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Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:34 PM

RIP, John F. Kennedy, 5-29-1917 to 11-22-1963

Forty-nine years ago today, around 12:00 Mountain Standard Time, I passed through the garage and in the side door to the kitchen. I had just walked the block from Mrs. Spaulding's 5th grade classroom at Linden Park Elementary School to the house where I lived. I had traversed the same path from school to home each lunchtime for at least four school years. Maybe for a few months, when I was in Mrs. Wickham's 1st grade class, my Mother had been waiting outside the school and brought me home, but I don't remember that.

On this day, as I entered the kitchen, expecting a bowl of Campbell's chicken noodle soup and a PBJ sandwich, or maybe a bacon and peanut butter sandwich and tomato soup if I was lucky, my Mother confronted me. THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN KILLED, she said ... (or something to that effect - I can't testify about the exact words). I vividly remember turning around, walking back through the garage, and out onto the sidewalk, as though I had somehow stumbled into a different world, that wasn't mine, and I had to escape.

At some point I went back home, ate my lunch, and returned to school. I don't remember. But I knew my world had changed. 11 years old, 5th grade would not be the same.


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Reply RIP, John F. Kennedy, 5-29-1917 to 11-22-1963 (Original post)
DreamGypsy Nov 2012 OP
orpupilofnature57 Nov 2012 #1
Freddie Nov 2012 #2
No Vested Interest Nov 2012 #3
Bennyboy Nov 2012 #4
kestrel91316 Nov 2012 #5
Still Sensible Nov 2012 #6

Response to DreamGypsy (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:44 PM

1. My kindergarten teacher was the most delightful, happy person I've ever known,

not that day , I've never seen a person so overcome with grief, she had to be physically carried out of our classroom .

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Response to DreamGypsy (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:49 PM

2. The school secretary came to the door and called our teacher out

She had never done that before. Second grade. Teacher told us President Kennedy had been shot and was injured. Ten minutes later the secretary came back and told the teacher he was killed. Like every kid then we wondered why there were no cartoons on that Saturday.

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Response to DreamGypsy (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:49 PM

3. I was at my in-laws home in N.J.

They were not favorably inclined to President Kennedy.
I wanted to be home near my own family in Ohio - my parents who would understand the grief I felt that day and for days to come as we were glued to television, trying to absorb each sorrowful detail of the funeral.

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Response to DreamGypsy (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:15 PM

4. I was playing football with my friend Miles

 

and his mom. my Mom and all the Moms came running out of the house sobbing "The President's been killed" All the Moms all gathered right in the middle of street. And cried. Then the Dad's came home and all the families gathered as if it was someone close to them......

Not sure why we were home that day but we were. We were playing, in full uniforms (remember those Boomers?) when it happened.

Little did we know that was the end of the "Leave it Beaver" America. The end of the innocence.

A year later, the BEATLES invaded America and that blew the lid off the sixties.

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Response to DreamGypsy (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:40 PM

5. We were on vacation in Baguio in the Philippines

(my dad was USAF and we were stationed in Japan for 3 years). I was 6 that year, the same age as Caroline.

We had gone for a walk that day - we passed a big white building that I think was the ambassador's formal summer residence, and the flag was at half mast, so we thought some official must have died. Later, as we wrapped up our walk near the miniature golf course, a young Filipino man who worked there came running across the grass to us, yelling that the President had been shot and killed.

I don't remember my parents' reaction or my sister's, and don't really remember my own emotional state, but I remember that exact moment. The video clip of him running across that lawn to us is burned into my brain, so it obviously was a shocking and distressing thing to me.

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Response to DreamGypsy (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:06 PM

6. I was in Miss Huba's third grade class

at Mark Twain elementary school in Bettendorf, Iowa. I had walked the six blocks home for lunch and left to walk back to school about 12:30 Central Time.

Arriving back at school, a couple kids that lived closer said they just heard on the TV that President Kennedy had been shot. Most of us hanging around before walking back in the building didn't believe them.

We were all seated at our desks when the bell rang at 12:55. Miss Huba walked in. She looked white as a ghost. She said class was dismissed and we were all to go straight home.

By the time I got back home, Mom had the TV on, tuned to the local Rock Island CBS station. My dad, a DOD foreman at Rock Island Arsenal, had called her a few minutes after I had left to walk back to school. A few minutes later, I watched Walter Cronkite make the announcement.

For the next 3 1/2 days we were glued to the TV. We alternated back and forth between CBS and NBC. We were watching live when Ruby shot Oswald.

That Sunday night, my grandfather--who was 83 and lived with us--said to me "Don't believe this Oswald is the whole story. Somebody powerful wanted President Kennedy dead and now we'll probably never know the real story." It was a strange comment because I never saw anything before or after that indicated Grandpa was in any way political or even cared much about current events.

Still almost three months shy of my 9th birthday, I knew the whole world changed that day.

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