Northern Virginia, 1988. My mother is in a furniture store, my eight-month-old brother strapped to her torso in a Snugli or similar such papoose. An older lady - rail-thin and elegantly dressed, not a sterling silver hair out of place - approaches to admire the baby.
"What a beautiful boy," she says, and coos at him until he smiles.
My mother never forgets a face, nor can she pass up an opportunity to play The Jewish Coincidence Name Game.
"You look awfully familiar," Mom says to the woman, "but I can't remember where we've met... Oh - I know! Don't you belong to my synagogue?"
"Well, no, I don't believe so," says the woman, and then warmly extends her hand.
"My name is Ethel Kennedy."