RUSH: On July 18th, 1969, Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge and really hurt his neck and had to wear a neck brace for like three months.
It happened at some little place in Massachusetts, and everybody was worried about Senator Kennedy. They were worried whether his back was permanently injured from this and whether he would ever walk normally again, whether he would ever be able to make love again (at least in the missionary position). There were great fears that Senator Kennedy would have to wear a neck brace for a long time.
You know, he was taking some people home and it was late at night, and he accidentally just drove off the bridge. A lot of people were worried about him. It was amazing. That was my the second year in broadcasting as a deejay, and the station, KGMO, Cape Girardeau, had Mutual News. Remember the Mutual News Network? Now, this was not on July 18th. This was like in September. But we got this warning that Senator Kennedy was going to issue a statement.
I remember it was a daytime radio station. We had to sign off at a certain time every night per month that coordinated with sundown. We were not allowed to be on the air at night, and Senator Kennedy’s statement about his neck brace and the anguish that he experienced in this accident, it was amazing. He timed the conclusion of it right at that moment we had to sign off. It was like he was doing it for me so that I would not violate FCC regulations.
Just amazing, the timing of it.
Now, it was the Dike Bridge. The name of it was the Dike Bridge. It’s no longer there. The bridge caused so much anguish for Senator Kennedy that the bridge is no longer there. I remember the first time I flew into Martha’s Vineyard to play golf, I thought about putting chaff on EIB 1 in case surface-to-air missile attack was launched against me upon my arrival route. It turned out it wasn’t necessary.
I asked my host, “Could I go see it? Show me the bridge where Senator Kennedy was almost killed and severely injured?”
He said, “It’s not here anymore.”
They took it down because… I don’t know. It was something that they didn’t want to exist because they didn’t want it to remind Senator Kennedy of the near-death experience he had had. The neck brace that Senator Kennedy had to wear, I’ll never forget that. He was so wounded, he was so… Well, not wounded. I mean, he was injured in this accident. He was brave, man. He had to swim a lot.
You know, he named his dog Splash after this, and we gave him the nickname “The Swimmer.” He had to swim a long way. It was an Oldsmobile that drove off the road. He was behind the wheel but it was the car that did it, and he had to surface and was very brave and courageous and swam off. He swam off to the shore. So this is the anniversary of the Ted Kennedy neck brace, is essentially what it is.