Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Wedding Bell Blues: Kennedy Clincher

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Wedding Bell Blues: Kennedy Clincher

Article excerpt

George Plimpton, author, bon vivant, and cofounder of The Paris Review, had nothing but qualms about marriage, according to George, Being George (Random House), an oral biography edited by Nelson W. Aldrich Jr.

In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy, newly announced candidate for president (and son of Joseph Kennedy), sat down with the 41-year-old Plimpton and his girlfriend, Freddy Espy. "You're always going places together, staying in the same room, and you're not married," said Kennedy, a friend of Plimpton's. He said that his wife, Ethel, thought it set a poor example for the Kennedy children. "So I think you should get married." Cornered, Plimpton agreed.

Plimpton and Espy went to get a marriage license in New York. "It was a pathetic scene, because you filled out papers at these little children's desks," Freddy Espy Plimpton recalled. "Imagine George in one of those--so cramped, so unhappy. He was kicking viciously at the desk in front of him, in a rage, in an absolute rage that he was down there--he, George Plimpton, in a marriage license bureau--he couldn't get over it. …

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