Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philadelphia. Five years old. Surrounded by grown up legs in nylon stockings. A sudden wave goes through the crowd: “The President has been shot!” My mother grabs my hand and we walk quickly to the car because something terrible has happened and we have to get home. It’s a big yellow Merc with chrome fins, green cloth interior, black roof and electric windows.
(Where was my sister? Was she home? I don’t remember.)
This was still when it was ok to put your kid in the front seat, no seatbelt or anything. Driving home on the expressway, the radio announces that the President is dead. My mother starts to cry, puts her arm across my stomach so I don’t fall off the seat and starts to brake (this is why you don’t need seat belts), and pulls over to the shoulder. I look down the highway and one car after another pulls over and stops.
We just sit there.
Go toOutHistory.org for reflections on JFK by Tenured Radical.