Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath

By Mimi Alford

in the summertime of 1962, nineteen-year-old Mimi Beardsley arrived in Washington, D.C., to start an internship within the White residence press place of work. After simply 3 days at the task, the privileged yet sheltered younger lady used to be awarded to the President himself. presently, the 2 started an affair that will proceed for the subsequent eighteen months. Emotionally unprepared to counter the President’s air of mystery and tool, Mimi used to be additionally ill-equipped to address the emotions of isolation that will keep on with as she fell into the double lifetime of a faculty pupil who used to be additionally the key lover of the main robust guy on the earth. After the President’s assassination in Dallas, she grieved by myself, locked her mystery away, and attempted to begin a brand new lifestyles, in simple terms to be blindsided by way of her past.
Now, not outlined via silence or disgrace, Mimi Alford ultimately unburdens herself with this unflinchingly sincere account of her lifestyles and her super deepest moments with a really public guy. This paperback variation encompasses a particular Q&A, during which the writer displays at the extreme media consciousness surrounding the book’s preliminary liberate. Once Upon a Secret is a relocating tale of a girl rising from the shadows to reclaim the truth.
“With the good thing about hindsight and stable out of date adulthood, [Mimi Alford] writes not only in regards to the mystery, however the corrosive influence of protecting that mystery. . . . You can’t support liking her, or her stylish and carefully good-natured book.”—The Spectator

“What [Alford] sacrificed in lucre she has greater than recovered in credibility and dignity.”—The Washington Times
“Compelling . . . a cultured voice telling a reputable tale you could take to the bank.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Explosive . . . searingly candid.”—New York Post

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Relaxing? strange? Incomprehensible? At nineteen, I didn’t be capable of attach the dots right into a narrative that made experience. So I thinking about the obvious fact: I wasn’t a virgin anymore. It saved echoing in my head: I’m no longer a virgin anymore. I had continually imagined that my first time will be with the fellow I enjoyed on my marriage ceremony evening. I wasn’t “saving” myself out of non secular or ethical conviction. This trust used to be easily the conventional—and generally accepted—ethos between women my age. and that i used to be as traditional as someone I knew. however the situations surrounding my “first time” have been hardly ever traditional. no longer even in my so much florid imaginings did i believe it might be with an older man—let on my own a person of my mom and dad’ iteration. not to mention the President of the U.S.. How did i am getting myself into this place? I reran the scene within the place of dwelling, recalling the laughter round the lounge and the giddy impression of the daiquiris. not anything within the scene prompt an air of sexual intrigue or risk. In recalling it, i attempted to find mess around and Jill, yet they remained at the margins, out of the image. i attempted to find Dave Powers yet he, too, was once stubbornly hidden from view. the single lasting photograph was once that of the President in his shirtsleeves along with his ft propped up on a espresso desk. He was once tremendously good-looking and commanding and inviting. That’s what I felt as I accumulated my recommendations at the back of the city automobile: I were crushed by way of the presence of the President. Wendy Gilmore wasn’t domestic while the city motor vehicle pulled up at my door, which was once a small aid. I didn’t are looking to face her, in case she requested me approximately my day. It wasn’t that i used to be fearful of breaking down in entrance of her, i used to be easily exhausted and desired to be by myself. I went immediately upstairs to my bed room and checked out my face within the replicate. It didn’t glance any diverse. I hadn’t been remodeled from “girl” to “woman” in a night. The odor of the President’s 4711 cologne nonetheless clung to me, so I stepped into the bathe. because the sizzling water washed over me and that i seemed down at my physique, I had the concept that different ladies of my iteration who have been protected from wisdom approximately their very own our bodies should have had: So that’s intercourse? I didn’t understand if it have been strong, undesirable, or detached. I didn’t be aware of if it was once intended to be gradual or speedy. I didn’t have an opinion approximately it being “caring” or “meaningful. ” I had not anything to check it to. As I toweled off, I persevered to retrace my activities from the day. I reexamined the impulse at the back of Dave Powers’s advice for that lunchtime swim. Had he orchestrated the whole lot to offer the President an opportunity to appear me over? And what approximately mess around and Jill? have been they by some means concerned besides? on the time, I didn’t have the tummy to attempt to reply to these questions. I’ve wrestled through the years with different questions about that day. I’ve questioned why the small staff within the place of dwelling left after the President took me at the journey and whether or not they knew what used to be going to take place within the bed room. i think they did.

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