Today I am pleased to welcome my first-ever guest blogger to Home Sweet Abbey. Joe Accardi, a friend, neighbor, and fellow writer, shares memories of the music that has shaped his life on Life Out of Tunes.
This morning, both Joe and I commented on the same Facebook post about the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Seeing that, I realized we each had something to say about that fateful day. He agreed.
Here is Joe’s post. Be sure to click the link and listen to the song too. Then please come back here to read my memories of that day 52 years ago.
Our eighth grade basketball team was looking forward to its game that night. The entire school had gathered in the building’s main hallway during the noon hour, cheerleaders in their blue and white plaid skirts leading shouts of “Go Team, Go!” It must have been difficult for our principal to raise his voice above all the noise. When he finally got our attention he announced, voice faltering, that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. Gasping and then silence among us. Stunned, I walked back to our classroom. We listened to the news broadcast over the school’s PA system. President Kennedy was dead.
Two years later the Byrds released an album, Turn, Turn Turn!, on which they included a traditional folk song, lyrics altered to lament the assassination of President Kennedy, He Was a Friend of Mine. Every year on this day I am reminded of that song and the depth of my sadness surrounding the event 52 years ago. Where were you that day?
And now, back to Caryl:
I was a junior in high school. In my mind, I can still see the table where I was sitting in 6th period study hall. I remember where the table was located in the room and who was sitting near me. The PA crackled to life with a radio broadcast. There was no announcement explaining what we were about to hear. It began in mid-sentence, as I recall. It was so confusing, hearing that our President had been shot in Dallas and was barely hanging on to life.
Then the bell rang to send us to our next class. The broadcast followed us, blaring from speakers as we walked through the halls and, in my case, into U.S. History class.
The importance of that day was seared into my memory when I saw Mr. Scott, my favorite teacher, crying. It was the first time I had seen a grown man sob. But I would see it again that week. Those were days that changed our country, our history, and 16-year-old me.
How about you? Do you have a memory to share? If so, please comment on this blog, Joe’s blog, or on one of our FB pages. We’d love to hear from you.