He Was a Friend of Mine (Vid of the Day)

He Was a Friend of Mine, as performed by the Byrds in our Vid of the Day clip, is a traditional folk song… composer(s) unknown. The lyrics, adapted to the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, express heartfelt lamentations so universal… that so echo my own sentiments… I’m almost tempted to edit in some quotation marks on my blog’s headline.

Ever since this very day in 1963, when JFK had been slaughtered in Dealey Plaza (Dallas TX)… when that utterly pointless bloodshed had virtually spilled forth from my TV screen onto the living room carpet… I’ve considered that focal point in history akin to a chasm deep, societal and ideological dividing line… one that had starkly accentuated the death of decency and the onset of depravity.

My sorrow can only intensify whenever the 22nd falls on a Friday (as it did then and does now). As I type this, I can vividly recall and relive that impossible to forget, lost weekend, where time stood still. Back then, when my years were still measured in single digits, I had been forced to trade in my shiny, carefree, boyhood innocence for a way too soon, shabby, adult cynicism. By the time I had returned to my 4th grade, elementary school classroom, the following Tuesday morning, I knew America would never be the same, again.

Such a contention can easily be substantiated from running down the post JFK presidential roster, alone. With a scant two exceptions… namely James Earl Carter and Barack Obama… the American electorate, typically, has settled for personalities ranging from mediocrity to that above-mentioned (present-day) depravity.

Why oh why do so few heads of state find it so difficult to fully embrace the following heady philosophy…

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but
the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us ac-
cept our own responsibility for the future.” – – President John F. Kennedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Childhood Innocence Was Shot To Hell!

 

The following is an excerpt from my very first WordPress blog*… my memories of 54 November 22nds ago… when… as a (then) 9-year-young boy… a horrific, blood splattered, national tragedy forced me to eyewitness too much age inappropriate content… to grow up way too soon.

 

I voted for John F. Kennedy when I was ONLY six-years-old!

Well… uh… sort of. Here’s what had actually happened…

After Mom had closed the voting booth curtains, hoisted me up to adult eye level and demonstrated how everything worked, she actually let me shift JFK’s lever down! My having done something so grown-up on Election Day 1960 had been a feel good, defining moment in my young life.

As I grew physically, so did my understanding of (and respect for) the immense leverage, which each of those tiny levers can exert in shaping our nation and world. Tragically, not everyone opts in to such a civilized, orderly process. Such was the case on November 22, 1963…

It had been a gray, overcast, rainy Friday. There had been no school for Sis and me (due to parent / teacher conferences). I was just finishing lunch when my sibling came rushing into the dining room. Still clutching her pocket-sized transistor radio, she blurted out…

“Somebody Shot President Kennedy!”

Mom, Sis and I quickly adjourned to the living room. Even before our Zenith TV’s B&W picture tube had fully warmed up, we could already hear one of CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite’s earliest bulletins.

As time came grinding down to a dead halt we felt ourselves rapidly descending into the depths of our nation’s communal shock. There was little else we could do… save for waiting and hoping that our worst fears would not be confirmed. But…

The bad news just kept on spilling forth from our nation’s TV screens while Kennedy’s dream for the betterment of our national / global society, was hemorrhaging forth from his head wounds… dying along with this great man.

Eventually, Cronkite had to choke back his own overwhelming sorrow as he reported…

“From Dallas, Texas… the flash apparently official… President Kennedy died at 1 p.m., Central Standard Time… 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time… some thirty-eight minutes ago.”

And that’s the way it was… the feel rotten, defining moment in my young life. The President I had “voted” for three short Novembers earlier had been blown away. Bullets… not ballots… had removed John Fitzgerald Kennedy from office and shot to hell my childhood innocence.

 

 

Assassin’s (perhaps assassins’) bullets had also irreparably devastated our entire global society. We can only speculate what the alternate timeline would’ve been… what our present day world would now look like had JFK opted to stay in DC 54 years ago, today… had kept a low profile for the remainder of his time in the Oval Office (he likely would’ve won a second term).

I do think it fair to conclude that had the voters witnessed what a real president’s policy and demeanor should be… had JFK been able to usher into reality his visions for a better world and better day… our electorate would’ve NEVER, EVER settled for any of his deplorable, dishonorable, stick-figure successors… namely…

The psychotic, “used car dealer”, war-hawk Tricky Dicky Nixon… the labor union busters, devastators of the middle class Ronny Reagan and George H.W. (daddy) Bush… the war criminal / torture chamber manager George W. Bush who on 9/11, first, got caught with his CIC pants down  and, next, went on a rampage to fear monger Americans into granting him carte blanche… to recklessly trash U.S. Constitutional freedoms and needlessly, pointlessly war monger his way into no-win invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq… to stupidly allow himself to be morphed into the ventriloquist dummy / puppet of his own VP; the evil, greedy, sociopathic, war criminal Dick Cheney.

And saving the worst of the very worst for the very last, real Americans would’ve booed and hissed the xenophobic, homophobic, narcissistic, misogynistic, jingoistic, materialistic, infantile, senile, bullying #45 right off the stump.

Well… long sad sigh… to borrow and update Walter Cronkite’s sign-off catchphrase…

 

And that’s the way it is November 22, 2017.

 

 

If you’re a fan of sci-fi twinged, episodic TV… writer J. Neil Schulman’s “what if JFK had survived Dallas” themed alternate reality gets brought to life by the cast and crew of the classic TV series, Twilight Zone… this particular installment titled: Profile In Silver

 

 

*My debut blog, A Tale of Two Timelines Part I, is filed away in my Archive. For those who’d like to access it, click onto March 2016 and scroll down… way down.