Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath

By Mimi Alford

in the summertime of 1962, nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived in Washington, D.C., to start an internship within the White apartment press place of work. After simply 3 days at the activity, the privileged yet sheltered younger girl was once awarded to the President himself. presently, the 2 begun an affair that will proceed for the following eighteen months. Emotionally unprepared to counter the President’s aura and gear, Mimi was once additionally ill-equipped to address the emotions of isolation that will stick to as she fell into the double lifetime of a faculty scholar who used to be additionally the key lover of the main strong guy on this planet. After the President’s assassination in Dallas, she grieved by myself, locked her mystery away, and attempted to begin a brand new existence, basically to be blindsided via her past.
Now, now not outlined through silence or disgrace, Mimi Alford eventually unburdens herself with this unflinchingly sincere account of her existence and her tremendous deepest moments with a truly public guy. This paperback variation contains a specified Q&A, during which the writer displays at the severe media consciousness surrounding the book’s preliminary unencumber. Once Upon a Secret is a relocating tale of a girl rising from the shadows to reclaim the truth.
“With the advantage of hindsight and solid outdated adulthood, [Mimi Alford] writes not only in regards to the mystery, however the corrosive influence of retaining that mystery. . . . You can’t support liking her, or her based and punctiliously good-natured book.”—The Spectator

“What [Alford] sacrificed in lucre she has greater than recovered in credibility and dignity.”—The Washington Times
“Compelling . . . a sophisticated voice telling a reputable tale you could take to the bank.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Explosive . . . searingly candid.”—New York Post

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I couldn’t suppress the reality. I had no selection yet to inform Tony every thing. I had no notion what might ensue next—or what Tony might say the subsequent morning. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame him for announcing he by no means desired to see me back. We have been drowsing in separate bedrooms on the Fahnestocks, as we had at my mom and dad’ condo in New Jersey; such used to be the customized then for single undefined, even those that have been engaged. I closed my door and lay at the mattress, nowhere close to sleep, my middle pounding. i used to be now not brooding about President Kennedy—and the big unhappiness of his loss of life. i used to be fretting concerning the subsequent twelve hours. there has been a rest room connecting the visitor room, the place i used to be, and Tony’s small bed room. I heard the rest room door open into my room and observed Tony status within the doorway. asserting not anything, he yanked again the covers, climbed into my mattress, and, with no observe, initiated our first sexual come across. i used to be so eager to maintain him, I didn’t face up to. It was once forceful and clumsy—and I had no thought the best way to behave, neither tips to convey my sorrow at hurting him nor tips on how to provide my like to heal the discomfort. He then left the bed room as unexpectedly as he had entered it. I simply lay there, dazed. I become aware of now he used to be laying declare to me, simply because the President had performed these many months earlier than. It used to be intercourse, yet there has been no love. the subsequent morning was once weird and wonderful. lifestyles with Tony as I had recognized it simply twenty-four hours previous have been tossed out the window, changed as an alternative by way of a brittle formality and awkwardness. on the breakfast desk together with his mom and dad, we made small discuss marriage ceremony logistics and the elements. really, the topic of the President’s assassination by no means got here up. Tony and that i left after breakfast. He could drop me off at domestic in New Jersey after which proceed directly to citadel Meade. We drove in stony silence. As mile after mile ticked via, no longer as soon as did Tony look my manner. once we exited the backyard nation limited-access highway, a couple of miles from my domestic, Tony suddenly pulled over at a financial institution of public phones. For the 1st time due to the fact that departing Southport, he spoke to me. “Give me the telephone variety of the White House,” he stated. I immediately rattled off the number—202 nationwide 8-1414—not figuring out why he sought after it or what he was once going to do. He repeated the quantity to himself, obtained out of the auto, and went to the telephone. whilst he again, he claimed he had advised the clicking workplace that nobody on the White residence may still ever touch me back. I notice now he should have been mendacity. The President had simply been killed. The White condo switchboard was once surely jammed with calls, or even if he had gotten via, I can’t think somebody within the press place of work taking, not to mention dignifying, a message from an indignant stranger approximately little Mimi Beardsley. the click place of work was once facing the dying of 1 president and the 1st day in workplace of a brand new one; absolutely they'd their fingers complete. yet i used to be so traumatized on the time, i assumed him. Then the trauma grew to become everlasting. As we sat at the aspect of the line, Tony additional one other punishing layer of secrecy to my affair with the President.

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