In the driveway, hearing about JFK


 I was four years old and change on the day that  JFK died.

I vividly remember that moment, when we first heard that our president had been shot.

My mother was pulling into the driveway of our house in our baby-blue Rambler station wagon. We’d been out doing errands. My three siblings were all at school. (That’s why I was “riding shotgun” that day. Where did that phrase come from?)

I was chattering away happily with my three little brothers. Suddenly, we were  “shushed,” and a man’s voice on the radio repeated the horrific words. I watched my mother’s face. She looked  shocked, stunned and sadder than I’d ever seen her before. That day, I added a new word to my vocabulary – “assassination.”  

Just the other day, I was watching a news story about that horrible day. When the footage ran of Lee Harvey Oswald getting shot on live television, it transported me right back.

I remember my mother’s gasp. I remember staring, transfixed. The president had been murdered, now his murderer had been murdered. I remember a palpable feeling of fear washing over me.

(Welcome to the 1960s, little one. This is just the beginning.)







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