Where I Was 40 Years Ago (a radio story)

Kevin Vahey kvahey@tmail.com
Fri Nov 21 16:27:39 EST 2003

Freshman at the former Cambridge Latin. A little after 2 PM as we gather 
in home room for dismissal, the principal would make his weekly 
announcements. I remember he started to say "President Kennedy..." and 
my mind finished his sentence "will be in Cambridge this weekend". Only 
a month before at a Harvard football game had I actually shaken hands 
with the President, and for some reason that day I took a camera and got 
his picture.
After the announcement we went to our lockers and the kid next to me was 
laughing "What's Lyndon doing?" which was a punch line in the popular 
First Family album that was out at the time. (An album that Ken Meyer 
would never play again on WBOS)

Racing home, I remember hearing the National Anthem coming out of a 
window, and I knew he was dead. Then spent the next 4 days in front of 
the TV like everyone else. I remember my Mother calling Jerry Williams 
that night and crying, and she was never a caller.

Little did we know that it would take 4 guys from Liverpool 2 months 
later to snap America out of its funk. It just can't be 40 years...

On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 1:58pm, Donna Halper wrote:
> On another list, we were asked where we were when Kennedy was shot, and 
> this was my reply:
> I was at Roslindale High School, where I was doing what I normally 
> did-- trying to listen to the radio whenever my classes got too 
> boring.  Even then, I loved radio and got into trouble more than once 
> for sneaking in my transistor to listen to sports (I loved baseball) or 
> listen to the top 40 stations. I hid the little earpiece and hoped 
> nobody would notice, but alas, they sometimes did, which is another 
> story for another time.   I was not listening at the moment when 
> Kennedy was shot, but I did have my radio with me-- something I had 
> been told not to do by the principal,  so when he poked his head into 
> my civics class, and called my name, I figured I was in trouble again.  
> His name was Dr O'Leary (I never figured out what he was a doctor 
> of...) and he said "Donna, do you have your radio with you?"  Figuring 
> I was about to get suspended, I said I didn't.  He said, "I just got a 
> phone call that the president may have been shot and I need somebody 
> with a radio."  Once I realised I wasn't in trouble, I admitted I did 
> have it with me and took it out.  I don't recall what station I 
> listened to (my guess is WHDH, which is what my parents listened to), 
> but I do recall that I was the one who confirmed for everyone the 
> terrible news that yes, it was no rumour; the president really had been 
> shot.  And so much changed for all of us after that.

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