Owner Interview: 1961 - 1963 John F. Kennedy Archive
INTERVIEWER: What does it feel like to reflect on having been so closely involved in those experiences that many of us have learned about in school?
Quite honestly, much of the time it feels totally unbelievable. I did that? I was there? That's what it feels like. It's very hard to believe that it really happened. INTERVIEWER: Your experience with the editorial process of working with the President on the, I can imagine, many, many speeches that were constantly in production in the White House, talk about what that felt like.
One of my best examples is the speech that he was giving at Yale. It was a very important speech. I think it was an economic speech, I've forgotten what it was on. He changed ... he re-dictated major parts of the speech between New York and New Haven, which is a very short flight, and so I had all the changes in this major speech. He was going to a very brief reception, and then was going to give the speech. I had to have it done by the time he came. I asked the Secret Service to get me a typewriter under where he was going to speak, and we were literally handing pages up. But I didn't have time, thank goodness, until it was over to really get nervous about it. INTERVIEWER: Talk a little bit more about the lighter side of your experience.
Of course, I did work closely with him so I did know him. At some point, you get to the point that you realize he's not mad. He's not ... Whatever's going on or he's going to say, "This is fine." You’d be walking by his office and if he saw you and he had a question about something ... One morning I was walking by. He was reading the paper. Everybody read the paper as much as they could and as many as they could before you got to work, because he was bound to ask something. He grabbed me and said, "What is the meaning of this?" I didn't have any idea what he was even looking at. I don't know, I made a wild guess because I'd heard some bit of news halfway. I happened to be right. Had I been wrong, it wouldn't have bothered him in the least. He would have just laughed about it. He was just fun to be around, really was. I think much of what is said about him, and has been said about him, is indeed true. He was, of course, an incredible presence. Part of it was his youth at that time. We were used to a much older White House and a much older President, so that was very exciting and his very gorgeous family was exciting. He was fast, funny, smart. He was an amazing person to be around.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.