Sunday, November 22, 2015

Somewhere Between 2 and 19 Years of Age

I'm not sure it's a true memory. When people ask me what the earliest memory I have is, I most definitely age myself by telling them it was when JFK was assassinated. I am just over two years old. For 40 years, I've been pointing to that day as my first memory of childhood. We are in Ludlow, Massachusetts. It is the home I know of as my grandparents' house. Later, I will learn that it was, in fact, the house my parents bought. At the time, though, I know it as my grandparents' house. And old people -- my grandparents, my own parents -- are crying. The reason I think this memory can't be true is I don't believe my very conservative father could have given a crap that JFK would have been killed.

Still, it is the first memory I can recall. There are almost no TV channels. The five or six existing at that time -- within antennae range -- are all reporting the news of Dallas. One channel, though, has Captain Kangaroo or some nonsense on. The adults plunk me down in front of the TV to watch that.

The memory fades.

When I am 19 years old and in college, the afternoon soap operas are interrupted with news of Ronald Reagan being shot. I say aloud that I hope he's dead. The one conservative in the school is appalled. I'm appalled, too, that I would voice that. Being 19, however, I don't admit that.

There is no point to this post, beyond the unequivocal fact that JFK was killed 52 years ago. And I remember that.

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