A Presidential story for Presidents Day


My first memory of a president was President Kennedy. Ironically, I heard about him for the first time on the day he got his fool head blown off.

I was 7 years old at the time. And I was sitting at my desk in my 2nd grade classroom. When this older kid came walking into the classroom. He talked to my teacher for a few moments. Then he walked over to me and said: “Your mother asked me to get you and walk you back to your house.”

So that was weird. We left the classroom. And walked together down the streets of High Bridge, New Jersey. The streets were completely empty. Because everyone was

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either in school or at work. So it was like walking through a ghost town. And I kept thinking: “Am I in trouble?” And I tried to remember if I had done anything bad lately that would cause me to get pulled out of school.

When I got home my Mom was in an ultra serious mood. “Somebody just killed the president,” my Mother said. “That’s why we took you out of school.”

“Oh,” I said.

“It could be the Russians are behind it,” said my Mother. “And they might start launching atom bombs at us.”

“We may have to go down to the cellar and stay in the shelter,” said my Father, gravely. “And wait it out until all the radiation is gone.”

We had this crude, make-shift “fall-out shelter” in our basement. It was basically just a room with a bunch of canned foods and bottled water and flashlights.

I wasn’t sure what “radiation” was. But it sounded like some deadly form of invisible cooties.

Then we huddled around our black-and-white television set. Men were rushing back and forth apparently doing important things. It all seemed really SERIOUS but I had no idea why.

I went up to my bedroom and played with my toys. And I don’t remember anything else about that day except that i was probably happy I got out of school early.


The presidential limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy is followed by secret servicemen on running boards, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.

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