Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Were You There? November 22, 1963

For many people my age, the assassination of JFK is our first vivid memory. As happened on 9/11, the world stopped that Friday afternoon. I don't remember much about that weekend nor do I remember watching the funeral as it happened. I remember my father letting out a bellow as Oswald was killed on live TV.

Remember, if you are NOT of a certain age, that television was being used in politics for the first time. I mean in terms of 8 hr a day access five days a week. The 24/7 news cycle and relentless recycling of headlines was way in the future. In my day, headlines meant war, a moon walk, or assignations.

You don't have to like the Kennedys. Many people don't. Certainly those in my generation are rather ho-hum. But you gotta admit, no one had more style than Jackie and JFK. I DO remember my mother buying a pill-box hat. I remember being in the car with my parents and grandparents driving on the Cape and "just having "to go by Hyannisport. JFK was there that weekend. You were allowed to get very close, but no closer. The state police stood gaurd and diverted the long long line of traffic snaking in front of the "compound" You got close enough to see he lawn and the house...And keep moving.

I'm not going to post the horrible news films of that day. We've all seen them and will be seeing them again ad nauseam in the coming weeks.   My question to you is, Where were you when you heard the President had been shot? What do you remember?.

I was in second grade at Harrington School in Lexington, MA. We came out of school the usual time. I remember a lot more parents were picking kids up that day than ususal. One boy called to his mother, Ma! Is it true? I was with my buddy Peter. He was living with his grandmother across the street from us while his father was working in Washington. We both said, we'll call Peter's father in Washington and he'll tell us it isn't true.
Harrington School, Lexington MA, not as I remember it!

My mother was in front of the large black and white rabbit ear TV clutching her rosary beads, glass of scotch--Four Roses, the GOOD stuff- in the other hand yelling Jesus Mary and Joseph! I remember Mrs. Kennedy being helped off the plane at Andrew's Air force base, and getting into the back of the hearse. The door was locked and she had to tug a beat too long. More than that I don't remember from that day. I don't know what we did next. I expect we went to my grnandparentss house in Arlington. They came over from Ireland on the boat fifty years earlier. Their house and pictures of the sacred heart (bleeding, of course) the Pope and JFK side by side. My grandparents house was broken up and sold very recently. I wonder what happened to those pictures.

Please leave a note on this blog and let me know your recollections of November 22,  1963. Thanks. Begorrah.

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