November 22, 1963

by Dave Hosseini


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.


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