A couple of weeks ago in my blog called Elections, I made reference to this date. This Sunday will be 57 years from that mark of time. I want to expand on the ‘death of innocence’ that occurred that day. It was my first of several “I remember exactly where and when” moments. I was walking down the hall after 4th hour Gym. We had the third lunch and like most 14 year old boys, we were tripping each other, punching, joking and hungry as badgers after hibernation. We were met in the entrance to the cafeteria by our coach and gym teacher Mr. Clay. He was crying, “President Kennedy has been shot”. That was all he said. We went on into the cafeteria and it was eerily silent. It was Friday, and in Pueblo which was half Catholic, that meant fish sticks. They sat on my tray staring at me.
A few minutes later Mr. Wilkerson our principal, came on the PA and said, “We have received confirmation that President Kennedy is dead”. Mrs. Kline our math teacher, burst into tears right in front of us. “Excuse me, just put away your work and please be quiet”. We were. The next thing I remember doing was going to basketball practice. It was weird. What was usually noisy and raucous was lifeless. Finally our coach said, “I need to go home and I am sure you do too”. I got home and my dad had already come to be with my mom. They were Republicans, but John Kennedy was their age, a WWII vet with a family. Although they did not often agree with his politics he was our President. That was a Friday and Thanksgiving was very late that year.
We never had a chance to really find out why Lee Oswald did what he did. Books and movies galore have speculated, but on Sunday the 24th right in front of our eyes, Jack Ruby took revenge into his own hands and killed Oswald and took away any chance of finding out the why. Conspiracy theories abound ~ so what? Tomorrow is the 22nd and like many of my generation, I revisit this marker in our teen years.
Today’s youth don’t have a day, but rather a year—2020. No school, life on the screen, families stressed to the breaking point, and an election where the truth has been sacrificed for power and political courage is in very short supply.
I call my grandkids and kids often. I need to hear their voices and see their Face Time faces. I am totally alone this week in our home. MK is in
California helping our daughter Stephanie and family move from a small condo into a home. I am thrilled for all of them. I am not feeling the least bit abandoned but grateful.
On Thanksgiving day my plan is to go to Burger King and buy two Impossible Burgers with a large order of fries. I will eat one for lunch as I FaceTime my various family units around the country. The other will be my ‘left overs’ that will comfort me for the third and final football game I watch. I will find myself wondering more than once how the world might have been different had Lee Harvey Oswald missed his target from the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository. Ironically, I was in the exact spot with my son in law Christian on a November 22nd not so many years ago.
Tomorrow around noon I will take few minutes and ask God for direction in these uncertain times. I suspect the answer will sound much like Micah 6:8 “What does the Lord require of you? Do Justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God”. Amen
Onward and Upward, .
2 thoughts on “November 22, 1963”
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Mark- I have a beautiful song based on that scripture: “Micah’s Song”. It is on my Spirit of the Dove album, and could be the title cut: “Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.” I am trying to send you a link.
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