Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Describes Family Life Inside the Hyannis Compound

Scion of an American political dynasty has written a behind-the-scenes memoir of the 'Camelot' days.

An aerial view of the Kennedy Compound on July 25, 2008 in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Tim Gray/Getty Images)
An aerial view of the Kennedy Compound on July 25, 2008 in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Gray/Getty Images)
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In a new book, environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dishes on the behind-the-scenes life and his iconic family’s exploits at their compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. In one passage, he recounts the ceremony of his uncle, the President, and his father, the Attorney General, arriving at the famed estate from Washington, D.C. in the early 1960s.

“During the years when the Kennedy family compound served as the summer White House, the faint sucking thwuck, thwuck, thwuck each Friday afternoon summoned everyone to assemble for the landing of my father’s and Uncle Jack’s green-and-white Marine Corps helicopters on the big lawn between Grandpa’s house and the ocean,” Kennedy Jr. writes in American Values: Lessons I Learned From My Family. “Grandpa’s gardener, Wilbur, hoisted the presidential flag up the pole and we cheered and waved as my dad and my uncles Teddy, Steve Smith, and Sarge Shriver climbed off the choppers. Leaving his own helicopter last, Uncle Jack would go kiss Grandpa and Grandma on the front porch of the Big House, then all the cousins would pile onto the golf cart as Jack took the wheel for a spin.”

RFK Jr. also details the area’s stunning natural wonders, including his extensive swimming, crabbing, spearfishing and exploring.

“The ocean was always changing, from blue to every shade of green, to gray and almost black, to match the moods of the wind and sky. Here, surrounded by my family, I could indulge my obsession with the natural world.”

His new book was published on May 15 by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier sit together in the sunshine at Kennedy’s family home at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, a few months before their wedding. (Getty)
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Jacqueline Kennedy and astronaut John Glenn water ski on Lewis Bay, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, July 22, 1962. The boat was driven by Ethel Kennedy, wife of the Attorney General. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
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John F. Kennedy Jr. (1960 – 1999) and his cousin Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. prepare to go kayaking at the compound in Hyannis, Port Sunday 8/24/97. (Photo by Stephen Rose/Getty Images)
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