By Eileen Brown
OF course, those of us who were alive and lived in even lightly political households, know exactly where we were at the exact moment. Just a minute, back up the truck Chuck…
I did live in a very politically aware household. <Fact. However, because of the incredible popularity of the “Camelot Couple,” people who were completely unaware politically followed what Jack and Jackie did almost on a daily basis. This kind of popularity stemmed from the growth of the real “baby boomers,” into teens and young adults. And from those happy, carefree days after WWII when the parents of those boomer babies saw an economical boom. Even with Vietnam on the horizon (unbeknownst to many) times were very, very good for American citizens.
I was reminded, just today, of where I was at the time JFK was shot and died; eighth grade home economics class. I was already younger than peers in the class but much more aware of politics, in general.
- An announcement over the PA system about the event was first.
- Shocked, I was not sure what I had heard.
- All us little sheep were herded into other classrooms and actual classes were cancelled.
- Updated news, of a sort, was channeled through the same PA system.
- I was the first, and to my knowledge, the only child in my school to cry, sob and wail.
- By the time I was picked up by my Mom, I was a real wreck.
- She was not much better, and driving a car, no less.
I remember other students pointing, and joking about my behavior. Humiliation, at that point, did not matter. The teacher told those students I must have had some connection to JFK, to be so upset. I remember trying to say, but not managing to get all the words out, that JFK was MY PRESIDENT as well as theirs and didn’t it make a difference to them(?). Apparently not. Even the teacher did not have (in my child’s minds eye) all that much of an adverse reaction. I was not stunned by this until much later. I had no idea that everyone did not think JFK was something like the greatest man to ever live. Yeah, I was a child.
That was then and this is now. My reminder came by way of a blog entry here:
Just 4 days short of 48 years ago —
“John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC) on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was fatally shot while traveling with his wife Jacqueline, Texas governor John Connally, and the latter’s wife, Nellie, in a Presidential motorcade.”
Still brings tears to MY eyes. Hope the 22nd., in just 4 days, is a busy day and reminders of this American Tragedy, are far away.
I served my grief today, by actually crying again while writing this entry. Some of us never seem to grow up, eh?