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Mrs. Kennedy And Me

April 20, 2012 by staff 

Mrs. Kennedy And Me, Clint Hill remembers his days as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s Secret Service agent , On another occasion, I was waiting in the Secret Service office when she called for me.  “Mr. Hill?” she said. “Will you please join me outside by the pool? I need to talk to you.”

It was a beautiful afternoon and the sun felt warm on my face, as I walked across the lawn past the back of the house, toward the rectangular swimming pool. Two of my colleagues on the president-elect detail were standing post at the corners of the property bordering the beach, and I gave them each a quick wave. In Palm Beach the Secret Service agents shed our standard uniform of a dark suit and shined dress shoes for more casual clothing, with the intent of melding into the local populace to appear as inconspicuous as possible. The two agents in their cotton-knit shirts and cotton trousers looked like they could have just walked off the golf course. In the distance, a Coast Guard boat patrolled the waters along the coast.

Next to the swimming pool, Mrs. Kennedy was sitting on a chaise lounge, in a revealing bathing suit, with a stack of books by her side and a yellow legal pad in her lap. Caroline played and splashed in the pool while one of the agents who had been assigned to her protection stood watch nearby, ready to render assistance if needed.

“Yes, Mrs. Kennedy?” I asked as I approached her.

She looked up at me, her eyes hidden by a pair of large round sunglasses, and said, “Come sit down, Mr. Hill,” as she gestured to the lounge chair beside her. Dressed in my normal attire for working in Palm Beach-a pair of khaki slacks and a short-sleeved shirt worn outside my waistband to conceal the .38-caliber handgun strapped to my hip-I felt somewhat awkward sitting next to her in her bathing suit, but sat down as instructed.

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