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22 November 2013

Yes, I'm old enough to remember where I was when JFK was assassinated. And it was already a disorienting day when it happened - moving day.[More:]
My family was moving from a rented house on Overland Avenue in West L.A., over the hills to my parents' first fully-owned home in the San Fernando Valley (in the middle-class 'northern part' of Encino, a postal designation best known for the 'southern part' where some wealthy celebrities lived, bisected by the 'world's largest car dealership', Ralph Williams Ford). While a moving van was transporting our belongings in two trips, I was in the middle of my first day in a new school. The son of one of my father's coworkers had reluctantly become my first friend there and showed me around before the first bell. I'd already been subjected to bullying in my old school and my parents had talked about putting me into a private school "where it was safer", so when the announcement came over this public school's PA system that "the President has been shot", my first impression (and one I never forgot) was that it was referring to something AT the school... the Student Body President? When everyone was sent home, it was my new friend's mother who drove me to the new address where my mother was too preoccupied with putting everything in its place (and, as a life-long Republican, less stunned than many). With the family room furniture, including 'the big TV' yet to be unloaded, I spent a couple hours in the kitchen, staying out of the movers' way, watching a small portable TV, with nothing on but news coverage of the tragedy. Not a good time to get out and introduce myself to the other kids in the neighborhood, and a very surreal way to be introduced to what would be my home until I left for college 10 years later. So, older bunnies, where were you when you heard the news?
You can see me in the video footage here (at 2:42). [warning: might be hard to watch for some]
posted by Eideteker 22 November | 13:45
I was in eight grade, in science class on a sunny warm morning (this being Southern California). Mr. Von Drak was a pretty crappy and disinterested teacher.

Anyway, the principal, Mr. Boston (who looked a bit like LBJ, in highsight) came in and said, "The president has been shot. Turn on your (black and white) TV.

So I saw and heard Cronkite announcing that he was dead. And stayed glued to the TV all weekend, including watching Oswald get killed.
posted by danf 22 November | 14:02
I was 5. I don't remember the shooting, but we watched the funeral and it is still burned into my memory. What really stood out to me was Black Jack, boots reversed in the stirrups. My dad explained the symbology to me.

The Bobby Kennedy and MLK assassinations, however, had a big impact on me at the time they happened.
posted by bearwife 22 November | 15:56
I was an 1 month old embryo at the time. Must have been a very weird year for my parents; they both lost a parent that year, Kennedy was killed and they had an "oops" pregnancy eight years after they thought that they were done with babies.

Mom knew about JFK before anyone else in town because she worked at the local newspaper and heard the ten bells on the teletype signaling a monumental news break.
posted by octothorpe 22 November | 18:14
I'm acquainted with Abraham Zapruder's grandson (he made it clear that he did not want to discuss it any further when I asked if he was related) and just found out his birthday was yesterday. Very ironic.
posted by brujita 23 November | 02:57
I was 5yo and in Kindergarten. I recall coming home to find my mom crying.
posted by Thorzdad 23 November | 07:58
Hey brujita, I think you just inadvertently answered a question that's been hovering in my mind for a few years now.
posted by tangerine 25 November | 11:59
Friday Question || Kim Mitchell's Guide to the Benefits of Going For a Soda