November 22, 1963

On November 22nd, 50 years ago I went out from school at lunchtime and tried to jump from one big rock to another over at the river. I landed short, with my right leg jamming up against a sharp nodule in the limestone rock and puncturing a hole in my shin bone. Mr Couey didn’t like the looks of it, and sent me home for my Mom to decide whether or not for me to go to the Dr. My Aunt Shirley and my Grandmother Stewart were spending the week with us, and Mom was pouring peroxide on my wound when Cronkite came on TV saying the President had been shot. My Mom dropped the peroxide bottle, and my Aunt started to cry. I didn’t get to go to the Dr. that day and I still have that scar on my shin. I call it my Kennedy scar. I got another scar that day too…the scar that occurs when you are hit hard by the realities of life at 13. Things would never be the same for the rest of the 60’s. I loved that decade, and those wonderful youthful years, but there was always a seed of caution resting in the back of my brain somewhere, just waiting for some dire announcement to cause it to germinate into full blown cynicism at the world in which I lived.

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