Into the Clan
updated 06/16/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/16/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Her bouts with the sharp-elbowed Ethel were renowned. Once, in an unguarded moment, Jackie confided that she had wanted to study ballet. Eyeine Jackie's large feet, Ethel guffawed: "What? With those clodhoppers?" And yet, after Bobby's death, according to author Jerry Oppenheimer, it was Jackie who paid to replace Ethel's leaking Hickory Hill roof.
Outnumbered and outflanked, Jackie ultimately held her own. Once she was 15 minutes late to lunch, a fatal faux pas when Joe was "in one of his Emperor Augustus moods,'' recalled a friend. "He started to give her the needle, but she gave it right back." Mindful of his penchant for old-fashioned slang, Jackie said, ' "You ought to write a series of grandfather stories for children, like 'The Duck with Moxie' and 'The Donkey Who Couldn't Fight His Way out of a Telephone Booth.' " At first there was deadly silence. "Then old Joe broke into roar of laughter."