AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer
The streets were starting to fill up around 11: 45a.m. this morning, as residents of the Cape Cod area came out to pay their respects to Sen. Ted Kennedy's family as they brought his body to Boston.
I've spoken to many of the locals over the past few days and very few were willing to go on camera, but they were all willing to talk about their lives on the Cape, and their experiences with the Senator.
One woman I met last night told me that she and her husband are one of a small number of people who live here year round. She gave me a history of the area, including the street where the Kennedy compound stands and how the property was designed.
She actually laughed at me when I asked about the compound because she said it's really just four houses on land that is adjacent. She went on to tell me who owned what house and when.
I wish I'd had a tape recorder to get it all down because it was so fascinating, but unfortunately the notes I took now look like chicken scratch and I cannot begin to tell you who bought what house when.
She also pointed out other homes in the area, including one owned by Kennedy's sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who passed away just a few short weeks ago.
While walking around the neighborhood where the Kennedy's have spent so much time over the years, I could see why they love it so much. Children were barefoot on their bikes, looking like they were about to go to – or just got out of – the ocean. Men and women were walking dogs around the block, and stopping along their path to say hello to neighbors. And everyone smiles and waves at you as you drive by – a mark of a great, small community.
One man David Gergen and I met this afternoon told us of growing up just two houses away from where JFK lived. He told of the helicopter coming in to drop JFK off, and of watching the various children and grandchildren grow up. He moved out of the area several years ago, but told me he felt like he needed to come back, just to say goodbye.
During the processional today, as the family left the compound, scores of residents lined Scudder Avenue and waved, smiled, clapped and cried as the hearse carrying the senator's body passed by. In the limo directly behind the hearse, Kennedy's widow, Vicki, waved to well wishers and mouthed "Thank You".
And the line of cars made its way down the street and up to Boston, where Sen. Kennedy's body will lie in repose and the family prepares to say a final goodbye.
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