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Jane Dryden’s Letter to Jackie Kennedy

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Jane Dryden was eleven years old when President Kennedy was killed, and lived in Austin. She wrote to Jackie once a week for six months after the assassination.
Photograph by Johnny Miller

January 18, 1964

4201 Lullwood
Austin Texas

Dear Mrs. Kennedy,

I know that you hate the whole state of Texas. I do to. I wish I lived in Washington, D.C. where maybe I could maybe see you standing on your porch. I am determined to move there as soon as I can. I would feel safer there. My greatest wish is to know you and to be exactly like you, which will be hard. My friends Lorraine Atherton and Donna Sonnier and I talk, think, and live you. We try to write your name like you do, (Jaqueline Kennedy) or however you do it. We play a game in school. Lorraine is Bobby K., Donna is Teddy K., and I am you. Teddy (Donna) pulls out the chair to my desk, takes my jacket off for me, and opens the door for me. It’s fun to be you. They say I look like you, too, although I am a blonde and wear glasses.

I love you more than anyone and I have an urge all the time to go to Washington to (maybe) see you. I love you an awful lot. I get every magazine + newspaper clipping or picture about or of you. I heard your speach twice on television. I think you are the bravest woman that ever has lived. I think that the Kennedys might be distant cousins of mine 1. because  my grandmother told me they are. 2. because my grandmother’s great-grandparents came from Ireland and were named Kennedy 3. because I still have cousins all over the place named Kennedy 4. because they look like the Kennedy men.

I think I am going to the World’s Fair this summer and we might get to drive through Washington (I have cousins there) I if we do I might get to see your house.

I know you couldn’t care less about me, but I love you. More than anything I do. Don’t you understand? I LOVE YOU! PLEASE! believe me. (If you get this letter) (I know its not ESPESIALLY TOUCHING).

I Love You,
Jane Dryden

Read another letter to the first lady here. 

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