Friday, November 22, 2013

Not In Chronological Order

Up in the early morning to get to Lily's to stay with the boys for a few hours this morning. The boys may not even be awake when I get there or they may. One never knows.

I opened the paper and of course it's November 22 and what? The fiftieth anniversary of the day JFK was shot and I was nine years old and of course I remember where I was, what I was doing, who said what, the days and days of black-and-white TV reporting, the shock, the continuing shock, Jackie's blood-stained dress, LBJ's sorrowful big face, Oswald, Ruby, Walter Cronkite, tiny John-John, saluting his father (I remember where I was when I heard his plane had gone down too), the riderless horse, the fearsome, sorrowful, unbelievable time.
The Eternal Flame.

Of course now we know that JFK was a cheater, a philanderer of the highest order, literally in bed with mob women, probably a drug addict due to his constant pain, he was a man, a beautiful man, he was the handsome daddy we all (me, me!) wanted, he let his children play under his desk at the White House, his wife was a princess, she spoke in a breathy whisper, she wore hats and gloves and a sheath dress, she lost her baby, we cried, he got shot, he died, the tears could have fed the oceans, the country split apart, civil rights, it was all still somehow in black and white except for that pink dress, blood-stained, even Jackie's face above it, black-and-white, but that dress, oh, it was in lurid, Kodachrome, pink and red, pink and red, fading to black and white.

I was nine years old, we were all so young and it's still all a shock somehow, somehow still a mystery. How could that have happened? After that, anything could have happened. I'm still surprised we as a species didn't bomb ourselves into oblivion.


Fifty years ago.

I shouted out "Who killed the Kennedys?" and after all, it was you and me. 

Let me please introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste. And what's troubling you is the nature of my game. 

I gotta go. I have to go take care of my grandsons who are still so innocent. The death of a spider is a huge thing in their lives. So it should be.

All you need is love. Love is all you need. 

Here we are, fifty years later. Some of us still around to bear witness to that strange time.

The sky is paling, the morning bird calls up the sun.

Time to go.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Keep the babies as innocent as you can for as long as you can. The world is a messed up place.

  2. What a powerful and rich description of Jackie and that dress. You brought the past back to life.

  3. Every lifetime is full of terrible things, it seems. The merry-go-round of tragedy does not stop. Only love takes away the pain.

  4. You've said it all in your inimitable way with music woven in. I don't have to read anything else about the day, methinks.

  5. Just fantastic writing - ballad, poem, eulogy and more. Thank you. Thank you.

  6. Heartinhand- Doing my best, baby. Doing my best.

    Ms. Vesuvius- Part of my history. Lord, I have witnessed some strange and horrible and beautiful things.

    Denise- We've seen the entire spectrum, haven't we?

    Elizabeth- That was a six-thirty-a.m. stream of consciousness post. Maybe that's why I had such immediate communication with my nine-year old self.

    Tanya Wayne Goodman- Thank you so much for those kind words. Coming from you- well- they mean a lot.

  7. Yah, I remember where I was blah blah blah. It was 50 years ago and to be perfectly honest, I really don't care. I especially don't care to go over it and over it and over it now.

  8. Oh, you are so right about the pink dress. Such an icon! It's in the Library of Congress now, apparently, and cannot be viewed for something like 150 years. I wasn't alive for the assassination itself but what I remember is Kennedy's face everywhere when I was growing up, a kind of cultural hero, and the persistent conspiracy theories.

  9. Ellen Abbott- I don't really go over it in my mind very often but when I do think about it, it is incredibly clear, still.

    Steve Reed- And the conspiracy theories still abound. It was just too unthinkable that one insane man with a gun could create such horror.

  10. I think that JFK was just like everyone else in power--he was seduced by a lot of it. But he was also used to the powerful family and the father figure who also was into illegal activities. And a mother of steel. But it was nice to think of him as being the good guy which he probably was in many ways.


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