Archive for November 22nd, 2013

The JFK Week, Day 5

I was in sixth grade at De Zavala Elementary in Goose Creek ISD in Baytown. It was after lunch and it being a Friday we probably had fish sticks and fries that were served. Our teacher had stepped out then came in to tell us The President had been shot. The teacher went out and came back with a little radio and we listened to the news for the next couple of hours.

I remember our teacher telling a classroom of twenty or so Latino and Latina sixth graders that in Mexico they shoot their Presidents all the time. I actually believed that for a while until I learned about Mexico history on my own in an encyclopedia while in junior high. I kind of figured later why our teacher said that.

When I got home I immediately turned on the tube and our family sat there the rest of the evening watching the events and reports. I remember my grandmother who lived next door was with us and she wept most of the night.

There was nothing to do the weekend but watch the events. In those days a remote control was a luxury so we kind of stuck to one channel then on occasion switch to another.

I was absolutely floored when Lee Oswald was shot Sunday morning. It was a jolt, like in a scary or 3D flick. It was surreal – like this wasn’t supposed to happen on live TV. My reaction was what is going to happen now.

Images I still recall 50 years later.

John John saluting.

The First Lady with a veil being escorted by her brothers-in-law Bobby and Ted.

The military guard.

The horse without a rider with a pair of boots in the stirrups facing the rear.

The pink suit.

Haile Selassie and Charles de Gaulle paying their respects.

President Johnson addressing the nation after Air Force One landed in DC.

The drum cadence.

The eternal flame.

Monday was declared a national day of mourning so that meant there was no school so we stayed home and watched the funeral.

As I recall the networks returned to regular programming Monday evening.

I don’t think I ever cried that weekend and probably because I may have been a bit too young to fully grasp the impact of the events. What I did get from that weekend experience was a sense of awareness of the need to want to pay attention and learn. Why did this happen? What is going on in our country that allows for a popular President to get shot and killed? So I became hooked and starting watching the news, reading more than the sports pages and comics, start using the internet of our time – the encyclopedia. I started to pay attention to elections and what my Dad was doing in politics.

My friend State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos was in Studio 1A on “Today” a little while ago remembering President Kennedy.

The other day the Big Jolly fella spanked the Board of the Harris County Department of Education for spending over a quarter of a mil to hire a former GOP legislator as their lobbyist. The motion to hire was passed on the votes of the Dems on the Board. I don’t know about that. If you are going to vote to hire a lobbyist, why not hire a former Dem legislator. What are they thinking?

The owner of the ‘Stros is suing my pal Drayton. The owner says he was “duped” and sold an overpriced team. I don’t know about that. When you buy an MLB club aren’t you supposed to check everything out and have your folks go over the books and stuff? Maybe he should sue the fellas that were in charge of helping him do the deal.

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