November 18, 2013

Filling the Airwaves

It’s been a week of Kennedy things.  The airwaves are full just like they were fifty years ago.  Every few days a new film or photograph is discovered.  New interviews are read.  I admit that I’ve been watching them all as best I can.  One of my guiltiest secrets is that I didn’t vote for him.  I came from a staunch Republican family and didn’t think when I voted.  JFK’s idealism converted me to a Democrat.

My ex-husband and I got out of the Army, and combining a little cash from his dad and money from our two jobs, he began school at Art Center.  On November 22, 1963, I was at work for the Federal Reserve Bank downtown LA.  I was just coming out of the lunch line with a half avocado filled with French dressing in my hand when someone told me that Kennedy had been shot.  Frankly, I didn’t believe them.

When I got home, I found our small black and white television filled with the grainy, gruesome history.  I rarely left it in the next few days.  This week I have been reliving those memories that now include interviews with the Secret Service man who jumped on the back of the Lincoln.  There have also been interviews with the young pallbearers who carried that heavy load, and the one deleted frame on the Zapruder film for the first time.

He died on Friday.  The beat of the drums filled our hearts for the rest of that weekend and beyond. 

Where were you when Kennedy was shot?

Life is Really in the Footnotes:
  He’s had estate sales on the mind this weekend.  He found a wonderful but worn out Eames Chair for $75.00 that we didn’t get.  Found a new place to eat that pleased us both.  Gym this morning.
  • Herself:  Haven’t found much of anything at the estate sales, but I’ve loved looking at these homes from the upper crust to the very simple tract house. 
  • Reading:  Finished “Shatter” which is very well written but too long.
  • Balance:  Today is play day with a stop at Sprouts grocery store for yogurt.


    1. I had walked home for lunch. I was in the 6th grade. I always went into the living room to watch a bit of news before I returned to school. And there it was. My life has never been the same.

    2. I didn't vote for him either; I was only 20 in 1960, and you still had to be 21. I can't watch most of the material that's on this week; it's just too painful. I would rather remember the good stuff, because it could never be that good again.

    3. Katren...In ConclusionNovember 18, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      He was the first person I voted for. When he was shot, I was at home with 3 small children. Husband was in hospital with a terrible burn. When I got there, that day, the nurses had told him. We had no TV or radio. I had met JFK when he was a senator and they lost a son near the time that we did. I felt very close. I did see the funeral procession on a small bw TV in the lounge of the hospital. (no TV in rooms then). Later, I knew two retired policement. One had charge of the rifle from its discovery until its lockup at Dallas PD and the other was Oswald's guard at the jail.

    4. I am surprised you feel guilty for not voting for him. I worked in his campaign and met him. but I was not old enough to vote for him. (I thought you and I were the same age)

      When I met him I was shoved into his back at a campaign event (he smelled wonderful…he wore the same aftershave as Rudolph Valentino…an orange blossom scent). I asked him to autograph his book 'The Strategy of Peace,' which was about fighting the Cold War. Then he uttered those unforgettable words, "Do you have a pen?" About fifty people pulled out a pen and offered it to him.

      Anyone who thinks he was a progressive Democrat is rewriting history. He was a Classical Liberal in every sense…just like Truman

      That he was killed by a Communist and some in the Left (Oliver Stone) still blame the Right for his death makes me very angry.

      Where was I?…in Naval Base quarters at Quantico VA, when my neighbor knocked on my door to tell me he was dead.

      We drove to his gravesite December 6 (I got frostbite standing in line, holding my six-month old baby. The flowers, hats etc. you saw on TV, were still there. [Washington is about 1/2 hour from Quantico]

      He was a man, largely mythologized today, and not at all like his brothers whom I detested. In fact, I don't much like the family at all, for many reasons, including personal ones. And, I repeat, he was killed by a Communist.


    5. I was a senior in high school and was sitting outside on the school lawn eating lunch. One of the underclassmen had her portable and was listening to music. When she heard she walked up to each little lunch group with the bad news. I, also, thought she must be spoofing, but soon learned not. It was a long depressing weekend. I had worked for the young Democrats, so especially bad.

    6. I was a junior sitting in trigonometry class. Our high school had no halls, just wide covered walkways. Our windows were open and we heard a student far from our second-floor classroom shout, "The President has been shot."

      i thought it was an awful, disrespectful joke. Someone in my next class had rounded up a small TV and we stayed somber, subdued and glued to the TV, uncertain about the future of a world where our nation's larger than life leader could be so violently destroyed.

    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    8. I was driving from the school where I was teaching to Melbourne university to my 5 p.m. lecture. (I was finishing my degree while working.) I stopped at a traffic light and a newspaper seller there was shouting "Kennedy assassinated!!"
      Interesting, isn't it, how people all over our planet can remember where they were when they first heard that news.

    9. I didn't vote for him either. I was 8 when he was shot. And Canadian. ;)

      But I do remember it well. My parents had a variety store and were both working there at the time, so that's where I went after school that day.

      My mom had such a somber look on her face when she told me and I realized right then and there the impact it had on so many.

      The three main events that evoke powerful memories for me are Kennedy's shooting (along with Oswald's shooting and Ruby's arrest), the moon landing and the WTC attack.

    10. I was a senior at the University of Washington, sitting in the Husky Den when it came on TV. I watched until time for my art class and I went to be with friends there and cried all afternoon.

    11. I am two weeks younger than Caroline Kennedy. We would both turn 6 years old within days after the assassination. My clearest memory is that of being at home, probably after kindergarten, listening to my Dad tell me. He was very upset.

    12. Check out the tree I photographed in memory of you cause you are so memorable. Dianne

    13. I was at my elementary school. I remember little girls not playing but sitting on benches crying. It all seemed like a bad dream.

    14. RYN: they're fixed but not by me. Boots' ear has been tipped and altho Sylvie doesn't have a tipped ear, she's never been in heat.

    15. I was in my freshman dorm doing whatever freshmen do. Julie Pepitone (somehow related to the famous joe Pepitone ) came onto the floor and sort of yelled/moaned "the president has been shot." I don't think anyone fully processed that for a minute. Then I just remember that everyone on campus seemed to walk to the central commons in shock. Professors and students hugged and cried ; everyone was bewildered and frozen. Our idealistic lives were forever changed.

    16. I was in Lahore, West Pakistan.

    17. I remember being in the kitchen of my old home and staring unbelieving at the radio.
      After years of doom and gloom he seemed to be a handsome saviour when anything would be possible. There was a universal grief.

    18. There has been a lot in the news about the Kennedy assassination here too. I can still remember the day. I remember everyone walking around in shock. Our teacher stopped math class to find a radio so we could all listen. It was unbelievable. It was like the color of the sky had changed.


    What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


    Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...