Tom Clay, a Detroit DJ compiled the audio portion of this back in 1971, for the past 10 years I have wanted to put video to his audio, and have looked in vain for the song on some CD. My thanks to Newt for coming through for me once again, and finding it for me last week. Here is yet another of my Hippie Peace lovin’ historical montages set to music. (Nalora’s Channel)
Once again November comes around and we are reminded on some TV show of the death of John F. Kennedy so many years ago. I was a senior in high school. I remember the dark, cold, cloudy day well. I was in home room waiting for lunch period in a few minutes as usual gazing out the window. A junior was running down the hall. He stuck his head into the doorway and said, “President Kennedy has been shot.” He turned to go. My teacher said immediately, “You come back here. That’s a terrible thing to joke about”. He said, “I’m not joking,” and ran off.
The bell rang dismissing us for lunch. We were in the snack bar when the announcement came over the intercom that President Kennedy was dead. We were dismissed for the rest of the afternoon. The snack bar, usually so loud with chatter and laughter was absolutely silent. I looked at the faces of the other seniors in the room. We were all dumbfounded as to what to do next. He had been our introduction to politics our freshman year.
My father was a republican. He never discussed politics with me. He reserved those discussions for my uncle the farmer who was a staunch democrat. Kennedy’s death was not even mentioned in my house. My father and aunt came home that afternoon and everything was as it always was. They went to work the next morning. School had been cancelled. I was left alone with my feelings and the television to keep me company.
I had been dating my “steady” since December. It was now April. News came on the TV that Martin Luther King was dead. He picked me up for a date and had one of a very few conversations with my father. Both of them were expressing satisfaction over King’s demise. I knew my “steady” had hated his experiences in high school in an integrated school, but I didn’t know the depth of his prejudice. My father had never once said anything derogatory about anyone in my presence. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from these two men in my life. My father died himself a couple of weeks later. I often wondered if he ever bumped into MLK on the other side since their deaths were so close together. MLK died from a bullet. My father died from a shriveled heart.
I was in California for a visit with distant relatives when Robert Kennedy was murdered. My schedule was full and I wasn’t watching much TV. I was only vaguely aware at the time of the whole episode. My trip home on the train took two days so I missed much of everything surrounding his death.
Do I believe that those three killers shot those three men entirely because of their own plans? No, I do not. I firmly believe that there were forces at work behind every single one of them.
Do I believe it could happen again? Yes, I do. I’m not comfortable with all the hate email I am sent about our current president. I’m not comfortable with the way our news coverage on certain stations has turned so easily to vituporous abuse of everything true or even made up about our current president.
Although I pray daily for his health and well-being, I would not be surprised to hear some day of an attempt on his life as well. Do I approve of everything that has been done in DC since the end of January? No, I do not. Do I think our president has done so much wrong he deserves to die? No, I do not. He is our elected president but he has had little time to be our president without the constant harangue coming from those who have filled their hearts with so much hatred.
When I was in college in the 60s, I never would have dreamed from the progress I thought I saw this country making that it would still be so focused on the color of a family’s skin by the time I retired. I had studied enough history to know that politics has always been a dirty business, but my student history books had been so sanitized that I never learned the real stories until much later.
Are the events that are happening now any different? Probably not. It’s just that with our communication system as it is now, so many more people are aware of the lies and half-truths instantly. Obama has his FOX, Truman had his Time Magazine. However, the attacks on Truman were only once a week and limited to those who purchased the magazine in the first place.
I have only been peripherally involved with politics all my life. I have voted in most of the national elections and some of the local ones. When people were making fun of Bush I generally stayed out of it. I do respect the office of the presidency of the US even if I don’t always respect the person holding that office.
I see the joking about Bush in a different light than I see the discussions surrounding Obama. I see Obama being blamed for events that were in motion long before he even became president. I see people who believe he should wave his magic wand and correct everything in an instant that it took years to create. I see intolerant people who want to guard their pile of bones with an “It’s all mine” attitude. I’m not talking about the average taxpayer who gets stuck with every bill. I’m talking about the top echelon of our society who continually find ways to reduce their taxes far below what many average earners pay. I see a generation or two raised on almost instant gratification expecting the same thing to continue.
I think the country has turned to a darker side, and although I try to live a positive life, I sometimes catch myself being very concerned about what may happen to him before Obama’s term is up. I do not wish for another verse to be added to that folk song. That is my prayer. What do you think? Namaste. Attic Annie