CAMBRIDGE Mass. Feb 17 Thousands of items that
belonged to a longtime aide of President John F. Kennedy were
headed for the auction block on Sunday in the 50th anniversary
year of his assassination.
The late president's Air Force One bomber jacket, letters,
photographs and other items had been tucked away in drawers and
file cabinets at the home of David Powers, who died in 1998,
said Dan Meader, auction appraiser at John McInnis Auctioneers.
They were discovered in recent years by relatives as they
prepared the Arlington, Massachusetts, residence for sale, he
Powers was close to the president throughout his political
career, from 1946 until his assassination in 1963. He remained
close to the Kennedy family and became curator of the John F.
Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston before
retiring in 1994.
The auction will include personal effects that Powers kept
throughout his lifetime and reflect his years of shared history
with Kennedy and his family. Among them are dozens of letters
from former first lady Jackie Kennedy and books inscribed by the
"The amazing thing about this whole thing is that it shows
the personal connection," Meader said. "This is stuff that's
true, it's pure, it's right from the family home ... right from
the president's best friend."
Also among the items to be sold was a schedule kept by
Powers that documented in minute detail his last two days with
Kennedy in San Antonio and Dallas, Texas, before the Nov. 22,
Powers traveled with Kennedy, riding in motorcades,
monitoring the reaction of crowds and informing the president of
what his constituents wanted, Meader said.
"He was basically the eyes and ears of the American public,"
he said. "Dave was the pulse of the nation."
Kennedy's Air Force One leather bomber jacket was expected
to fetch $20,000 to $40,000 or more. A pen he used to sign an
interdiction order during the Cuban missile crisis will also be
up for auction.
The entire collection was expected to sell for as much as
$800,000, Buyers from around the world were expected to bid
throughout the day on Sunday, Meader said.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Maureen Bavdek)