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View Diary: John Kennedy smiled at me. Five minutes later, he was dead. (176 comments)

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  •  I was on the UC Berkeley campus (4+ / 0-)
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    foresterbob, Caneel, NonnyO, Bluefin

    coming out of a Zoology exam when I noticed a crowd rushing towards the Student Union. I could  hear yelling and sensed that something truly awful had happened.   What was going on??  Instantly, I joined the flow and raced along with the flood of others towards the Student Union building.  

    In the lobby of the Student Union building  a hushed crowd gathered around  a small black and white TV.

    Transfixed and petrified, I waited until Walter Cronkite
    announced that President Kennedy was dead.   Then I went home.  The world has not been the same since.  

    Now, 50 years later, I have no appetite for reliving this moment.  It was quite enough the first time.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:09:41 PM PST

    •  If you have offspring... (0+ / 0-)

      ... write a private missive about that day, what you went through, how it affected you, why, and leave it for your kids and grandkids and great-grandkids to read.

      Or give it to your family historian, if you have a genealogist in the family.  They'll thank you for it because it was such an important day in the lives of Americans.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 03:58:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe I will take your suggestion, NonnyO. (1+ / 0-)
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        There is so much more I could tell about that day and it is so hard to relive it, but you are right, it was a hugely important historical day.

        Recently I visited the JFK Memorial Library in Boston and was moved to tears when I saw his little sail boat nestled against the soaring I.M. Pei building, empty and pointing out to sea.


        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:13:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's a great idea. I always wanted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to do a recorded interview with my father in law. He was a teenager in France during the occupation. He was a linguist who ended up as a translator for the general of what I think was the 82nd airborne.

        When I first asked him what he did during the occupation I expected him to tell me about being a kid since my own father was but the stories he told took my breath away. I wish I could have gotten it all on tape so that his descendants would be able to listen but unfortunately he died before I had a chance.

        Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

        by Mike S on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:57:10 AM PST

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        •  Sorry to hear that.... (0+ / 0-)

          It could have been enlightening.

          I got quite a different spin on the Dust Bowl and Depression years when one uncle (who I found out later was with Patton's 6th, and he and his armored unit opened a concentration camp - Buchenwald, I think - and I never knew he got a purple heart and another medal until I read his obit) told me that during the Depression their family never went hungry.  Up where we were all born and raised everyone had gardens (still do, often very large gardens), and they had enough rain to grow good veggies.  All the women canned and preserved veggies, wild berries for jams and jellies, etc.  Uncle said they were money poor and he remembered working on farms at harvest time for twenty-five cents a week plus room and board, and never went hungry because they still had good food.

          Uncle flatly refused to talk about his war experiences when I asked about opening the concentration camp.  "Some things are best left in the past."  The only time he opened up was a tirade after I asked him what he thought of the Red Cross (after a co-worker said "Don't ever ask a WWII vet about the Red Cross!").  Red Cross charged for their services of serving coffee and sandwiches and they were way behind active combat zones in safe areas.  Many men had no cash with them even after payday because they had no place to cash checks, or their paychecks were sent home.  The Salvation Army came with them to the front, handed out free food and sandwiches and cigarettes to the guys and never asked for anyone to pay anything.  Uncle said he wouldn't walk across the street to spit on the Red Cross, but if all he had was the shirt on his back he'd take it off and give it to the Salvation Army.  Yep.  I got my ears blistered but good that day about the Red Cross, and I never forgot it.

          Still, altho the family story is that after the war Uncle had a short period of time where he nearly drank himself to death (he didn't drink in my living memory), I couldn't break the impenetrable wall of silence regarding his experiences with his armored division in Patton's 6th Army.  It must have been one helluva time....

          The two things to ask Depression Era people is "Where were you when you heard about Pearl Harbor being bombed?" and "Where were you when you heard JFK was shot?"

          For the Baby Boomer generation it's "Where were you when you heard JFK was shot?"  "Where were you when you heard Bobby was shot?"  "Where were you when you heard John Lennon was shot?"  Depending on where one lived, another question might be "Where were you when you heard MLK was shot?"

          By the time Bobby was shot I was a young adult out in the working world and I heard about his murder while I was at work.  I was listening to the news when I heard about Lennon's murder.  I have zero recollection of where I was when I heard about MLK's murder.  I always regarded him as a religious leader, and in my mind that still very firmly keeps church and state totally separate, his death only represented another religious martyr and nothing to do with the political world.  (I hold "religious leaders" to higher standards, so I lost all respect for him as a result of his adultery.)

          Other than waking up to Peter Jennings talking about planes flying into the towers and me sleepily wondering why he was in a movie because I understood the news people had contracts that said they couldn't appear in movies - until I fully woke up and realized it was fact, not fiction.... 9/11 had zero impact on me because I didn't know anyone who died, or know anyone who knew anyone who died that day, so I always kept my head about the topic and didn't go into extended and morbid mourning about one of the largest criminal acts in one day in our history... or accept the inexcusable horrors of lost rights and the USA's devolution into fascism and illegal and unconstitutional wars and (horror of horrors!), torture and later the inexcusable Nuremberg Defense given to the torturers by both Dumbya and then Obama.  The US has become an ugly place to live since that day and our Cretinous Congress Critters seem all too eager to lay down and be walked on by the religious reichwingnuts who now work through the White House's unconstitutional and illegal 'office of faith-based initiatives' and corporations (in particular) and big banks & Casino Wall Street..., and none too eager to give us back our full rights or repeal, in full, all of the legislation that took away our rights and habeas corpus.  Congress lost its collective mind, most have allowed corporations and big banking and Wall Street to buy the votes of Congress Critters who continue to erode our rights, and that is UNpardonable as far as I'm concerned.

          Individual experiences are very different from the national stereotype as presented to us on our televisions.  I think that's one reason they're so interesting to me as part of my genealogy research.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:39:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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