Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bobbie K., 40 yrs ago...

I came across this interesting article earlier today (LA Times):

"...She came out of nowhere, and in a flash she was gone.And nearly four decades later the surprise encounter between a little girl and Sen. Robert Kennedy still haunts Howard Bingham.The 1968 California presidential primary election was days away, and Kennedy was campaigning in Watts. Bingham, a photographer best known for chronicling the career of boxing champion Muhammad Ali, was documenting the presidential hopeful's visit to the area, which three years before had been ravaged by rioting.Kennedy was in a slow-moving convertible with then-state Sen. Mervyn Dymally, labor leader Ted Watkins and several others. The motorcade was near the corner of 103rd Street and Central Avenue when the girl ran toward it.Bingham raised his camera and snapped a series of pictures as she sprinted eagerly toward the car, her pigtails flying.She was about 9 or 10 years old. She had a Kennedy-for-president bumper sticker stuck to her red dress and light blue sweater.The sequence of six photos shows her running about a block to catch up with motorcade. In the final frame, she is wearing a huge grin when she shakes Kennedy's hand.The girl turned and ran back to the sidewalk as Kennedy's car continued on its way.The photos were never published. But Bingham never forgot the little girl with the happy grin.Bingham photographed Kennedy extensively, but it is Kodak Ektachrome images of the senator and the girl in the pigtails that have stayed with him for 39 years.Who is she? What kind of person did she grow up to be? How did Kennedy's murder affect her? How would her life have been different if her hero had not been gunned down and had gone on to win the presidency?..."


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