JFK was shot 50 years ago today.
I was a sophomore in a very large high school in El Paso, Texas, in a geography class where we were memorizing the names of every country in Africa.
The principal comes on the PA system and says, “Everyone needs to hear this… and then he puts a radio close to the microphone and we start listening to a news reporter… “The president has been shot. The president has been shot.” I remember as if it were yesterday the near hysteria in the reporter’s voice.
When school let out that day, I walked across campus to the tennis courts to see if we still had practice. Coach was his usual snarly self and he growled at me, “They said we can’t practice today because the President’s been shot. Go home.”
At home, we glued ourselves to a black and white TV set and watched live coverage of everything from Oswald’s shooting to the playing of taps at JFK’s grave site.
I remember my mother crying, a lot.