We all know what happened on that day, right? Yes, I was kidnapped for the fourth, and presumably final, time in my little long life. Ugly custody battle. I was five years old, playing in the barren front yard of our tiny rental in Carson City, Nevada. Kindergarten was over for the day. The sun was shining.
A car pulled up to the curb, and my mother leaned out the back door, saying “Come in!” How could you not obey your mother? All of a sudden the driver sped off. Miss Marconi, my father’s housekeeper, saw this through the window and called him at the state capitol.
Roadblocks went up. We crashed through them on the way to San Francisco. I was shoved down in the footspace of the back seat, where I promptly threw up, something that continued all the way back to Ohio on the plane.
We stayed in hiding at a house the lawyer arranged for us. Ritzy people in Shaker Heights. I remember there was a tv in their basement, where we were. Why was everybody crying? That little boy saluting the coffin. What did it have to do with me? We had Christmas down there in hiding. The rich kids gave me their tin soldiers to play with. Eventually, we came “upstairs” and I was to live with Mom for a few years.
Less than three months later, the Beatles arrived for the famous Ed Sullivan appearance, and a couple of concerts, sort of a dry run for their 1964 USA tour. Before she lost it totally, my mother really enjoyed the fads of the 1960s. She was screaming every bit as loudly as the girls at the newly renamed JFK airport. We did everything Jackie Kennedy did, from her hairstyle, to dancing the frug, the jerk, the mashed potato, in the kitchen while the tater tots heated in the oven.
I guess the fab four happened at just the right time for America, and the world.
Apparently, the new Stephen King novel is called “11.22.63.” It involves time travel and an attempt to prevent the Kennedy assassination. Too bad he left out what “really” happened on that day.
© 2011 by Frank Daykin, for Innovative Music Programs