Keeping an Image In Context, 47 Years Later

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez brings us back to the story of Juan Romero and how, after 47 years, he is coming to peace with his place in life.

Romero’s name is one few know, but his face is a part of one of the most haunting news photos ever – Romero was the teenage busboy who held Robert F. Kennedy’s head up off of a concrete floor after Kennedy had been fatally shot on the night of the 1968 California primary. 

There is so much to learn, even today, from that frightening image and the backstory of why Romero was there, of what he heard Kennedy say and how it affected him is a testament to the power of the photograph.

The care Romero displayed, holding Kennedy’s head off the cold concrete.

The distance around them as everyone else stepped away.

The expression of a young son of immigrants as he realizes a man who treated him as an equal was suffering and the confusion that brought to his mind.

As Lopez notes in his story, the relevance of that image in today’s political climate is pretty staggering.

Mark E. Johnson

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