November 22, 1963

On November 22, 1963, I vividly remember three things.

  1.  My oldest brother had his 20th birthday.
  2.  President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
  3.  I was given Coca-Cola to drink out of a crystal sherry glass.

I was home from school with a stomach ache, watching TV, when the news about the shooting in Dallas broke.  I ran to tell my mother who hurried into the room and stared at the television in disbelief.  She called my father at work.  And poured another glass of sherry.

Because I had an upset stomach and she considered Coke a cure for stomach aches, she poured me a glass of Coke.  In  a crystal sherry glass, just like hers.  This was my first drink in a grown-up glass.  I felt very important as my mother and I shared this moment.

My parents were devastated by the news.  That confused me a little, because they hated Kennedy.  Even though my father was an Irish Catholic, Kennedy was too progressive for him.  I didn’t understand how or why an assassination, the rocking of the foundations of our government, had such a profound impact on my parents.  But it quickly became clear that the entire country was reeling from the news.

Most baby boomers know exactly where they were and what they were doing the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot.  I was in the den in my house, wearing a pink satiny, button down bathrobe with a high white lace collar over my nightgown and watching game shows on the television until it was interrupted by horror.

Watching grown-up news, drinking my first drink out of a grown-up glass.

November 22, 1963.  Three crystal clear memories seen through a crystal sherry glass.



About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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21 Responses to November 22, 1963

  1. Excellent! Very powerfull…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AM Daly says:

    I love that last line!!

    “Three crystal clear memories seen through a crystal sherry glass.”


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patty Dann says:

    Wonderful piece- powerful and personal-

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was a bright sunny afternoon in Central Florida, and I was on the playground during recess. Suddenly, I remember seeing teachers running out of the hallways. They were crying and holding their hands over their faces. They came out to round us all up off the playground and herd us back into the classrooms. Once there, my teacher was quietly sobbing at her desk, and then another teacher came to the door of the classroom, also crying. Our teacher turned to us and said, choking back tears, “President Kennedy has been killed. Please go home and don’t stop, don’t go to your fiends homes either. It’s important that you just go straight home.” I think I would have welcomed a crystal sherry glass of Coke at that moment, because right then, I remember it being hard to swallow.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. ksbeth says:

    i remember this day clear as day. i had just turned 5 ,4 days earlier. my name was/is kennedy. i was in first grade. i always assumed we were related. i noticed the adults at my school crying and my parents too, when i got home. my parents hadn’t voted for him, but i think that everyone was in absolute shock. i have never forgotten it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. George says:

    I think those of us of age at that time will never forget how we all changes that day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mariaholm says:

    I sat with my family in our living room and we saw the awful pictures of Kennedy being shot in the open car and Jacqueline Kennedy leaning over him to protect him. I was twelve years old and I thought how could a city be such a dangerous place that the president couldn’t ride in an open car? Here in Denmark our queen could still go shopping alone in the center of Copenhagen if she wanted. ………. Everything changed since then. Now we too have massive security for every little event


  8. Ann Coleman says:

    I was only five, but I remember…. Thanks for this powerful post!

    Liked by 1 person

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