Friday, November 22, 2013

The Day After Kennedy Was Shot

My earliest toddler and childhood memories are surreal to me. I'm not sure when they became that way but it seems like my memories from that period of my life have always been wrapped in some type of haze. I can make a few summations about the phenomenon that would probably have psychologists and psychoanalysts running for their pads, pencils and their phones to call me. The earliest memory I have that is crystal clear to me is the Saturday after Kennedy was shot in Dallas. Being a mere five years old at the time, I got up and turned on the television to watch my favorite cartoons.
     Instead of watching my usual round of shows I watched a film of John F. Kennedy being shot over and over again. I waited patiently for hours, changing the channels and hoping that something would finally make it through the constant footage. One particular segment was a film taken from directly behind the car and at street level. I watched this particular clip on every channel I tuned in on and so the memory of it is as clear as a bell- a memorized vision so to speak. I watched as his head suddenly moved forward as if it had been pushed then immediately his head went backward with the same sudden, jolting motion. At that point Jackie had turned to him and her alarm was already evident and his head made another sudden jolting movement toward her. As I continued to watch, her reaction looked hysterical and before the film abruptly ends she was trying to climb out the back of the car perhaps thinking of her own safety.
     Many years later, books and films were written and produced which suggested otherwise from what I witnessed. The titles are almost endless but a few that I personally own are On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison, Crossfire The Plot that Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs and Best Evidence which was written by David S. Lifton. Even though two of these books claimed to be the inspiration for Oliver Stone's film JFK none of these extensively written and researched books correspond, completely, with what I witnessed that day in watching that particular film over many times. I'm not sure how many times I watched it but if it was fifty separate viewings I would not be surprised. I wouldn't be surprised if I found out that I watched more times than that and I couldn't count that high anyway. Not yet. My memory of what I watched says that he was shot three times and at three different angles. Eyewitnesses in Dallas shortly afterward stated that they heard shots come from the grassy knoll near the site but that would've been in the direction which his head never moved away from and if they had come from that area then Jackie would have been shot as well.
     I'm not trying to split hairs but it has seemed to me that nothing has been quite right about people ever since that day. I learned that no one is safe and that human life couldn't be more fragile. I learned that respected men in important offices may lie to save their own skin. I learned that a good man might have dangerous enemies. Perhaps everything that I experienced prior to that Saturday was a viewpoint about people and life in general that made for a secure existence and everything since then woke me up to a reality I have had to accept regardless of my finer sensibilities and aspirations. No wonder my memories prior to that day seem surreal. Everything changed after that and I knew for certain that nothing would be the same.
Respectfully submitted by,
The Castle Lady  

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