"This is not a town," said the lady. "This is a compound."
"You mean this is an institution for retired people?" said Capune.
"Not all of us are retired," said the lady. "This is the Kennedy compound. My name is Rose Kennedy."
She invited Capune in. He explained he was Miami-bound and very cold and tired. The lady called her daughter, Eunice Shriver, who arrived with a beautiful girl, Karen Brucene Smith, who turned out to have been Miss U.S.A. in the 1971 Miss World contest. "That was pretty heavy stuff," says Capune. Eunice, Miss U.S.A., Capune and all the Shriver and Kennedy kids had dinner at a Howard Johnson's and afterward watched movies at Rose's house. "There were zillions of kids," says Capune. "The first movie, Now You See It Now You Don't, was for kids. The second one, Butterflies Are Free, was rated PG, parental guidance. While the lights were out, I heard a man come in, and he sat next to 12-year-old Timmy Shriver. It was Senator Edward Kennedy.
"When the movies were over he said hello. I slept in a magnificent bedroom in a canopied bed. The next morning, which was Eunice's birthday, the wind was blowing like crazy and Eunice said, 'Rest a day.' Timmy Shriver and I decided to go bicycling, and as we came out there were tourists all over the place just staring." Capune learned that the Kennedys used to store up old tennis balls and belt them out of the compound at the tourists. Capune said he knew of a sneaky way to souse tourists. In town he bought 10 feet of surgical tubing, a big funnel and balloons. Back in the compound, he constructed a giant slingshot, filled a balloon with water, set it in the funnel and took aim at a tree some distance away. The water-laden balloon landed with a satisfactory splash just as Eunice rounded the corner. Timmy Shriver quickly hid the slingshot and everyone, including the kids, went for a sail on Teddy's 54' Islander. Capune took the helm for 20 minutes. Everyone then went to Teddy's for a cookout (hot dogs and watermelon). There was also a partial eclipse that day. "Everything seems to happen at once to me," says Capune. Still hungry, he and Timmy raided the Shriver refrigerator, ate candy bars and watched the Democratic Convention on TV.
The next morning, advised of the best current to Woods Hole by Teddy, Capune got his surfboard from Rose Kennedy's front lawn, received a farewell kiss from Miss U.S.A. and headed west. While paddling in a heavy wind and rough seas, Capune listened to his radio. "The program was called Tell It To Bob," he recalls. "There were all these kids calling in complaining they had nothing to do. I thought, you stupid kids, nothing to do, and here I am battling the ocean. I pulled inshore at a house, asked for the phone and called this Bob character. I told him what I was doing, and he didn't seem to believe me. When I got back on my board, I turned on the radio and heard Bob say that some idiot had just called in."
At Woods Hole the Coast Guard gave Capune bum advice on currents, and he got carried into the Elizabeth Islands. With the rain heavy and visibility limited, he put in on a deserted island where he saw "a beat-up old house, barbed wire and a PRIVATE sign like something out of a movie." He knocked warily on the door, which was opened by a pipe-smoking lady. "When you're tired," Capune says, "a thing like this really throws you." The island was Naushon, the lady Mrs. Hoima Cherau, a member of the Forbes family that owns almost all the Elizabeth Islands. When he was leaving the next morning, Mrs. Cherau asked him to deliver a letter to the Wilders on Nashawena. She said it would take four days otherwise. Capune delivered the letter and traveled to Cuttyhunk. "I met President Garfield's grandson there," says Capune.
Paddling from Cuttyhunk with only 100 feet of visibility, he headed toward what he thought was a rock. The rock turned out to be a freighter, and the nose of the surfboard glanced off the hull. Capune landed at Horseneck Beach in Massachusetts where a park official refused to show him a map or a chart. "I want to get out of here!" said Capune.
"I'm going to Miami."