Maria's Journey



Home to the book Maria's Journey  
by Ramon Arredondo & Trisha (Hull) Arredondo

August 2010

Authors Blog / Talking Points

KENNEDY/NIXON: Bi-Partisan Inspiration for MARIA'S JOURNEY.

When Ramon recieved his undergrad degree from the University of Central Florida in l973 (then called FTU), he was surprised to learn the then U.S. President Richard Nixon was to be keynote speaker at the ceremony.  The President did indeed speak, delaring he was "not a crook"; Ray received his diploma, all applauded Nixon's speech and headed off to take up their lives and carreers. In August that same summer Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal. Years later, Ray saw the former President in an interview where he lamented the fact that his mother was a great woman and no one would ever write a book about her.

Fast forward to the 1980 campaign when Ted Kennedy made a bid for the presidency.  Ray's brother was running for circuit court judge during that year and his and Kennedy's campaigns merged when Kennedy came to northern Indiana.  Kerry Kennedy, the late Bobby Kennnedy's daughter, was helping her Uncle Ted and she stayed in our home for a few days during that period.  Slightly older than our kids, Ken and Krissy, she was a delightful, poised young woman and very effective campaigner.  As we shared political stories around our dining room table, she noted that the Arredondo family, with its many members involved for decades in politics and other forms of public service, reminded her of the Kennedys in their working together toward a common goal.

"You should write a book about your family," she suggested.  We smiled and thought what a gracious young lady and mentally catagorized her comment as a polite kindness.

Decades flashed by, but Ray never forgot Nixon's comment about his mother, nor Kerry's comment about the book.  "Maybe we should put the two ideas together and write a book honouring my mother, Maria.  And so began MARIA'S JOURNEY.  The rest, as they say, is history! 

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