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March 21st, 2010

Writer's Block: News development

What's the first major news event that you remember hearing about as a child? Where did you learn about it? How did it impact your world view?

Let the Wayback Machine take us back ... back ... waaaaay back - to 1963. I was eight years old, and my mother and grandfather came to pick me up from my Brownie pack meeting. It was dark and cold as we drove home in my grandfather's Wolseley. I was sitting in the back seat when my mother turned around, very slightly, and told me "The American President was shot today. President Kennedy was shot. He died." I think I started crying. The next several days were crazed, with the radio constantly on at home, and the funeral piped through the school's PA system at school. The fact that I lived in Nova Scotia should give you an idea of the assassination's impact. I was extremely upset. The night of the funeral, I dreamed that the president's coffin was in our fruit cellar and that I was trying to find a way to make him come alive again.

Zombie Kennedy was, in retrospect, probably a good thing to avoid.

I do not include vague memories from two years earlier, of my mother and grandparents talking about some place called Cuba, and being worried, because I am not certain those aren't "acquired" memories.