hoi polloi.
    Many things that we can laugh about and get along together.

  41. Here’s an opinion: that lapel-padded shoulder combo constitutes anti-Ivy style.

    The Langrock ad should be posted once a month–as a reminder.

  42. Ahoy polloi! I’m thinking of a trip to Hyannis Port for the holiday weekend… anyone suggestions on where I might find a good partay?

  43. Several thoughts: first, while it sometimes gets heated around here when politics and social issues intersect (however tenuously) with ‘trad’, eventually – down the thread – bits of humor and self-deprecation creep in and it brings things back-to-center. With all due respect to our younger brethren, who we’re all glad to have here, my sense is that this righting of the ship usually comes from those benefiting from the long view: the oldsters and nearly-oldsters (I put myself in the second category). And I think sometimes Chens likes to stir the pot with how he frames a particular post or headline.

    As for the pic: it seems very possible that the shoulder on JFK’s jacket looks so wide only because of how he’s reclining against the chair back.

    Final note: just returned from a week in Bar Harbor, if anybody’s interested an Annapolitan Trad’s take on the state of things up there: a sort of reverse ‘Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’, if you will.

  44. Disagree, Paul. It’s about more than the recline. The lapels are worse than the shoulders.

    For whatever reason, JFK couldn’t abide purist Ivy. Too casual? Too professorial? Too collegiate? Who knows. He went for that Apparel Arts vibe, apparently tempered by later visits to Chipp. No doubt he thought of himself too much of a sophisticate for the natural-shouldered WASPs covered by frayed OCBDs, patched tweeds, and worn-out flannels.

    Time for drastic measures:

  45. Mac McConnell | September 1, 2017 at 11:57 am |

    Wouldn’t his time in England and Europe have influenced his taste?

  46. S.E., I always thought that JFK’s style was influenced by the WASPs he went to school with at Choate, Princeton (briefly) and Harvard. And that as a politician he had to downplay his American aristocratic wardrobe to appear more democratic. This picture could be a good example: he shed his sack suit for some (then) in-style suit but kept the ivy tie.

  47. Paul, we could have had an Ivy-Style meetup! I spend August in Acadia on an island off of NE Harbor. I’m afraid if you were in Bar Harbor proper there probably isn’t much trad to comment on, but would be interested to hear your take.

  48. I venture to say that JFK’s occasional dance with trendy suits had more to do with connecting with women vs remaining true to WASP guys he schooled with!!

  49. Another glance reveals it may be a two-button. Holy hell, it looks like the jacket version of wet vommit.

  50. Richard Meyer | September 2, 2017 at 12:43 pm |

    Christian: Goodbye. Feel better now? Perhaps you might follow the lead of your betters, such as the venerable Mr. Press.

  51. Richard Meyer | September 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm |

    And, incidentally, to those commenting on the picture, it is well before the presidency, of course, as a much younger man, still wearing button downs, which he gave up when he married. As far as his later attire, it was all traditional, from H. Harris to Fenn-Feinstein and finally Chipp. But the rationale for the particular picture posted above is, I rather think, to picture JFK as just another louche member of those dreaded Kennedys, only two of whom lost their lives in the service of their nation.

  52. Richard Meyer | September 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm |

    BTW, Paul, I’m 73 years old, and have been shopping at Brooks, Chipp, Press etc. as well as campus shops since 1961.

  53. Gibson Gardens | September 2, 2017 at 1:40 pm |

    Another possibility is that this may have been a borrowed jacket.

    Yet another is that even an Ivy icon (perish the thought) put on an item of clothing too much deliberation.

  54. Gibson Gardens | September 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm |

    *without too much

  55. The photo is from 1955. The lapel and tie widths were standard for the era amongst ivy wearers, so it seems ridiculous to criticise them 62 years later. Personally I like the late 40s/early 50s ivy look. In this particular example the shoulders probably were unpleasantly padded, however from that one photo I wouldn’t guarantee it.

    Re. the article in general: the connection to ivy style is pretty tenuous. However I like the photo (which has little to do with the article).

  56. @Rake: I did, indeed, stay in Bar Harbor proper, right off of Mt. Desert Street. Being my first time there, I very much enjoyed the New Englandy-ness of it, especially the town square with its bandstand, and the stern, white congregational churches, etc. I also tried to eat my weight in lobster and blueberries, of course. Style-wise, the best I could do to pin it down would be what I would call a crunchy/granola north-country style: *lots* of Teva sandals and extra-fuzzy Patagonia fleece vests, etc. Everybody looked like they’d just come in from a hike in Acadia or a paddle in their kayak. The only “trads” I saw were older men wearing khaki shorts hemmed maybe a bit too high; OCBDs or polo shirts at least a decade old; boat shoes; ruddy complexions and ‘severe’ faces – as if they’d just finished doing some bookkeeping at one of those congregational churches!

  57. Vern Trotter | September 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm |

    Three of that generation of Kennedys, not two, gave their lives in service to their country: JFK, RFK and Joe Jr, shot down in WW2.

  58. @ Vern Trotter: not that it takes away from his (or the family’s) sacrifice one iota, but it’s interesting to note that Joe Jr. wasn’t actually shot down; he was part of an experimental program to have bombers in Europe flown by radio control; he died when the experimental plane he was in malfunctioned and exploded.

  59. Next time try either Seal or NE Harbor, Paul. Much more “trad”, although a very insular scene, at least from what I’ve seen from my 40 summers up here. You just missed IOD worlds – hosted at our fleet. Being from Annapolis would have been right up your alley.

  60. @Gibson Gardens – you said:
    “What on Earth are you talking about. I have never posted about Margeret Thatcher on any site, and most definitely not on that site for former skinheads and soccer hooligans
    to which you refer. Perhaps you are confusing me with another.”
    I say… I don’t think the gentleman was under any confusion at all, after all you were once a centre forward on ‘that site’, now you only stop by occasionally to put the boot in, or more probably score an own goal.

  61. Gibson Gardens | September 2, 2017 at 11:36 pm |

    @ Woofboxer.

    I really think you must be confusing me with someone else. I don’t want to be rude, but why would anyone want to waste one’s time on FNB’s Talk Ivy. How could one posssibly do that there! Please stop these absurd accusations.

  62. Gibson Gardens | September 3, 2017 at 1:16 am |

    @ Yucka.

    Yes, we are all aware that padded shoulders and big lapels featured on jackets in the 1950s and that they may also have been worn by some who also wore certain aspects of Ivy style. This was inevitable because these were the clothes on sale in the clothing stores. However, padded shoulders and large lapels were not features of Ivy League apparell.

    Good Lord, Mr. Yucka, Lee Harvey Oswald wore button-down shirts, but did that make him an Ivy League dresser?

    Aping and genuinely carrying off a style are very different things indeed.

  63. I have never claimed padded shoulders as being part of ivy style. However large lapels seem to be common in ivy clothing from before the mid 50s. If the rest of the jacket is kosher – i.e. natural shoulder, no darts, great cloth, 3/2 roll – then I can’t see the problem.

  64. Gibson Gardens | September 3, 2017 at 4:31 am |

    @ Yucca.

    I think you need to read again your own post where you take issue with those who criticise JFK’s jacket by claiming that is consistent with 1950s Ivy. It is not. It is consistent with what some clothing stores had on offer in the 1950s.

    And I am sure we are all at a loss to fathom the point of the photos on your link.

    There is zero connection between these and the large lapelled, padded shoulder, two-button jacket that you defended.

    Moreover, these photos in no way support whichever point you felt you had to make.

    Perhaps you should go back and also read that once more.

  65. Are you being disingenuous, or are you really incapable of understanding basic English?

    My point was and remains: the lapel and tie width in the photo were common in ivy style prior to the mid 50s. (As illustrated by some of the photos in the article I linked to.)

    Now I know why your books ignore ivy prior to the late 50s: because you don’t know anything about it.

  66. Gibson Gardens | September 3, 2017 at 8:14 am |

    Books? What on Earth are you rambling on about? I have never written a book in my life. I have however read many and most of those have been devoid of illustrations.

  67. My mistake; apologies. You’re not the same Gibson Gardens who posts/used to post on Talk Ivy?

  68. Most books I read don’t have illustrations either, so I’m glad we have some common ground.

  69. Gibson Gardens | September 3, 2017 at 9:15 am |

    Correct. I have no idea who this Gibson Gardens to whom you refer is. And whatever he did to you, might I suggest that you now get over it.

    But to return to the jacket in question: this was never correct Ivy League style. It was simply a style of jacket commonly sold and bought in the 50s. This decade’s contemporaneity with the Ivy League heyday does not render everything bought and worn in that decade Ivy. This has been well-illustrated by other commentors above.

  70. Well now you know why you are being accused of having made comments about Thatcher, having written books, etc etc.

    Re. the jacket in question: yes what we can see of it suggests that it probably wasn’t a natural shoulder sack jacket, however my point was and remains: the lapel width in itself is compatible with the pre mid 50s ivy look.

  71. Vern Trotter | September 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm |


    Yes, as politicians say, “I misspoke!” I knew it was drone type aircraft that exploded. Don’t know why I said, ” Shot down.” I hate when that happens.

  72. Gibson Gardens | September 4, 2017 at 6:44 am |

    @ Yuca.

    In other words, you finally agree that the jacket in question is not Ivy at all. Thank you.

    By the way, I have just had a look at what is happening at former suedehead HQ. It really does seem to be in its death throes. Someone has had to bump a years’ old thread on Ivy cars!

  73. @VernTrotter: didn’t mean it as a “gotcha”; just thought readers might find that whole drone program at the end of the war as interesting – and, for Kennedy, tragic – as I did. It’s a pretty amazing piece of history.

  74. @ Gibson Gardens

    For someone who has no connection to Talk Ivy, you certainly seem preoccupied with it.

    As re. my opinions over the jacket in question: for 1955 (i.e. before ivy became ubiquitous) he’s doing ok – other than the shoulders the jacket is fine, and I’m sure as a whole the outfit looked good (much as I detest padded shoulders).

  75. Gibson Gardens | September 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm |

    @ Yuca

    I have an interest in Ivy. Hence my familiarity with Talk Ivy. At one time the FNB forum which was founded when the eponymous dandy was banned from Ask Andy, was entertaining and hosted many posters with a great deal of wit and edudition. Sadly, this is no longer the case and like many others my only interest in the place now is rather cruelly watching it rot as the barrel is scraped.

  76. There’s only one person in the world interested in discussing the so-called ‘eponymous dandy’, which is the man himself. For that reason, I’m out.

  77. Gibson Garden

    Do you reside in Stoke Newington in London England?

  78. If the “Gibson Gardens” who’s into Ivy and reads and posts about it on isn’t the same “Gibson Gardens” as the one who’s into Ivy and reads and posts about it at Talk Ivy, he might want to change his anonymous username in order to avoid confusion.

  79. Gibson Gardens | September 5, 2017 at 12:51 am |

    @ Yuca.

    No. I am not Mr. Film Noir Buff! What a perverse suggestion.

    @ CC.

    Will resurface with another screen name.

    Mind you, the confusion has resulted in an increase in posting on the chav site so they will be unhappy now. Can’t please ’em all I guess.

  80. @ Gibson Gardens: my mistake (again); I thought you were referring to Jim (which is who I was referring to above). Now your use of the word eponymous makes sense.

  81. In this instance it was me who was ‘incapable of understanding basic English’. The irony has not escaped me.

  82. Down Tradden | September 5, 2017 at 2:58 am |

    @ Gibson Gardens

    I do not think that FBN was banned from Ask Andy. He left to found an ‘advanced’ forum. How ironic that it has now become such a train wreck, particularly the Ivy section.

  83. @GS Bobby > Jack

  84. From the NY Post article: “Their storied family tale began with an immigrant Irish family-done-very good and rose all the way to a US presidency, only to go from Camelot to trailer park.”

    Interesting twist on the “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” observations.

    And of course the use of “trailer park” refers to behavior rather than financial status.

    As Paul notes “sometimes Chens likes to stir the pot”. Yes, that’s one of the things I like about him.

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