It’s the day for the wearing of green and the shamrock in honor of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, and for celebrating Irish culture.
The biggest of all the celebrations is the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which first took place not in Ireland, but, according to legend, in Boston in 1737, when colonists of Irish descent marked the event with a small parade.
Today the parade in South Boston, which this year officially marks its 113th anniversary, is the second largest in the country, surpassed only by the New York parade, but wherever they take place, politicians are to be seen marching or among the crowds.
John F. Kennedy marched in many of the St. Patrick’s Day parades as seen in photographs dating from March 17, 1947, the first year he served as a US representative from Massachusetts. The 1947 photo and later ones were among the 723 lots of JFK memorabilia amassed by David F. Powers, his longtime confidant and special assistant, that sold at John McInnis’s Presidential Auction last month in Amesbury.
President Kennedy’s Air Force One bomber jacket with the presidential seal, which had a $20,000-$40,000 estimate, made headlines when it sold over the phone for $655,500, as did “President Kennedy’s Final Hours” and the flag with the great seal of the president make news for their sales.
“Final Hours,” the one-page itinerary typed for the president’s Nov. 21-22, 1963, trip to Texas with a timeline handwritten by Powers of Kennedy’s assassination and the events that took place directly afterward, sold for $74,750 against a $2,500-$3,500 estimate. The flag that was flown on all presidential trips whether on a boat or in a motorcade brought $57,500 against a $5,000-$10,000 estimate.
However, beyond the top sellers that made the headlines were those lesser-priced items that provide interesting and valued insight into Kennedy’s life and relationships before his death in Dallas at 46.
For example, the relationship between mother and son was seen in the note Rose Kennedy sent to the White House before the June 1962 presidential trip to Mexico, expressing her concern about the food. It sold for $5,950 against a $1,500-$3,000 estimate.
Then there was the May 29, 1963, gag gift from his father showing that Joseph P. Kennedy still wished to call the shots in spite of the fact that his son was the president of the United States. It was a lease made by and between “Joseph P. Kennedy, lessor, and John F. Kennedy & Family ” for the premises at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for four years commencing on the 20th day of January 1965 and ending on the 19th day of January 1969 for the sum of (rent free)” and signed by “Amb. Joseph Kennedy witnessed by U.R. Nutz and I.M. Krazy.” It went for $5,512 against a $1,500-$3,000 estimate.
Then there was “The President’s Special Award” given to Powers on his 50th birthday acknowledging that he was drinking the president’s beer ($10,350 against $5,000-$10,000).
Other items that showed their relationship were the London Fog polyester and cotton jacket initialed “J.F.K” and “D.F.P.” that brought $12,650 against a $1,000-$2,000 estimate, and the lot of seven neckties that the two men shared on occasions during the White House years ($4,887 against $400-$800).
Jacqueline Kennedy’s appreciation for Powers’s devotion to her husband was expressed in the note she sent him in December 1963 along with a copy of the book “Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States from George Washington 1789 to John F. Kennedy 1961,” originally intended as a Christmas gift from the president. “With my devotion always for all you did to give Jack so many happy hours. You and I will miss him most,” Mrs. Kennedy wrote. The book with note, which had a $15,000-$25,000 estimate, sold for $38,800.
A 1954 photo of Jack and Jackie with sister-in-law Ethel Kennedy taken by Jackie looking into a mirror soared above its $100-$200 estimate to sell for $4,887. A photo taken of Powers and his wife, Jo, being greeted by the president on Sept. 12, 1963, their wedding day, and inscribed by Jackie: “To Dave and Jo, a constant source of inspiration to newlyweds,” sold for $11,212, more than quadrupling the low of its $2,500-$5,000 estimate.
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Basketball memorabilia of John Havlicek, who wore the Boston Celtics green for 16 seasons, will be offered by SCP Auctions online next month.
Dan Imler, vice president of the Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based auction house, described the collection of the 13-time All-Star as “arguably one of the most important and comprehensive basketball player collections ever to go on the market.”
It includes Havlicek’s 1963 Boston Celtics World Championship ring; his 1978 retirement trophy; a June 6, 1976, NBA Finals Game 6 (championship clincher) game ball;13 NBA All-Star rings from 1966-78; his Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Enshrinement Award; and his personal “NBA 50 Greatest Players” autographed lithograph (Havlicek 1/1).
Other mementos include Havlicek’s 1960s signed Celtics home game-worn warm-up jacket, his 1966 signed NBA All-Star game-worn jersey and shorts, and a 1960 Ohio State University NCAA national championship watch.
The auction also includes memorabilia of Major League Baseball All-Stars Steve Garvey, Rollie Fingers, and Bret Saberhagen, including the World Series championship rings won by each.
Online bidding is April 10-27. For more information, visit www.scpauc
tions.com or call 949-831-3700.