Friday, November 22, 2013

The Day the Music Died

For the majority of you Cyrsti's Condo readers who live in the United States, you would have to be living in a cave to not know this week marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

I was a newly minted 14 year old wandering the halls of the school I attended when the news came across the public address system. The day turned out to the first of two (so far) in my life, when time stood still. The other of course was the 9/11 attack.

My first thought was assassination?   What the hell happened and wasn't that just something you read about in history books and not a modern reality?

Well, as the coming years were to prove, the term was going to become all to common. It's not up to me to dwell on the charisma and leadership Kennedy brought to our country or the idea Kennedy was perhaps the last President to be totally claimed by two completely diverse generations.  My parents, because he was a hero in their war (WWII) and a hero to mine because he inspired us to be proud of who we were as a country.  We backed down the Russians, were going to the moon and established a radical idea like the Peace Corps to help other less fortunate countries. Plus lets not forget his wife Jackie whose style and grace seemed to elevate his charisma to another level or the sexy, mesmerizing Marilyn Monroe "Mr President"  birthday song which quickly erased all thoughts of Jackie's style.

So quickly, the era was over and with all due respects to Don McLean and his "American Pie" classic song, JFK's death was the day the music died. Vice President Lyndon Johnson took over and with him any hopes of me not visiting Southeast Asia with him.  All of the sudden our government was not inspiring anyone except with handouts and a totally ridiculous war.  The pressure got to be so much LBJ bailed and "Tricky Dick Nixon" stepped in.  The antithesis of JFK in many ways Nixon stepped into the presidency in 1968, the same year as the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Finally let's not forget the fall of 1970 when the music really did begin to die along with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

Certainly, John F. Kennedy benefits from being frozen in time. We will never know what directions our country would have taken and I'm certainly not smart enough to speculate.  In my life though, November 22, 1963 was the day the music died. Somewhere deep down inside, I knew it.


 

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A Life in Gender Flux