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BigDaddy BS: twentysecond of November (23) RE: BS: twentysecond of November 23 Nov 00

A sixth-grade kid (elementary school in thise days), walking home with my mom , having seen attended a play (Peter Pan) put on at the nearby junior high school by the "big kids." Approaching our house when the boy next door ran out to tell us President Kennedy had been shot. We didn't believe it because he was such a liar and because it was too preposterous anyway. When we got in the house, Mom switched on the TV to catch one of her afternoon soaps. Then we knew. The rest of that day and much of the next a blur of sadness and black and white funeral scenes. I (and many my young age) had felt that this was "our" president." I'd seen him speak at a local park in my home town when he was campaigning. I'd been allowed to stay home from school to watch the inauguration. We even had JFK "bubble gum cards," for heaven's sake. Two days after the assassination, my parents and I drove to Canada for a change of pace and a change of scenery. Everywhere we went, we were greeted with heartfelt condolences over our loss, as though we had lost a family member. And we felt as though we had. All these years later I still feel it. And, in anticipation of some who may be lurking out there just waiting to crash this remembrance: Yes, he was flawed (aren't we all?). Yes, he could have done a better job (who couldn't?). Yes, he was just a person (so what?). There was a an air, a magic about him, that caught the imagination and admiration of much of the world. When his brother Bobby came along, it was like discovering hope at the bottom of Pandora's box. My mom awoke me one fair spring day to tell me that he, too, had been shot and probably killed. I had had the good fortune to see him as well, a couple of years earlier when he had come to our town, campaigning for some local politicians. I even shook his hand. The world has been a sadder place since the loss of these two men. I mourned for them then and I mourn their loss now.

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