Posts Tagged ‘JFK Assassination’

1990 is closer to the JFK Assassination than it is to today.

November 22nd, 1963

Posted: November 22, 2015 in Death, Life
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JFK sailing off the Massachussetts coast.

JFK sailing off the Massachusetts coast.

It was 1963, and I was in second grade. Coming from a strongly Democratic family, we’d gone door-to-door in 1960 in support of John F. Kennedy, the charismatic young Senator from Massachusetts who went on to be elected President of the United States in 1960. As young as I was, I still remember watching him on television and feeling that he was so much different than the other politicians. Keep in mind I was, because of my family, pretty aware of the political landscape in our country. Hell, I can remember the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960 and I was only 4-years old.

Anyway, I can vividly recall that Friday in November, 1963 when a knock  came on the door of my classroom in Twin Elementary in Bourneville.  I was in row 2, seat 2. My teacher, Mrs. Hughes,  walked to the door and listened for a few seconds. For some reason, the classroom became completely quiet. Somehow we sensed something in the air. I distinctly remember Mrs. Hughes sort of toppling a bit and leaning against the door jamb upon receiving the news. Then she turned, deathly white, and walked to the front of the room . . .

Kids, I have terrible news. Our president has been assassinated.”

I remember my friend Jeff, who was sitting in front of me, turning around and asking me what that meant. I have no idea how I knew for sure, but I told him that somebody had killed John F. Kennedy, our president. Our president was dead.  I don’t remember the rest of the school day, but I do remember going home after school and being surprised that my dad was home, sitting on the couch watching the television. I also remember that for the first time in my life, I saw tears in my father’s eyes.

Two days later was a Sunday, and after church Dad and I drove to Columbus to get lunch for the family. This sounds incredible today, but believe it or not the closest McDonald’s was at what is now the Southland Mall. Anyway, I remember standing in line waiting for our food, outside. Inside there was a small black and 1white television that had been set up so people could watch the JFK coverage. As I recall they were cutting back and forth to the Dallas Courthouse. Soon, Lee Harvey Oswald was shown being escorted through the basement of the Dallas Police Station. As I watched, Jack Ruby stepped up and shot him in the stomach. Dad tried to cover my eyes but I’d seen it all. I remember some people in line cheered, but dad told me later in the car that it wasn’t a good thing, that it was another murder and perhaps we’d never know what really happened now. He couldn’t have been more right. We still don’t know for sure.

I’ll never forget the funeral procession, how brave and strong Jackie Kennedy seemed to me, and young John John saluting his father’s coffin. It was such a sad, sad time. There was just a dark cloud cast over everything.

And even at so young an age, I sensed the world was different after those few days. A certain innocence had been lost, and lost forever.

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