I will always remember November 22, not
only because it was the terrible day JFK was shot, but also because
it was my mothers birthday.
Earlier that day my second grade class in Livingston had witnessed
one of the strangest sights we had ever seen, a teacher crying.
Stern Mrs. Alholm our teacher had left the class, summoned into
the hall by the neighboring teacher - we of course took full advantage
of our freedom, but were shocked when she walked into the room,
tears streaking down her face to tell us the news.
We saw a lot of people cry over the next few days who we had never
seen cry before.
That night my parents had plans to meet a number of friends at
an Italian Restaurant in Newark where we went for special occasions.
(I wish I could remember its name - I do remember that the restaurant
had lots of cubby hole like areas for private parties and that the
Italian waiters wore black tuxedos and were always very jolly...maybe
someone has an idea of the name of the place.) The streets on the
way were deserted, and when we got to the restaurant there were
few customers, and the once jolly waiters had red red eyes because
they too had been crying. Most of my parents guests did not show
up, so those of us who were there sat a strangely empty large table
in the almost empty restraint.
We saw so much over those few days that is seared into all of
us who were there then - the shooting of Jack Ruby, the brave widow
and the magnificent funeral, and the little boys salute to his father.
Little did we know that we were at a kind of turning point then,
that in just a few short years the teaming boulevards of the city
would be regularly silent, the grand stores would be empty, and
it would be unheard for a suburban family to venture to Newark for
any occasion or reason.