Saturday, November 22, 2014

51 Years Later


Today no one in New York mentioned JFK’s bad day in Dallas.

Neither the BBC, New York Times, nor Al-Jazeera wrote a single line about the November 22, 1963 tragedy, proving the old adage that as you get old you forget and as you get older you are forgotten.

51 years might be a long time for some people, but I can remember exactly what I was wearing, as Sister Mary Honore sobbingly announced over the intercom, “The president has been shot dead in Dallas.”

The standard uniform for St. Mary’s of the Hills was a blue tie, white shirt, and navy blue slacks.

On the bus ride home 5th Grade Paul O’Conner said, “Well, I guess that settles what the Kennedys are getting for Christmas. A Jack in the Box.”

The older boys beat him up for his bad taste, because even 8th Graders understood that America had been changed forever and not necessarily for the better. School was cancelled for the rest of that week and I hung my school uniform in the closet till that next Monday.

There was nothing on TV throughout the weekend.

No cartoons.

No movies.

Only the dead president's funeral, although CBS showed NFL football on Sunday.

The upstart AFL cancelled their games, which was the turning point for their league.

In the months that followed the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey acted alone. Conspiracy theorists have refuted this finding as well as the official Single Bullet Theory, attributing the assassination to the CIA, Castro, the Mafia, Cuban exile groups, and anti-communist Pentagon cliques.

Of course my theory runs counter to the mainstream in that I think RFK arranged his brother’s death for having ordered the murder of Marilyn Monroe by J. Edgar Hoover.

I wrote recently that I had only been in two movies; THE LAST SONG and a foot fetish short, however three years ago my friend Randy Koral came out from Paris to film a version of my short story THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH. We changed the setting to Thailand and the fat man was on the run to Cambodia. I played the lead and Nick Rieter starred as the black operative hitman.

My screenplay centered on a long monologue of my JFK assassination theory. The day of this scene I had a 103 fever. Every attempt to complete this three-minute piece ended in failure further proving the wisdom of my never having pursued an acting career.

Nick on the other hand was great.

Cockney accent and bad teeth.

The film was never edited to a rough cut. Randy was soon diagnosed with brain cancer. Two operations in France has him in remission. He is supposedly coming to New York next month. Maybe we can reshoot the flubbed scenes then.

I miss JFK, especially after seeing the film 13 DAYS, which shows how a real president should act in a crisis.

His last words in Dallas were in in response to Governor Connelly’s saying, “You can’t say the people of Dallas don’t love you.”

“No, I wouldn’t say that.”

Four shots proved them wrong.

Here's to you John, We barely knew you.

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