Bishop Kearney High School

Letter From Luke Parisi to Ray Shahin
about Robert F. Kennedy's connection to the Bishop Kearney Band

Hi Ray,
Your call on Sunday brought back many memories from a time that was filled with hope and excitement. I had tried to recall the incident where we discussed Bobby Kennedy’s request for your band to greet him at the airport, and to lead a parade in Rochester on his behalf.
There were a number of people present representing various aspects of the New York State campaign discussing Bob Kennedy’s visit to Rochester right after the California primary. Arrangements were being name to television appearances, meetings with all the local politicos, and most important to him, meeting with all the young volunteers who had been working so hard on his behalf.
During the planning one of Bob Kennedy’s advance men brought up the subject of a parade for the Senator. Several people had heard how much Bob Kennedy enjoyed the Bishop Kearney Band. At that point the advance man said that “Bobby had requested to have the Bishop Kearney Band lead any parade or to greet him at the airport if that could be arranged”. There was a short discussion about how much the Senator enjoyed listening to the band perform.
Bob Kennedy was quoted as saying, “Any band named after an Irish Bishop can only bring us good luck in the primary”. The next step was to contact you to see if you could accommodate the request.
As you know history played out a different scenario after his victory in the California primary. We lost Bob to a senseless killing that night prior to his coming to Rochester. This was to have been his next stop to a primary victory in New York State. From that awful morning on, all preparations turned to dealing with an array of issues, none of the pleasant.
There was brief moment about what could have been a great day for Rochester and New York, as we were prepared to win the primary elections and go on to what would have been an incredible election for the presidency.
I hope this helps you with your presentation. I can’t remember many of the details from the planning sessions since it was followed by the events of the assassination. If you need more information let me know.
Best of luck,
Luke Parisi
Former Democratic Chairman of Monroe County


GoTo Bishop Kearney High School Web Site

Back to Main Page