Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nov 22, 1963 | Where were you.....?

In the last 40+ years it's become rather a part of the folk culture for those old enough to remember, to be asked, "where were you when Kennedy was shot". It's a fair question and one for which almost everyone has an answer. The Kennedy assasination was one of the most important pinpoint events of the 20th century in the US. Not like the depression or WWII that happened over a span of time, the JFK murder happened in an instant and changed so much.

Where was I? I know exactly where I was and remember it like it was yesterday. I was a Freshman at Midland High School in Coach Ed Nixon's albebra I class which was also my "home room" assigned class. The room is in what is now, the "old building" and one which I pass by several times a year when at the school.

Seated in front of me were Bonnie Craddick and Jimmy Cowden, behind was Margaret Crews. In those days we were model children who obeyed our elders even if they wanted us to sit in alphabetical order. Cowden, Craddick, Craig, get it. I still email and talk with Bonnie, married in San Antonio, and trade occasional emails with Jimmy Cowden, an attorney in Austin. Margaret is in Dallas, I believe. Bonnie has always been a good friend and she was a brilliant student and "Miss Everything" at MHS. Over the years I've forgiven her for not letting me cheat from her in Algebra.....thus causing my life to go into a downward spiral. Bonnie is pictured here when she was running for Queen of I recall the only thing she ever lost. :>]

So it was sitting with all these friends that, not long after the fact, we heard the news over the school's loud speaker system the news that JFK had been murdered in Dallas. That's all I remember of that day. I suppose they let us out of school early, though I'm not really sure. The next thing I remember was the following day.....because it was my birthday and the birthday of one of my best friends Ron Hunt. Ronnie and I got together the next day but there was little joy in birthdayville, the rest of the world being glued to their black and white television sets. I look into Coach Nixon's old room when I pass by now and I can almost see Cowden, Craddick, Craig and Crews sitting in the far right row from front to back. And I remember the day and think.....if only Bonnie had let me cheat, I might have made a "B"