Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
|November 22, 1963.
The day started out like any other. I was in 6th grade. There were so many of us that we didn't fit in the elementary school, so we attended school in the basement of the junior high. There were 150 of us, split into 3 classes. Yes, we had 50 kids in each class, and we learned.
My teacher was a HUGE guy. He was the first male teacher we'd had and he scared us all. :)
We were like orphans in that basement. We rarely went back to the elementary school, although occasionally we did for some concert or something. And we never participated in any of the junior high activities.
The only interaction we might have with junior high students was with the guys (and a few gals) who took wood shop or metal shop. Those were also in the basement. So was the rifle range, also mostly used by male students.
The shop teachers were scary dudes with HUGE paddles with holes in them. We knew that only because sometimes when we were on the way to the restroom, we saw one of the shop guys being paddled. They never flinched.
We were taking French, so our French teacher was at the front of our classroom that day, and our regular teacher was off somewhere when the first announcement came over the intercom that President Kennedy had been shot.
Not long after that, the loud speaker squawked again and we listened as a news guy cried as he told us all that our President had died.
Our French teacher said, "they cannot keep us from praying at a time like this" (because prayer had been outlawed in the classrooms) and so we all prayed together and cried. Then the girls all ran to the restroom so we could hug and cry together and sit on the floor. The boys all stood in the hallway hugging too and trying not to show emotions but having a rough time of that.
I don't remember the ride home on the school bus that day. But I do remember sitting on the floor of the living room for days watching the news and funeral coverage with my mother and grandmother. Thinking back now, I wonder what my younger brother and sister were doing while we were so absorbed.
After that, my mother bought every book and magazine that she could find about the assassination and the aftermath and she and I poured over them. That continued for about a decade or more for us. We wanted to try to understand how and why our President was shot.