Friday, October 24, 2008

The assassination of John Kennedy wasn't politics, exactly, but history, and it was soon enough after his election that it had echoes of politics for me. I thought assassination was something that only happened in history - that people were more civilized now. I had a lot to learn about how civilized we aren't. I remember I was going to lunch - seventh grade, Ladera Vista Jr. High, ad David Speak, on whom I had a horrible long lasting unrequited crush, called out across the courtyard that the President had been shot. I remember sitting stunned in sewing class after that, with the TV on, trying to make sense of what had happened. At home, in the days that followed, the TV stayed on. Daddy didn't shave, didn't go to work and we just sat there and watched and watched on the olive green day bed in the den until the funeral was over. Then we picked up pieces and went back to life. I saved the Life magazines with the shots in the limousine and of John John (not dignified but the way we thought of him then) saluting the funeral procession. think it would have been way too awful then to imagine that more assassinations would follow.

5 comments:

Mary said...

Until JFK's assassination I also believed that assassinations only happened in history. Abraham Lincoln. Garfield. McKinley Never to happen in the present. Many assassinations and attempted assasinations of well known people have happened since. I just hope never again......

Joe Hendricks said...

I remember being in grade school in Alabama and the teacher suddenly appeared in the school yard, crying. She tried to explain what had happened, but I did not understand, even though other students started crying with her..

Bob Hendricks said...

I was in a biology class in 9th grade in Mobile, Alabama, when the news came. My biology teacher, a smart, intense teacher fresh out of college, was my favorite teacher. He from time to time that year had railed against things Kennedy's administration was doing. When we heard the news, he broke down, crying, genuinely upset. That made a big impression on me. I generally didn't pay attention to politics or politicians even though Wallace was governor in Alabama.

Peggy said...

I too was in school when the news came--chemistry class in high school, the first year at my new school. We were sent home shortly afterwards and I too remember sitting with my parents watching it all on TV. I recall Jackie's pink suit, the blurred pictures of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Ozwald and the funeral procession--and yes little John John. I too was shocked such a thing could happen.

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