Friday, November 22, 2013

Nov 22, 1963

My dad, who detested the Kennedys, was shocked. It's one thing to steal an election with two thousand suspect Chicago votes, quite another to nullify the election  with a gun.  He was moved by the funeral, by the symbolism.

I don't think I had any strong feelings one way or another about JFK.  If I expressed any, I didn't know what I was talking about.  I remember the weekend & funeral as extraordinary, out of the realm of experience for everyone, a combination of tragedy, sadness & fascination.

 JFK  wasn't spoken well of around my Republican home. He certainly livened things up around the White House, the antithesis of the grandfatherly Eisenhower. All the Camelot stuff, generated while he was in office, was so much silliness to me. You had to be blind to believe Jack wasn't cheating on Jackie. He didn't seem especially "liberal," except in his cultural tastes, which even he admitted was Jackie's sophistication. In 11/63 We knew The Beatles were coming soon. I didn't expect the level of hysteria they had generated in England. They didn't come to America because Kennedy was killed, but a wintry, post-assassination melancholy created a vacuum for their "Yeah Yeahs" to fill. By the end of 1963, "I want to Hold Your Hand" was creating a major buzz among younger teenagers (11 to 15, the older ones were somewhat resistant). Kennedy's death & the British Invasion have always been linked for me. Kids were quick to put Kennedy's assassination behind us. It took only six or seven weeks.


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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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