Where I Was 40 Years Ago (a radio story)
Fri Nov 21 15:31:30 EST 2003
As long as we're all sharing...
I was 12 years old, almost 13. In a month I would be bar-mitzvahed...not the time in one's life when one wants to suffer such a serious blow to adolescent optimism.
We began to hear rumors in school, but when you're that age, you almost automatically dismiss something so inconceivable. (The last assassination was in 1901, and there had been attempts on FDR and Truman.) We went back to homeroom before dismissal, and our homeroom teacher, a 20-something woman doing her first teaching assignment, was in tears and couldn't speak...but the tears caused some of us to connect the dots, so to speak.
I rode my bike home. The streets of Stoneham were never so quiet. My mother was almost inconsolable, and I had to watch Walter Cronkite for a few minutes to find out that it really was a bad dream come to life. I missed Walter's announcement of Kennedy's death, when he momentarily choked up, but I've seen it plenty of times since.
My late grandmother told me a few months later that she could never again look at a picture of JFK without feeling as if she had been punched in the stomach.
God, how innocent we were back then...until that weekend...
MIS Manager, Entercom Boston LLC
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