This is, as most Americans of a certain age – what a quaint phrase – the 45th anniversary of the assassination of the 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I remember it well, I think. Or, as I have surmised in the past, I may have shared the story with acquaintances so often that now I recall the retelling rather than the actual event. No matter.
The facts were these: I was in my fifth grade class at Daniel S. Dickinson school in Binghamton, NY when our teacher, Miss (Marie) Oberlik was called into the hall by someone. She came back into the class to announce that the President had been killed. then she left. Immediately our 10-year old minds were reeling. What happened? And what does this mean for the country. I’m fairly sure that we were not versed in the rulkes of Presidential succession and I doubt that I even knew who Lyndon Johnson was. Suddenly, Miss Oberlik returns to the class screaming, “Everyone else in the school is being quiet in respect fior the President!” Well, yeah, but I bet their teachers didn’t drop a bombshell on them and then LEAVE.
BTW, I also saw Lee Harvey Oswald get shot on live TV that weekend.
My questions, which I request that you answer:
1. Who was the first tragedy (death or other traumatic event) you know that was NOT personally involving your sphere of family and friends. For me it was JFK’s death; for my wife, who is younger than I am, it was Richard Nixon’s resignation, probabl;y for the reason I felt about JFK – what now? (Wheras I was rather pleased by Nixon’s departure.)
2. Who was the first person you knew personally to die?
For me, it was all in one short stretch of my great-grandfather (my paternal grandmother’s father), my paternal grandmother, and my great aunt (my maternal grandmother’s sister). They may have been a year or two apart, but they all feel now as though it were the same gloomy stretch. ROG