Saturday, 2:15 PM
At the Kennedy library, tears and sympathy for Ted
(Michele McDonald/Globe Staff)
Mel Wasserman was moved by news of Senator Kennedy's diagnosis.
By Matt Collette, Globe Correspondent
Mel Wasserman couldn't hold back tears when -- upon leaving the John F. Kennedy Library -- he learned that Senator Edward M. Kennedy had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
"It's the end of an era," said Wasserman of Plainview, N.Y., who explained he has always felt the Kennedy family history intertwined with his own. Just three weeks after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, his father died.
"I've always equated the two -- they were the biggest things that had ever happened to me," he said.
Then, five years later, Wasserman's mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
"I remember in 1968 it took about three weeks to diagnose my mother," he said. "Just hearing this brings it all even closer together."
Most visitors leaving the Kennedy Library knew that Senator Kennedy had been hospitalized, but most weren't yet aware of his diagnosis.
Barbara Archer, a California resident visiting Boston to see her granddaughter graduate from Boston College, said she was "shocked" to hear the latest update on Senator Kennedy's medical condition.
"On the news, we heard he was going to be okay," said Archer, who turned 77 -- a year older than Kennedy -- today.
Carolyn Dwyer, visiting from Hershey, Penn., was waiting for a shuttle bus outside the library when she heard the news. She said she sympathized with the Kennedy family.
"My thoughts are with them," she said. "We're wishing him a full recovery. My father died of a brain tumor when I was younger. I know it's an ordeal to go through."
A group of senior citizens from Waltham visiting the library were getting ready to board their bus back home when they heard the news.
"It's just devastating," said Janet Healey. "He's done an awful lot for the citizens of Massachusetts. He hasn't lived an easy life; it'd be a shame if God took him now."
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