I’ve been musing a lot lately about the assassination of John F Kennedy, 50 years ago this week. I have a poem on this site that deals obliquely with that time entitled The Waldorf Astoria (Family Album, New York, August 1963). But that date, November 22, 1963 has another significance. When I was a girl my father — a high school teacher — would get up first in the morning, letting my mom sleep in. He’d wake me around 7 a.m. and I’d go downstairs and put on the coffee water while he got ready showered, and shaved. However when I went downstairs I noticed the front door was ajar and since I didn’t have my glasses on I just thought it was strange, but probably was because my parents had been out the night before and perhaps they just didn’t close it completely.
I asked my dad why the front door was open and my dad went into John Wayne/ The Protector mode. Someone had broken into the house, gone upstairs into my parents bedroom, stolen my mother’s purse (what they didn’t take was strewn across the front lawn) and taken our car, a 1956 Packard. The thing that was really upsetting is that there was a knife with a 6 inch blade stuck in the front lawn.
As discombobulating as this event had been I thought, since I was in Jr. High School (what is now called middle school) that I had the Big Story to tell my classmates that day. And I did. Until the P A system came on during math class and the Principal announced that a terrible tragedy had happened, our president had been shot….
If only my story had been the only story that day….