As a child, one of the men at my father’s factory was given to wearing fatigues, was rumored to carry a machete around during the overnight shift, and was something of an eccentric. The other workers, Cubans also, would shrug and whisper, “He was never the same after he was taken prisoner at Bahia de Cochinos.” So I asked Mom what a Bahia de Cochinos was. I didn’t quite see what pigs had to do with somebody’s behavior. So Mom told me about the Bay of Pigs. In her version, John F. Kennedy was not the man the sisters at my school idolized. Instead, he was the president who left the men on the beaches. He had changed his mind about providing air cover on the advice of his brother Robert. Later at school, I was taught that the airplanes didn’t materialize because there was a problem with time zones and watches. I kid you not.
Of course, the truth came out, as it always does. I learned then that maybe Mom knew something the historians didn’t. So you can imagine my reaction when I read this today.
Manda madre. If there’s something we don’t need, it’s advice from a Kennedy.