Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I remember most of this day so clearly in my mind.
My mother always had the television on in the mornings as we would prepare for school. The television was a very small modern set ~ we always got to try out the latest models since my father was a television and appliance manufacturers rep. It sat upon the Philco refrigerator.
That was the era of our beloved President John F. Kennedy.
I loved everything I read and heard about him. I loved his regal ways and his speeches..I felt safe with him in charge, but I was always worried for him.
I remember watching one morning when we got to take a visual tour of the White House with Mrs. Kennedy and gaze upon all the decorating she had done. I remember seeing her and the children.
The Kennedy family reminded me of my father's side of the family..big, Catholic family that spent summers together boating and enjoying each others company~lots of cousins and loving aunts and uncles.
The news of the world bothered me as a child as I would worry about the threats of communism. That was drilled into our heads as I was young. I used to lie in my bed at night and imagine going to the Soviet Union and speaking alone with Nikita Khrushchev. I had seen him stamp his shoe on the table in important meetings. I imagined how I would talk to him and convince him to no longer be a threat to the world. I would be the child that would save us all.
I would worry about the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs. Those types of worries carried over into my daily life as I walked to school. To this day, I avoid watching the news in the morning on television.
I remember the morning of November 22, 1963. I was standing in the kitchen ready to eat breakfast. I was facing the stove with my back to the television on its refrigerated stand and I heard the news man say that President Kennedy was going to Dallas that morning. I recall an imaginary map flashed in front of my face and I saw that it was the state of Texas. My finger traced a line to Dallas and my mind's eye followed it. I thought to myself.."Oh I wish he wasn't going there." Then I thought better of that and told myself that our President will be alright because he will be with 'our people'.
The news came over the loud speaker in that second floor art class in the early afternoon. I was in the 7th grade. I'll never forget the tearful memory of my classmates and me trying to finish out the class time.
I don't remember finishing out the rest of the day.