Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Winds of Change

I've been away for a few days licking my wounds. No, I didn't crack up the Fiberglas Flyer (my Corvette) but it's almost as bad. Read on to hear my tale of woe.

Wednesday afternoon three people on my team at work were called into the manager's office (individually, of course) and told we were being laid off due to the economic situation. I don't see how that's going to help my economic situation. At sixty years of age, it becomes a long process finding a new job. But regardless, it was decided. It's water under the bridge. So let it be written. So let it be done. So saith Pharoah.

So that's one change. Although it's a fairly major change in my personal life, it's actually minor compared to the change that occurred forty-five years ago. What I'm referring to is the incident that occurred on this infamous date back in 1963.

If you're a Boomer, you know exactly what I'm speaking of. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assinated around noon in Dallas, Texas. And, if you're a Boomer, you can probably recall exactly where you were and what you were doing and the exact words you heard at that moment.

I was in Mr. Frazier's Algebra I class. We were on the stairs, coming back from lunch, and heading back to the classroom when I heard another teacher tell Mr. Frazier what had happened. Shortly after that, back in the classroom, an announcement came over the intercom telling us what had occurred in Dallas. The next few days were spent in front of the television (a black and white American-made Zenith console) listening to the news, watching the funeral, and seeing Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on live television.

I'm certain the readers of this electronic rag could tell their own stories of those memories. I would love to read them if you would like to leave a comment.


Douglas said...

My story is similar to yours. I've pasted it from the blog post I wrote on my blog ( on November 22...

It happened 45 years ago today. If you're above a certain age, you almost certainly remember that dark day in Dallas, Texas, when President John F. Kennedy was killed. It all began when a soap opera was interrupted with a news bulletin that he had been shot.

I was playing soccer with my 8th-grade classmates when someone came running out of the school with the news. We all went back into the school and listened as the radio reports were broadcast over the intercom system and our teacher wiped away her tears.

After his death was confirmed, we were all sent home a couple of hours early. Later, I had to fold 80 newspapers with each one blaring ASSASSIN KILLS KENNEDY, a headline that was printed, for the first time in the paper's history, in bright red type.

As I made my rounds on my bicycle, delivering the devastating news to my neighbors, I felt dazed by the day's events, like I was in some kind of surreal dream. It was a day much like 9/11, in the sense that you knew the world would never be the same again.

By the way, Michael, I really enjoy your blog. I've added you to my blog roll of favorite nostalgia sites!

anny cook said...

Cool blog. That was my 14th birthday. I was in study-hall. Some girls behind me were singing Happy Birthday. Then the Vice-Principal came in made the announcement. One of those girls blurted out, "It's your fault. If it wasn't your birthday this wouldn't have happened."

Now, I KNOW it wasn't my fault. But at 14 these things really hurt. I remember they sent us home early from school. It certainly changed our world in an instant.