JFK Narrations

What is a JFK Narration?

  • JFK Experience will explore in detail a specific area of Kennedy’s life.
  • Each narration will be delivered by Mike Lowe “in character” as the viewpoint character (JFK) or as a non-fictional entity telling the story.
  • Each narration is accompanied by a corresponding slide presentation.
  • Each narration is accompanied by professional voice over artists, who depict characters in Kennedy’s life. i.e. Rose, WWII shipmates, historical characters, neighbors, friends, politcal associates etc
  • Each narration is meticulously researched and discloses obscure but factual quotes, attitudes and opinions.
  • Most narrations are 20 to 30 minutes in length.
  • Each narration is followed by questions from the audience and Mike Lowe will answer “in character” or not. (depending upon the narration)

JFK Narrations offer the audience a chance to “drill down” into a segment of Kennedy’s life. They also explore major historical events. Audiences are encouraged to study or prepare for a JFK Narration by performing their own research in order to ask timely and insightful questions.


Lieutenants Kennedy

This narration follows John & Joseph Kennedy and their naval careers, beginning with their draft registration, through basic and advanced training, and ends with their service in the South Pacific (John) and England. (Joseph)

Meet and listen to these characters:  The Ambassador, Joe, Jr., Lem Billings, John D. Bulkeley, John D. Harllee, Inga “Binga” Arvad, as well as several servicemen who served side by side with Joe, Jr. and Jack.

  • What did the brothers say about registering for the draft?
  • Inga “Binga” as First lady?
  • If Jack had such a bad back, then why ride a PT?
  • After Jack became a “hero”, what did brother Joe say and do?
  • How did “Shafty” get the new nickname “Crash?”
  • How driven was Joe, Jr. to prove himself and at what cost?
  • What did the war time letters of Joe, Jr. and Jack reveal about them?
  • To whom was the Ambassador’s first phone call after Joe, Jr’s death?
  • How did the Ambassador and Rose deal with Joe, Jr’s death?
  • What did Jack write about Joe’s death and Dad’s ambition?

Voice over talent who contributed to this narration –  Steve Phillips, Cynthia Small, Jerry Goodwin, Annie Kerins, Mike Alexander Cook, Heather Bonin, Steve Friedman, Julia Short and Fred Giokas.

Growing up Kennedy & I’m a Mucker!

This narration follows the Kennedys from their home on Beals Street, in Brookline MA. to Riverdale/Bronxville, NY. It also follows the oldest Kennedy children to exclusive boarding schools.

Meet and listen to these characters:  The Ambassador, Rose,  Eunice, Kathleen, Lem Billings, Kennedy maids/servants, neighbors in MA & NY, school chums, business associates of the Ambassador, Choate faculty and staff, and Dr. Prescott Lecky.

  • What did Rose say about motherhood?
  • How religious was the early Kennedy home?
  • What did the Ambassador say about Boston and being Catholic?
  • Why was dinner so important?
  • Does Daddy really know Gloria Swanson?
  • Dad wants “only winners in this house!”
  • Is Mom always on her knees or at a Paris fashion show?
  • Joe, Jr. is big brother and surrogate Mom and Dad.
  • If Jack doesn’t try, then he can’t fail. Right?
  • Lem and Jack, fast friends forever and “Muckers at heart.”
  • Choate Years: How could 2 brothers be so different?
  • The Depression: More money, more homes, and more servants.

Voice over talent who contributed to this narration –  Phyllis Gordon, Jerry Goodwin, Mike Bellin, Heather Bonin, Mike Brown, Cynthia Small, Dave, Cook, Kevin Groppe, Annie Kerins, Mike Alexander Cook, Ted Zalewski, Steve Friedman and Erik Bloomquist.

 PT 109: A hero in McHale’s Navy

This narration follows Jack Kennedy’s career from PT school in Melville, Rhode Island to the South Pacific as a replacement officer. – From Tulagi Island to Russell Island and finally to engage the enemy at Rendova Island.

Meet and listen to these characters: Al Cluster, Jim Reed, Leonard Nikoloric, Allen H. Harris, Red Fay, Thomas Warfield, Kennedy’s PT crew, Hank Brantingham, William Liebenow, John Lowrey, and others.

  • What did Admiral Halsey think of PT boats?
  • What did Japanese records reveal about PT boats?
  • Hear the song that US sailors sang about PT boats?
  • Why were there 13 on board Kennedy’s PT on Aug 1, 1943?
  • How fearless was Reginald Evans? You know, the Australian?
  • If they go down the slot, shouldn’t they come up the slot?
  • Why only one engine in gear? Is that normal? Or regulation?
  • What did Commander Warfield say about Kennedy’s command?
  • Was anyone listening to 109’s radio when the Amagiri was in sight?
  • One reporter on the scene thought Lennie Thom was a hero. Why?
  • What did Brother Joe, Jr. write to Jack and say about the 109?
  • Was the 109 the only PT boat rammed “by the target?”
  • After the sinking, Jack was determined to get revenge. At what cost?
  • After all this, who were Harold Marney & Andrew Jackson Kirksey?
  • Was Jack ever comfortable with the hero label?

Voice over talent who contributed to this narration: Steve “Gags” Gagliastro, Kage Yami, John Horrigan, Jeff Bellin, Dave Cook, Kevin Groppe, Eric Bloomquist, Dave Cook & Mike Alexander

JFK & Civil Rights

This narration briefly touches upon JFK’s early civil  rights record. (1946 – 1956)  However, the audience is drawn into more detail as Kennedy seriously contemplates a run for the White House in 1957. The narration focuses upon Kennedy’s reluctance to confront fellow Democrats from the South and reveals that his cautious approach helped create a more robust, combative and violent civil rights movement.

Meet and listen to these character: Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Vice-President Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator Richard Russell, Ruth Baston, Jackie Robinson, Father Hesburgh, Harris Wofford, Governor George Wallace, Malcolm X, Governor Ross Barnett and others.

  • Was Kennedy liberal, conservative or pragmatic with respect to Civil Rights? You decide.
  • Why were Kennedy’s friends in the Senate and House Southerners?
  • Was Kenendy more sensitive to race early in his career?
  • Did Robert Kennedy evolve on the issue of race before his brother?
  • What did Martin Luther King, Jr. say about the President and his policies?
  • Which was more important in the spring of ’61 – the Freedom Riders or the Vienna Summit?
  • Was Martin Luther King, Jr’s organization  being pressured by the actions of SNCC and CORE?
  • What secret conversation did Robert Kennedy threatened to revel that opened the door at Ole Miss?
  • If Harris Wofford was so committed to the cause of the Civil Rights, why did he leave the administration?
  • Why was Kennedy fearful of the ’63 “March on Washington?”
  • If Kennedy had not been assassinated, then would his Civil Rights bill have passed?
  • If “Executive Action” was better than “Legislation”, then why were so many in the CR movement angry?
  • Birmingham, Alabama was called “Bombingham” for good reason. It “lit the fuse.”

 Voice over talent who contributed to this narraton -

Cuban Missile Crisis

This narration focuses upon the meetings of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council. (Ex-Com) All material is drawn from the actual tapes of these meetings. Mike Lowe takes center stage and the audience gets to listen to the advice JFK received from “Ex-Com” members, the JCS and key members of Congress. And Mike responds witth the actual words Kennedy used during those tension filled 13 days. This narration reveals President Kennedy’s effort to resist the advice of the military and to find a solution what what he saw was a political problem.

Meet and listen to these characters: George Ball, McGeorge Bundy, Douglas Dillon, Roswell Gilpatric, Lyndon Johnson, Alexis Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Edwin Martin, John McCone, Robert McNamara, Paul Nitze, Dean Rusk, Maxwell Tatlor, Llewelyn Thompson, Senator Russell, Senator Fullbright, General Curtis Lemay and others.

 


Future JFK Narrations:

1.       The Inaugural Address: Why was it so good?

2.       Ted Sorensen & Lem Billings: Lost Voice & Lost Love

3.       4 years at Harvard – with 12 months in Europe & Why England Slept?

4        Rose & Kathleen: Image, Reality & God