Brookline Connections

Kate MacGillivray  Brookline Resident and Town Employee
"President Kennedy had a nickname for my grandfather, Tyrone, after Tyrone Power, the movie star."
My grandfather, Walter Power, was a personal friend of President Kennedy. Walter grew up in Charlestown before marrying my grandmother, Mae Love, of Brookline. In 1946, Joseph P. Kennedy, seeking support for JFK's first congressional campaign, reached out to my grandfather in the Charlestown District. It was my grandfather who introduced JFK to Dave Powers in Charlestown. Dave went on to be Special Assistant to the President in the White House.
Every year my my grandfather walked with JFK in the St. Patrick's Day Parade as well as the Bunker Hill Day parade. In the parade photos, you can see JFK holding a hat. The hat was my grandfather's who always brought an extra because JFK didn't wear one despite it being a popular trend in those days. 
JFK held social teas, a campaign event usually held by women in private homes. My mother who was in college at the time worked some of them, one of which was held at the old Beaconsfield Hotel that was located on Beacon St. next to the Star Market. JFK visited my grandparents' home on Ackers Ave. on several occasions, usually to pick up my grandfather to attend an event. President Kennedy had a nickname for my grandfather, Tyrone, after Tyrone Power, the movie star.


Some items from the family collection:

Parade holding hat
Jim Solomon
Brookline Resident and Chef/Owner of The Fireplace

‚Äč To a kid growing up in the late 1960's, the legacy of President Kennedy (along with Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) represented idealism, hope, and the need to persevere, always, in service of fairness and tolerance.

My collection is a proud homage to the Brookline boy who rose to lead a nation, and a reflection of my hope during a trying time that we can find a way to honor this great legacy.

Some items from Jim's personal collection:

Inaugural Invitation
Trophy with friends
JFK w pup
John Assad and Lorella Battelli
Brookline Residents

"His friend told him he knew of a senator in Massachusetts who could help him get residency in the US."

"Saleh named his first son John, my husband."

We have been Brookline residents for over 20 years. I am an Italian scientist and my husband, John, is a first generation American, who was born in Buffalo, NY. He is currently a professor of Neurobiology at the Harvard Medical School. His father, Saleh Ibrahim Assad came to the US from Palestine in 1953 to go to college. He attended Canisius College in Buffalo, where he studied physics. He married a German woman who also came to the US to go to college, where they met. They then moved back to Palestine for two years, where their first daughter was born.

After two years, they decided they wanted to move back to the States. He wrote to a friend from Canisius who lived in Boston, telling him he wanted to come back. His friend told him he knew of a senator in Massachusetts who could help him get residency in the US. That was the time of the national debate over education, 1957, after Sputnik was launched and America decided to increase science and engineering teaching in schools. Saleh was a physics professor and the then Senator John Kennedy wrote a letter on his behalf to help him get residency. 

The letter states: "...a specially skilled alien whose services are urgently needed..". My father in-law, now a retired professor, still lives in Buffalo and has kept the letter John Kennedy wrote on his behalf. Saleh named his first son, John, my husband. 

JFK's letter written on behalf of Mr. Assad:

Contact Francisco Torres, Economic Development & Long-Term Planner with your stories.
(617) 264-6478