Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Death of a President

The tragic death of the Polish President and so many others this week has started me thinking about the past. Today we learn of such events almost as they occur. It was not always so.

When I was a girl, no one I knew had television. Well, yes, there was one girl in my high school class whose family had TV when we were seniors. Once in a great while we would all go over to her house to watch something. But for the most part, it was radio, or movies on the weekend.

I was remembering the day that Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. It must have been a Saturday, or a vacation day. I'm not clear on that. But I know that I was wearing blue jeans and a man's shirt with the sleeves rolled up and tails tied in a knot in front. That could not have been school attire in those days. I had been listening to music on my old 78's all morning. Didn't have the radio on.

Around noon I decided I wanted an Italian hoagie for lunch, and walked down to the hoagie shop. No other customers were there, but the little old Italian lady who owned the shop had a line of sandwiches in front of her on the counter, building them as she stood there, crying - more like wailing. I asked what was wrong of course. Between sobs, she told me, "He's-a gone-a! He's-a gone-a!" I asked who was gone, and she told me, almost screaming it, "F-a - D-a - R-a!"

And that is how I learned of the death of the man who had been President of the United States for my entire life. He was elected the year I was born, and was still President when I turned sixteen.

I remember many other deaths of famous and infamous. We can all tell where we were and what we were doing on such days. But that is the one that will always stand out in my mind.

6 comments: said...

Wow! that is a great story Bobbie. You've written it so I can see it clear as day. Thanks for sharing.

Sylvia K said...

I know what you mean about those kinds of memories. I was living in Dallas when JFK was assassinated and I can remember every minute of that whole weekend as though it was yesterday. Hope your week is going well, Bobbie!


Daryl said...

We just caught up with the last 4 episodes of MadMen from last season and the next to last episode focuses on JFK's assassination and Oswald's murder... brought back a lot of memories.

Ralph said...

For me it was Kennedy. You are right, you don't forget where you were or what you were doing.

me ann my camera said...

I remrmber when John Kennedy was killed. I was teaching in a small rural community and heard the news when waiting for the bus to return home to the city. It was such terrible news, but worse was to come that day for in the evening we received the news that my grandfather had died while on his way home by train. That was a day impossible to forget. About television. We didn't receive it until I was a teenager. We were the first fanmily in the village to have a set. So, everybody visited us. There would be a knock on the door and upon opening it, whoever was on the doorstep just walked into our living room and sat down. This became an issue however the evening my father came home from work and there was no where for him to sit!Our housewas overflowing with uininvited guests every evening. Its a fun memory to recall.

Dianne said...

it is Kennedy for me too
I was lining up in the school gym, it was almost dismissal time and then one of the teachers was crying and another teacher said the President was shot

I vivdly remember thinking of Caroline