I had just turned three when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. My family lived in Dallas. And on that particular Sunday, my mom and grandmother had gone to the grocery store. My dad and granddad sat on the couch behind me talking while I played in front of the television. I remember where the furniture was placed in the room, the A/C unit in the window, the beige sculpted carpet. My mother walked through the door, my grandmother behind her. Each had a brown paper sack of groceries.
“That man just shot somebody,” I said to them. “No honey, that’s the man who shot the president.” I’m not sure if my mother or if my dad said that. But I remember pointing at the TV and insisting. The adults paid closer attention and finally understood.
When I was adult and recounted this to my parents, they couldn’t believe I knew so many details from that afternoon. My theory? My memory was captured and easily recalled by the image I’ve posted today. Each time I see it, all the details from that afternoon rush back.
Writing Dangerous Memories was very exciting for me. I hope I gave Jolene’s story justice.
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DANGEROUS MEMORIES, February