I was a college senior in November of 1963. That Friday the 22nd was a light day of classes and I member taking my girlfriend, a college sophomore, to lunch at Henry’s Restaurant in downtown New Bedford, Massachusetts. My girlfriend of that day would eventually become my wife of now 47 years. Her name is Karin.
Our lunch that day consisted of French toast and bacon. Henry’s had great French toast. We finished lunch around 1:00 PM and as we were walking out of the restaurant we heard someone from across the street yelling at someone on our side, “….did you hear about what happened….”? He didn’t mention President Kennedy’s name and I remember mentioning to my girlfriend about wondering if it had anything to do with President Kennedy in Dallas.
There had been a lot of buzz in the days prior to his visit to Dallas, especially in the media, and we all wondered that day if something would happen, As far as we knew, President Kennedy went to Dallas to supposedly patch things up between he and Texas. Well, something did happen.
When we got back to our classes, we learned that President Kennedy had been shot but as far as we knew at that time, he was still alive. It wasn’t until around 4:00 PM in the afternoon that we learned that he had been killed.
My girlfriend and I always went out on Saturday nights. That following Saturday night, the 23rd, we went bowling. There were not many people at the alleys but we had to do something to keep our minds off of the tragedy. While we were bowling, I remember the head pin was painted red and was told that if I got a strike when the head pin was red, I would win a turkey for Thanksgiving. Well, I got a strike and I won the turkey. I took the turkey home to my mother and we had two turkeys for that Thanksgiving. Another memory from that infamous weekend.
On Sunday, the 24th, I was watching TV and watched Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. I remember thinking immediately that “they” (whoever “they” were) got somebody to shut Oswald up. I never thought from the very beginning that Oswald was in it alone.
Perhaps historians will reflect some day that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was a turning point in our history and that our nation might have taken a whole different direction had he lived. Perhaps a better direction. Also, the mystery, inconclusiveness and lack of closure involving the events of November 22, 1963 will haunt my generation to our graves. The big question is, “….WHAT REALLY HAPPENED….?