Monday, November 22, 2010

Seven-Inch Vinyl Excerpt: Chapter Thirty-Two: Goodbye

(From the soon-to-be-published novel Copyright Outskirts Press 2011)

Chapter Thirty-Two:

In Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, at 12:39 pm, CST, the Top 40 radio station KLIF was playing “I Have a Boyfriend,” by the Chiffons. The song was cut off mid way thru. At the same moment, television viewers across the country were annoyed when the CBS-TV network interrupted the popular soap opera, “As the World Turns.” A printed “BULLETIN” placard appeared on-screen because CBS didn’t have a camera warmed up in their newsroom in New York. The voice of news anchorman Walter Cronkite followed.

“Here is a bulletin from CBS news in Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas. Reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting.”
Cronkite repeated the details, advising viewers to stay tuned to CBS for further reports.
Twenty minutes later he returned, this time on-camera while frantic employees monitored the wire service tickers in the background. Cronkite continued to report on whatever random, sketchy details he had. At 2:38 pm EST, someone handed the anchorman a piece of paper. He put on his glasses, read the note, and then looked into the camera.
“From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official…” he proceeded to read the note, “President Kennedy died at 1 pm central standard time, 12:00 eastern standard time…” His eyes glanced up at a clock on the wall, “…some thirty-eight minutes ago.”
Visibly shaken, he fought to keep his composure. His demeanor reflected the sadness felt by millions around the country.

Less than two hours later, police arrested a suspect, a meek, frail looking ex-Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald. He worked in the building where the shots were fired. During his escape he’d shot and killed a Dallas police officer. Several witnesses saw him enter a nearby movie theater where authorities apprehended him.
During the flight that brought Kennedy’s body back to Washington, Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson took the oath making him the thirty-sixth President of the United States.


Like millions of others, Janet Rabinowitz followed the events of the next three days in a trance-like state. The sight of Kennedy’s widow Jackie, her raspberry colored suit and legs stained with the blood and brain matter of her beloved husband was seared in her memory. Two days later, the alleged assassin himself was killed while in police custody in the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters, meaning that perhaps the motives behind the assassination might never be revealed.
Saddest of all was the live broadcast of President Kennedy’s State Funeral in Washington on Monday, November 25th. A solemn high mass took place at St. Matthews Cathedral attended by 1,200 family members, dignitaries and heads of state from all over the world. The flag draped casket was placed onto an Army caisson drawn by six white horses for the procession to Arlington Cemetery. As it passed the point where the Kennedy family stood waiting, the President’s son, John F. Kennedy Jr. saluted the casket. It was the boy’s third birthday.

Rock and Roll quote of the day: "Didn't you love the things that they stood for? Didn't they try to find some good in you and me? We'll be free. Someday soon there's gonna be a new way." From: Abraham, Martin and John by: Dion


  1. Has anyone forgotten that day?? We were in Fredonia, getting ready to come home from college for the Thanksgiving break - getting gas in the car when the attendant came out shouting "The President's been shot - President Kennedy has been shot - they don't know if he will live!!" I didn't believe it - I had campaigned for him door to door in my hometown of Massapequa on LI... I joined the Young Democrats so I could help as much as possible to get him elected - and now, he lay dying in a hospital in Dallas Texas - I think we were in shock for at least a month.... I don't even remember Thanksgiving or Christmas that year!! Mary Lee Walzer Jamestown, NY

  2. You're right, Mary Lee, it was a tragic day. Thanks for commenting.


  3. Wow, I feel old. You're writing about history, and I remember it! Being raised Catholic, I was in school when the principal came in with the news Kennedy had been shot. One of a handful of events that you remember clearly after decades. Truly an amazing time, both historically and in the history of rock 'n roll.

  4. Until 9/11, the scariest I can recall was during the Cuban Missile Crisis when we stood toe to toe with The Russians and ALMOST went to war. That's also in the book in an earlier chapter. Thanks for commenting, Kevin.