This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 22, 2003 12:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Land of opportunity. The next post in this blog is Chron-Neil-ogy. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, November 22, 2003

Last ride

Look at it. Just an ordinary, nondescript, crummy, little roadway somewhere in urban America. Over the years, every inch of it has been dissected and mapped and agonized over. Images from every angle are there for our perusal, in books, on the internet. In our dreams, it's a huge and alien place, but the truth is, it's just another average stretch of city arterial road.

Picture it at lunchtime on a brilliant, gorgeous Friday in November 1963.

And then see the explosion, the awful explosion of the man's head. The star of the show, brutally destroyed, like a deer, falling over heavily in the tank-like early-'60s Lincoln. The crack of the guns, just a split second behind the crushing red blow, and then the smell of the gunpowder. The cars and the motorcycles race away. People are running, but they're not sure which way to go.

Fall on the green grass and scream. Pound the Texas dirt with your hands for a good long while. Get up slowly and try to remember what day it was, and who you were.

To this day, the horror of it is still with those of us who watched it, next to our parents and grandparents, through our tears, on our little black and white TVs. And then a couple of days later they took out Oswald, on live TV, and we all simply could not believe that we had watched a real murder in Aunt Margaret's living room.

You wonder why these days the boomers are so hooked on The Sopranos? That weekend, it was as if our whole world had turned into The Sopranos. The guys in the neighborhood who had mob connections were used to it. The rest of us weren't.

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