JFK Made The Secret Service Get His Nude Photos Framed
JFK's tragic assassination overshadows the fact that he represents a time when the physical embodiment of the American man's libido was elected President. During his reign the White House doubled as the Playboy Mansion, with one former Secret Service agent commenting, "The sheer number of Kennedy's sexual partners, and the recklessness of his use of them, escalated throughout his presidency." Kennedy achieved peak bro by inviting high-class prostitutes -- sometimes several at a time -- to the Lincoln Bedroom to be "entertained." And he liked to snap photos of their, uh, grassy knolls.
Library of Congress
"Ask not what my dong can do for you ..."
Now, when you're leading the free world through the 1960s, you can't just slink off down to the local Walgreens with your thumb drive and print off some glossies to hide under the bed. You can, however, get your longsuffering Secret Service agents to take your nude photos to an art gallery and have them framed ... so that's exactly what JFK did. No, seriously.
As you can imagine, confidentiality was of the utmost concern, so back-alley frame jobs simply wouldn't do. No, these photos were taken to Mickelson's Fine Picture Framing and Gallery, a well-known and highly respected shop that also handled the White House's PG-13 framing. It was the very same shop that Jacqueline Kennedy -- the very woman JFK was cheating on -- employed to help her with the residence's painstaking restoration. Are you imagining how awkward that was for the people working behind the counter?
We're imagining a sitcom moment where a White House employee is in a cold-sweat, holding two packages both marked "J. Kennedy"
The whole procedure was a veritable cloak-and-dagger affair. A Secret Service agent showed up before business hours to have the owner, Sidney Mickelson, measure the picture (Mickelson, for his part, was "troubled" by the photographs, but what was he going to do, tell the President to take his porn to a rival gallery?) Then the agent left, taking the photo with him, and brought it back after hours so the picture could be moun -- put into its shiny new frame.