Saturday, November 23, 2013

NOW Fifty (50) Years Later: November 23, 2013


Because, yesterday, November 22nd 2013, was the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of the USA 35th president John F. Kennedy, I am pausing from my "regular" topics as it feels somewhat disrespectful to veer from that subject.



And, as some of you may know if you follow TLLGs Facebook Page, I posted the image from AMMOLAND that can be seen atop today's entry. The text I included with the aforementioned entry is the following:

"As most everyone knows, today, November 22nd 2013, marks the 50th anniversary of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I listened to coverage on NPR, where the radio host posed these questions for callers: 'Where were you when the president was assassinated? If you were living in another country at the time, how did the event impact your life on that day? If you were not born at that time, what did your parents tell you about it?' 

"One woman called in and said that she had been born on that day and her mother always said it was the worst day of her life, as all the doctors and nurses who delivered her were sobbing. The radio announcer's reply: Happy 50th Birthday!

"AND WITH THAT, dear reader, I'll pose the same questions to you: Where were you when the president was assassinated? If you were living in another country at the time, how did the event impact your life on that day? If you were not born at that time, what did your parents tell you about it?"

As for where I was on that day, I was home from school watching the soap-opera As The World Turns with my mother (which I discussed in a 2010 entry here on Blogger); and at the time our family had its own soap opera going on: my dad had moved out of the house and my mother was inconsolable, and she constantly spoke of having a void, a void, I spent my childhood trying to fill.

Her sadness re my father's leaving had been heightened the day of the assassination as we were about to spend our first Thanksgiving without my father.

In any event, I was with her when the news bulletin interrupted the live soap opera, informing television viewers that the president had been shot, and then ultimately informing viewers that the president had been assassinated.

I am not sure what I was doing home from the fifth grade that day, but most likely I was seeing a doctor, as at the time I was in the throes of symptoms ("bumps" appearing all over my face, legs and arms) related to my having Neurofibromatosis Type-One (although the medical condition was not realized at the time).

Be that as it may, this year, the tragic event of Kennedy's assassination is on my mind and in my heart, as it is for many during this anniversary year, where the assassination also fell on a Friday, a Friday that like this year, was six days before 1963's Thanksgiving.

A thanksgiving when "President Lyndon Johnson addressed the nation on Thanksgiving Day  . . .  and  . . . announced that Florida's NASA Launch Operation Center would be renamed the John F. Kennedy Space Center and he asked the public to remain 'determined that from this midnight of tragedy we shall move toward a new American greatness.'"

During the aftermath of the assassination — especially those six days between JFK's assassination and Thanksgiving —  we did not talk much within our family unit. My mother told my sisters and I that this was "history in the making" and it seemed that there was not a moment that the television set was not blaring.

In the northwest Chicago suburban area where I grew up, a newscaster named Fahey Flynn always had more to say than any of us did, and I recall that one day when he was on the television, I groaned, "not Fahey Flynn!" 

Immediately my youngest sister went to my mom crying out, "Mom, Patti (a nickname she called me), called me Fahey Flynn."  This fact came to my mind when I saw a Soup to Nutz comic strip, which I have posted below.



The sentiment in the strip helped ease the paralysis I have been experiencing re carrying on with my own life during the dark hours of the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of the beloved John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

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