I posted an article earlier this week that talked about my visit to my old neighborhood in Akron, Ohio. In that story, I mentioned that my first elementary school, Guinther School, had been torn down earlier this year. I even included a picture of where the school used to be.
I attended Guinther from kindergarten through 3rd grade. My teachers were Miss Pence, Miss Shade, Mrs. Randolph, and Miss Gross. What I remember most about my years there happened in my third grade year.
Actually, it will be the 49 year anniversary of this event next Thursday. It was a Friday afternoon in late November. It was about 2:00 pm Akron time. Miss Gross had left the room a few minutes earlier, and when she returned, she was obviously crying. As the room had gone into immediate silence, all 34 kids in our class were all wondering the same thing, what was wrong?
I distinctly remember that she stood in front of the class, and in a very calm, but matter of fact way, proceeded to tell us that President Kennedy had been shot and killed in Texas.
If a class can get even quieter, it did at that moment. School let out at 3:30, and I don’t recall much of what went on between 2:00 pm & 3:30 pm, but I know it wasn’t a lot. I do remember talking a lot with my friend Kirk Murphy about it, who sat next to me in the room. We walked home together as we usually did. In a time before cell phones and social media, and in a time of youthful imagination, there was a lot of wild speculation going on.
I remember going into the house on Millbrook St., and my Mom had the old black & white TV on. She was in much the same shape as Miss Gross was. Crying, not believing what had happened.
It was a truly long weekend for not only our family, but for all of the United States, as well as the world. I remember being in our upstairs on Sunday morning playing with my 2 younger brothers, and all of a sudden, my Mom was yelling up to us about something that had just happened on the TV. Our TV, like most TV’s on that weekend, had been on pretty much non-stop since Friday afternoon. On that Sunday morning, Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused killer of JFK, was being led out of the police station, when Jack Ruby darted out of the crowd of reporters, and shot Oswald at near point blank range on LIVE television.
That video, as well as the famous picture of Oswald being hit by the gunshot, are images that live in infamy from that weekend. The funeral in Washington DC on that Monday tome is just remembered as a very sad time.
Over the years, I’ve read numerous books on the subject of the Kennedy assassination. Currently, I am reading the book, “Killing Kennedy,” written by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard. This is a follow-up book to their #1 bestseller, “Killing Lincoln.”
Both books are very well written, are easy reads, and are quite informative. If either of these periods of time, and these events are of interest to you, I would highly suggest either of these.