It was a cold gray, raw day. In the schoolyard, large cinders swirled in eddies of wind. Those cinders blew over from the Department of Sanitation incinerators on 215th street. When my second grade class let out, we walked and ran through the yard, and up 211th street to Broadway.
A couple of the older kids said the President was shot. My classmates and I didn’t believe it. I walked home along Broadway. Past The Harlem Savings Bank, McSherry’s Bar, Pizza Haven and Fanny Farmer Candy on the corner of 207th street. Crossing Broadway I walked the long block south to the Dyckman House, and turned right onto 204th street. A block later I was home. It was a Friday. Friday, November 22nd, 1963.
My mom would be home, watching TV. Usually, it was the soap The Secret Storm, followed by The Edge of Night. Today was different.
Walter Cronkite was on TV reporting that President Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas.
I felt scared…would the Russians attack us?
I don’t remember much about what my parent said or how they reacted. I was in shock.
We watched TV that weekend. We watched Lee Harvey Oswald gunned down on live TV by jack Ruby.
I watched my world change. It was sad. I cried. I didn’t understand.
Fifty years later I remember. I still don’t understand.