Dallas, 1963(Saturday Writing Essentials)

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on January 14, 2012 0 Comments

Challenge: As a writer, you draw inspiration from the familiar world around you. You observe and take note of details which your imagination weaves into the fabric of your work. Your time and place in the universe has a great deal to do with how you see the world. Picture yourself in another time; another place. You’re not a hero or a villain or an important historical personage, you’re you. Tell us a story that you observe – a vignette from the life happening around you; an event important only to its participants.


I’ll never forget that day, as long as I live. I was only 13 when it happened, but I can assure you, it’s an even burned in my brain forever. My mother and father and I had gone to Dallas, to see President Kennedy come through. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining. We were all along the streets and just waiting for our turn to see him and the First Lady drive by. I was sitting on the curb when I heard the cheers from further down the line, so I knew he was coming. I stood up and shielded my eyes from the sun to better see. I saw the car approaching.

The President and First Lady looked regal sitting there, waving to everyone as they passed. I was on the left side, which was the same side as the President was on. He had just passed in front of us, when I saw it happen. There was a red spurt followed instantaneously by a loud gunshot, then he crumpled forward into her lap. We all ducked for cover, some ran, others just stood there shocked. My mother had started crying, my father was covering both of us. The car had stopped, and we could hear Mrs. Kennedy screaming and wailing.

We were all detained by the police that day, to be questioned about what we heard and what we saw. The three of us were too enamored with seeing them drive by, we hadn’t really paid attention to anything else.

It wasn’t long after that when they arrested the guy who did it. I still have the newspapers, put up. I intend to pass them to my grandchildren, when I go. Until then, I tell them the story every now and then, and I show them the pictures we took that day. One of the worst days in American History, if you ask me.

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I'm me. there's a whole lot to me, but I'm me.

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