Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years ago today ...

I was in Mrs. Vordale's 3rd grade class at Good Shepherd Elementary School in Highland Park. We all got called into the Fireside Room and Pastor Lunde broke the news. I remember some kids leaving early because their parents came to get them. Mine were playing golf at Eaton Canyon ... Daddy said later the groundskeeper told them on the 7th hole. Weird what you remember. Here's one of the quotes that stood out to me from the day:

"When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses." - John F. Kennedy
Finally, there was this from Diana Butler Bass's FB page:
"The supreme reality of our time is our indivisibility as children of God and the common vulnerability of this planet." JFK address to the Irish Parliament, June 1963.


RonF said...

I was in 6th grade, about 20 miles from JFK's birthplace. We were sitting on the gym bleachers waiting for the bus to go home. Mr. Carvalho walked in. He was a young unmarried Italian guy who didn't so much walk as strut around the school (lots of Italians in my old hometown).

When we saw him we were all shocked to silence. That's because he was crying. Seeing a male teacher cry was completely beyond anyone's experience. He told a hushed gym "You all better start praying. Our President has been shot!" and walked out. We sat there in silence while the buses came.


Mitchell McClain ... none with that kind of language allowed, no. Seriously, dude.

Unknown said...

You just have to understand. It's a good example. Times have changed since Kennedy was assassinated. My grandfather to this day is a die hard racist. People forget history.

Plus my real point, Although Kennedy's death is tragic. There are countless tragic deaths everyday. (The idea that there are tragic deaths everyday in relation to Kennedy's of course is an intellectually banal point)


No, no I do not "have to understand" that racial slurs are acceptable because they are a "good example."

But what YOU get to understand is that [a] no one is "forgetting history" by refusing to continue to use ugly slurs from the past and [b] the fact that there are tragic deaths everyday does not in any way detract from the momentous impact the death of President had on a nation and a generation.

RonF said...

There were other notable deaths that day as well. C.S. Lewis, for one. But that day changed America - and not for the better.