From the Publisher

Prologue I
1963
The rain had just let up a few minutes earlier, as Air Force One
touched down onto Love Field in Dallas, Texas. A faceless member of the
Secret Service contingency looked out one of the oval shaped windows.
“I know the sun’s comin’ out, but I think we’d do fine to keep the
bubble up.”
Another agent, younger than the first, agreed. “Shoah would make
ouah job a mite easiah.” Although the baby-faced, walking, presidential
shield in a suit had never been further west than Chicago, he drawled in
homage to the land of cattle drives. Either he planned on impressing
Governor Connaly with his newly acquired accent later in the afternoon,
or possibly figured that while in Texas, do as the Texans do.
Activity within the narrow aisles of the presidential craft increased,
as the moment, when Air Force One would discharge its precious human
cargo onto the runway, drew nearer.
“Drop the cornpone, kid,” stated another agent rather loudly, so as
to make himself heard over the background noise of the bustling sounds
within the plane. “We’re here to protect the boss, not show off.”
The young agent blushed mildly at his attempt to showcase his
newly adopted, geographically correct, lingual skills. Then he said in his
true Midwestern diction, as he tried to save face. “Sure, but I think the
bubble’s still a good idea.”
“I don’t think that will be, ahhh...necessary, it looks like the sun’s
come out.” The agents both turned as they heard yet another geographical
language present itself, this one from the east. “And besides, if the people
can’t see me, they can’t vote for me, now can they?” The handsome,
smiling face of the 35th President of the United States stood before the
pair of government-employed protectors.
Hours earlier, before dawn, coupled with a hurried, political
breakfast, that same handsome face had wooed reporters in the rain that
fell in Fort Worth. The President smiled and spoke again, but this time to
the occupants of Air Force One in general. “That’s why we’re in Texas in
the first place, isn’t it. We can’t have the party fragmenting itself down
here. A radio report came through earlier saying that I’m wanted for
treason. We have to ahhh...smooth that kind of thing over, here in the
south.”

No one commented until the still youthful face chuckled aloud.
Then everyone joined in, with the traveling press attaché, who obviously
had political leanings to the left, shouted from the front of the plane, just
behind the cockpit. “You’ll show ‘em it’s not smart to spit on Democrats,
Chief!”
The twinkling eyes glazed over for a moment, as he remembered
just a few months back when his cabinet member, Adlai Stevenson, was
booed, hissed and spit upon in this very city. The eyes came back to the
present. “That’s right, boys,” replied the leader of the nation. “There’s
not going to be any trial for treason. No judgment or execution either, just
a healing process. We have the Vice-President, the Governor, and a
senator here to help us wrap up this state. You could say this is the
ahhh...first campaign trip for 1964.”
One of the presidential aides, standing close by, spoke softly,
“Then let’s not forget the First Lady, for God’s sake.”
The President turned slightly to his side. He winced and rubbed
his back with his left hand as he reached out to hold his wife by the arm.
“Always marry a beautiful woman if you’re going to run for a second
term, fellas.” The President beamed at his entourage, as if he were
practicing for the crowd outside. “The public may elect you once on
merit, but if they tire of you after the first term, you’ll need that gorgeous
figure to help swing the male vote.”
The First Lady laughed perfunctorily at her husband’s joke. She
had put up with so much more over the years. But she knew she was
needed. Even though she had only recently recovered from the difficult
birth of their third child, Patrick, a child that had died within days, she
knew she wa
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