Monday, May 21, 2007

Where were you? (1)

The Day John F Kennedy was shot.

I remember the day JFK was shot. (Nov 1963). I had just gotten out of school and was waiting for my mom or someone to pick me up. I came out of the Pinehurst school by way of the office doors - which was weird, since I was in the old building for classes. Maybe we had PE in the gym before school let out. . .(not sure). A friend of ours, D. (Caldwell) Phillips came by to pick me up. As she walked toward me, she said the President had been shot. I was only 10, so I didn't really understand the magnitude of what had happened. I thought, "Why would anyone want to shoot the President?" I didn't realize it was a mortal wound.

When we got to my house, I think the TV was already on, and my mom was "glued" to the set. For the next few days, that's all that was on television: The President's motorcade, the shots, the President slumping over, First Lady Jacqueline, leaning over the President. News of the President's death, swearing in of Johnson, the first family in black, Little John saluting the casket as the funeral procession went by. It was sad, but I think it was more sad for my mom. She was older, and understood the sorrow of the President's death on his family. I remember the images, but I don't remember the pain.

The Lunar Landing

I was at the Carver's house sitting on the living room floor watching Neil Armstrong step onto the lunar surface. I was glad I shared that moment with my friends. It would not have had the same impact if I had watched it at home. The moment was exciting. We had been anticipating such an event since our early grade school years, when we read books like: Someday, You Will Go to the Moon. We knew this day was history in the making, and unlike a national tragedy, this was national triumph. We talked about what exciting days we were living in, and the posibility of space travel in our future. It was difficult to imagine that the moon we saw in the sky, was actually where our astronauts had travelled and had now set foot. "This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong


raymond pert said...

Remember Cindy Rowley from high school? Her brother Dave told me Kennedy had been shot. I was shooting "baskets" though a brace that held up the fire escape. We didn't have any basketball hoops outside and I was shooting through that. I say Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald live on Sunday as we were all getting ready to go to church.

I was part of the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Farragut State Park. When the astronauts landed on the moon a cheer when up across the whole park, Boy Scouts, leaders, visitors, everyone. It was pretty thrilling.

myrtle beached whale said...

wow, Pinehurst school must have been in a different time zone than Silver King. It was just after lunch when we heard about it. All the teachers were crying and of course we did not quite understand the magnitude. They herded us all into the gym and we did exercises because one of the teachers mentioned that JFK was all about physical fitness. They had to find something for us to do until the buses ran, because no teacher could teach at that point. Funny how people react.

Justice Fergie said...

I wasn't around yet for either of these, but it must have been life-changing to experience them!

thanks for visiting our blog. and I liked your suggestion on how to deal with the kid's to staying sane!

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Second time trying to post on my own blog. Took a detour, and poof! the comment box was gone!

RP: I knew the Rowley's. They were first cousins of the Johnson girls.

I saw Rudy shoot Oswald too, and thought, "Now we'll never know what really happened!"

I'll bet being at Farragut with all those scouts made the Moon landing very exciting. (I didn't get to go for obvious reasons - dang it!) I didn't realize both events happened concurrently. Guess I compartmentalized the Jamboree (a BIG deal for Northern Idaho) as a "So close, and yet so far" event for the girls in the Silver Valley.

MBW: You are more mature than I by a couple of years - so you'd remember the details. It is likely, that they had shuffled us to the gym in Pinehurst for the same reason, because the fact I exited the larger building to be picked up by a family friend were both out of the ordinary.
By the way, didn't JFK start the Presidential Fitness Award?

JF: The events were defining moments, and for me the Moon Walk made a bigger impression, because it happened nearly 6 yrs later.

Glad I could help you get some sanity with the kiddie parties. I had some crazy parties, until I read a book my mother-in-law had about children's parties (written in the 50s or 60s.) Prior to: I did a "Rainbow" party for my oldest when she turned 3. Rainbow cake, rainbow jello, rainbow bread. . .all homemade. . .all last minute. . .I was wearing long underwear top and sweat bottoms, my hair a frazzled mess, when the kids arrived.

myrtle beached whale said...

I may be older than you but I doubt seriously if I am more mature.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Ok, I was trying to say older without saying "older." When I blog, I resort to the age I was when the events happened - so I guess the maturity thing is relative. . .for all of us.

InlandEmpireGirl said...

I was also at Sunnyside school, but I think Mr. Koepl then came on the intercom. It was a scratchy sounding thing. He cleared his throat about three times when he talked, then his voice just boomed. I think he asked for a moment of silence.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Mr. Koepl was probably really shook up - as were all the teachers. Most people were really patriotic and in awe of the Presidents then. I think we have lost a level of respect for the office, by focusing on the man, rather than the position. (And there have been some Presidents who abused the position, and should have been impeached. - At least Nixon resigned.)