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Ripples #38
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Ripples #38

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Ripples art--smallCompiled and Written by Lenny Giteck

New Book Reveals 18-Month JFK
Affair Started in White House Pool

A recently published memoir by now-68-year-old Mimi Alford claims she was involved in a long-term affair with President John Fitzgerald Kennedy — and that the relationship started in the White House pool. The title of the tell-all book: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath.

According to Alford, she was a 19-year-old intern in the White House press office when she was invited by Dave Powers, a close aide to JFK, to go for a swim in the pool. The following excerpt was on the Web site

The water was as warm as that in a bathtub — as I learned later, the temperature was always set at 90 degrees to soothe JFK’s chronic back pain. I was treading water with Fiddle and Jill [two female White House employees] when the president himself walked in. “Mind if I join you?” he asked. He was remarkably fit — flat stomach, toned arms — for a 45-year-old man. After sliding into the pool, he floated up to me. “It’s Mimi, isn’t it?” he said. “And you’re in the press office this summer, right?’ He asked what I’d been given to do, and I told him. “Well, nice to see you, Mimi,” he said, and floated away toward Fiddle and Jill.

According to Alford, she lost her virginity to the president later that day after Kennedy invited her on a personal tour of the White House residential quarters. The affair developed from there.

Interestingly, swimming in the White House pool continued to play a role in the relationship. Writes Alford: “Our affair, which lasted until his death 18 months later, began in earnest the following week. All that summer, I’d swim with the president, race back to my desk and then wait for a call to come upstairs.”

Of course, the fact that our 35th president was not exactly assiduous in upholding his marriage vows is yesterday’s news — but the specificity of the revelations in Once Upon a Secret probably will shock nonetheless. Still, like most Americans of a certain age, Ripples remembers the horror of November 22, 1963 — the day JFK was assassinated — with absolute clarity. Nothing revealed since then about Kennedy’s human foibles has tarnished his memory in Ripples’ mind, and it is doubtful that anything ever will.

Learn more: To read the complete except published by, click here.

Video: To watch an interview with Mimi Alford conducted by “Rock Center” reporter Meredith Vieira, click here.

Disneyland Paris to Inaugurate
Water-and-Light Spectacular

The Web site reports that, coinciding with its 20th anniversary, Disneyland Paris is about to unveil a new water-and-light show called Disney Dreams. The production is scheduled to open in April and will include some elements from shows at Disney World Orlando and Disney’s California Adventure, but will also introduce a number of innovations. notes:

[The] show will feature…projections, water screens, dancing fountains, pyrotechnic displays and laser effects. [It] will employ 30-foot-tall water screens in the moats in front of [Sleeping Beauty Castle] that will serve as giant canvases for Disney animated scenes set to an original musical score. Disney’s Imagineers have electronically mapped the entire castle to allow video projections to wrap the exterior like a digital skin.

Disney Dreams reportedly will follow the adventures of Peter Pan’s shadow as it interacts with more than a dozen well-known Disney and Pixar stories, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “Lion King.”

In addition to the Disney Dreams show, Disneyland Paris is turning its existing daytime parade, Once Upon a Dream, into a nighttime attraction called Disney Magic on Parade (La Magie Disney en Parade). The point of both moves, according to, is to “encourage visitors to stay later at the park and spend more money on food and souvenirs.”

Learn more: For additional information, click here.

Video: To watch a brief preview of the show, click here.

Movie-Focused Water Extravaganza
Coming to Universal Studios Orlando

Like Disneyland Paris, Universal Studios Orlando is adding a nighttime water show that will debut this spring; the show is named Cinematic Spectacular and is based on a movie theme. According to

Cinematic Spectacular will celebrate a century of Universal Studios movie memories with a nighttime water show that features film clips projected on 30-foot-by-30-foot waterfall screens and colorful fountains that rocket 100 feet into the air, along with laser lights and pyrotechnic displays on the Orlando theme park’s central lagoon. [The] new Universal water show will incorporate iconic movie clips from “Frankenstein,” “Jurassic Park,” “Apollo 13,” “Back to the Future,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Jaws” and “E.T.” into a nighttime spectacular narrated by actor Morgan Freeman.

Also like Disneyland Paris, Universal Orlando will inaugurate a nighttime parade, as well as upgrade a number of existing attractions.

Learn more: Click here.

Images: Click here.

PETA Sues SeaWorld Over
“Enslaved” Killer Whales

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is attempting to sue the water-based theme park Sea World in federal court over what the organization considers to be slavery. Killer whales (orcas) at SeaWorld in San Diego and Orlando are kept in enormous tanks, where they perform tricks and acrobatic feats for the audience’s entertainment. reports:

A federal judge appeared dubious…about a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that seeks the release of orcas from SeaWorld on antislavery grounds. PETA attorney Jeffrey Kerr told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller that invoking the antislavery 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in hopes of freeing the orcas is “the next frontier of civil rights.” But Miller told Kerr that he cannot find a legal precedent for allowing a lawsuit to be filed on behalf of the orcas under the 13th Amendment. The orcas, he noted, are animals, not people.

Although Ripples certainly opposes the mistreatment of animals, it is hard to ignore the fact that PETA has a history of going a bit off the deep end. Take, for example, the group’s stated opposition to using pesticides to kill cockroaches. (Ripples’ exterminator arrives once every two months to spritz chemicals throughout the house.) PETA calls the practice “cruel and futile.”

Then there was PETA’s highly publicized protest against the “Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken Challenge,” in which casinos pitted chickens against human players; strangely, the chickens almost always won. PETA claimed the practice was humiliating to, and overly arduous for, the fowl; in response, the casinos pointed out that the chickens were given regular breaks and were treated very well.

Ripples remembers thinking two things at the time: How does one tell if a chicken is humiliated? And, it seems as though the human players should have been the ones feeling embarrassed, what with being outwitted by a feathered creature with a brain the size of a pea.

In any event, it appears that SeaWorld has little to worry about: As of this writing, the proposed lawsuit reportedly is going nowhere fast and is likely to be unceremoniously thrown out of court.

UPDATE: On Feb. 8, Judge Miller did indeed throw the lawsuit out of court. Nonetheless, PETA contended that even filing the suit was a partial victory, “one more step taken toward the inevitable day when all animals will be free from enslavement for human amusement.” Ripples hopes that when that day arrives, your beloved family pet, Fido, doesn’t haul your derriere into court.

Until next time, happy watershaping to you!

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