The daughter of John F. Kennedy will be in Memphis next month at The Booksellers at Laurelwood on Oct. 10 to promote the new book “Listening In.” Caroline Kennedy wrote the foreword for the book, which primarily consists of transcripts of tapes from a recording system JFK installed in the Oval Office and in the Cabinet room, which essentially turns readers into a fly on the wall “listening in” to some momentous encounters.
A neat historical tidbit: the last time Caroline was here was 1977, around the time she dabbled with a career in journalism. She interned at that time with the New York Daily News, and she ended up writing a piece for Rolling Stone – about the death of Elvis Presley.
After Elvis’ death in August of ’77, an approximately 20-year-old Caroline stood outside the gate at Graceland with a throng of onlookers. Then-Memphis police director “Buddy” Chapman recognized her and let her through the gate and into the mansion.
Caroline laughed when I asked her about it this morning, speaking to her by phone.
“Oh, that’s right, I went to Graceland!” she said, apparently not having been asked about her brief foray into journalism in a while. “I went around to all the other sites, too. Lot of research. But, you know, the thing I wrote was small.”
Maybe. But she still had a coveted spot at a milestone in Memphis history. Her piece for Rolling Stone included lots of color about the inside of the mansion, and she even caught a glimpse of Elvis’ body in a ‘gleaming copper coffin.’
Elvis’ father eventually asked her to leave, the story goes, when it became clear she wasn’t a celebrity paying her respects but was acting as a journalist.