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22 November 2005

If You're Old Enough...


ou will always remember where you were when you first heard that John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas. It's just one of those things that is embedded in the American psyche... forever. What an absolute shock.

It was a Friday afternoon. I was 16 years old. I was in high school and had gotten out for the weekend and was on my way to work as a cashier for a supermarket. I got off a trolley at Germantown and Erie Avenue to wait for another trolly to take me to Germantown and Cheltin Ave. where the supermarket was located.

Once at the trolly-stop, I noticed a small crowd standing around a police car sitting on the corner. I just had to walk over and see what was going on... The cop had his regular car radio on, which was a shock to me. The lady next to me was crying... what could have happened I wondered? Then I heard the words... words I never, ever thought I would hear... "Once again folks, we must tell you that John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was shot today in Dallas, Texas."

I was stunned... My mouth had to have dropped open. This couldn't be true. My mind raced back a few years when he was running for President and I was a paperboy delivering The Evening Bulletin in my neighborhood. I had gotten hold of about 100 small pictures of Kennedy and took it upon myself to stuff the newspapers with his picture prior to sticking them in the doors of my customers.

Then The Bulletin had a contest for the carriers... whoever signed up the most new customers would have a chance to actually go to the inauguration. To make a long story short... I knew I just HAD to win... and I did. That day I got to see people that most people have only read about in history books... Eisenhower, Truman, Johnson, Robert Kennedy, JFK's parents, J. Edgar Hoover and even General Douglas MacArthur! The parade was simply unbelievable. Of course the big moment was when JFK and Jackie rode past in the convertible limo... What a day...

The radio in the patrol car continued... and I couldn't focus. Little did anyone that day ever imagine what was in store for the country in the coming days and years... Viet Nam, Watergate, Mr. I Didn't Have Sex with that Woman, and Iraq...

I'd rather be back in Camelot.

Observations and Questions

Birth Announcements and Dusty Death Notices
Born this date in 1961, Mariel Hemingway, Ketchum Id, actress. And of course in today's sad, sad death notices we find John F. Kennedy, shot in Dallas in 1963.

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