NauenThen

11/22

November 22, 2017

Tags: JFK

I knew that if the girls told Mrs. Wooten, that day's playground monitor, it had to be true.

I ran home ducking my head, waiting for the sky to fall.

Would my mother's best friend have killed herself if it had happened a day earlier?

In the Midwest, we liked how he talked: his vigah.

My mother almost crashed into another car when her hands flew off the steering wheel at hearing the news. The other driver gave her a dirty look but at some point that day understood. I imagine it was part of her story of that day for the rest of her life. How often we are bit players.

Half a century ago

November 22, 2013

Tags: JFK

Me, I was in grade school. When I came back from lunch, some girls told the strict teacher who had playground duty, and I knew it had to be true: No one would tell Mrs. Wootten a lie.

My mother was running errands, heard on the car radio, & threw up her hands in shock—almost crashing into another car, whose driver gave her a dirty look. What I love is my mother as an anonymous player in someone else's story. If she's still alive, that woman is telling the story yet again today.