Today Mimi Beardsley Alford is a retired church administrator. In the summer of 1962, Mimi Beardsley was a teenage intern beginning an internship in the White House press office. Within weeks, this tall, beautiful, impressionable woman had begun an affair with President John F. Kennedy, a link that was severed only by his November 1963 assassination. Until six years ago, when an investigator divulged the relationship, Mimi's great secret and sadness remained concealed. Even then, she only made a general acknowledgement of the liaison; it is only now that she writes candidly about this central relationship in her life. Once Upon a Secret recounts not just her presidential romance, but also the story of how she maintained silence, sometimes at great cost, about an affair that would have riveted the nation.