I was sitting in a classroom in the 6th grade in Bly, Oregon. It was like any other day. I remember it was getting close to lunch time.
It was a small school in a small town and so the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades were in the same room at the same time. Mr. Creed was writing
something on the blackboard when Mrs. Obenchain, the principal, came into the room. She had a small portable radio with her. She went
over and told something to Mr. Creed, then turned and left the room. Mr. Creed looked solemn and sad, as he turned to face us. He said,
"I have very sad news for you, the President, Mr. Kennedy, has been shot and killed, while riding in a car in Dallas, Texas.' 'We have very
little information as to how and what happened, but we do know that he was shot with a rifle". "He died about 20 minutes ago." We are going
to have a moment of silence and then you can ask me any questions you may have."
"Is Russia going to attack the United States?" someone asked. "No, he replied, we still have all of our government and military in order".
"Do they know who did it?" "There is a lot of turmoil there right now, so we will have to wait, to see" Suddenly, Patty, began to cry, then
another, and another. Then, Mrs. Obenchain came into the room and told us that we were going home. She said we would not come back to
school until Monday. Being only 12 years old at the time, I felt a sudden happiness that we weren't having school, but then as sudden as it
went through me, I suddenly felt very afraid and sad. Not so much for Mr. Kennedy, but for my mom. It was her birthday that day. She
was home cooking a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for her birthday dinner. You see, it was my turn to pick out the type of cake she
would have for her birthday. My brother, sister and I had picked out a really nice gift for her, and now it was going to be a really sad day
for our family. I felt so sorry for my mom.
The bus finally showed up to take us all home and it stopped in front of our house. I jumped up and ran toward the front of the bus, when I
could feel my sister right behind me. We held hands as we crossed the road, and then we both ran to the front door. Once inside, we both
ran to mom and gave her a big hug and kisses. She said, "What is wrong with you two?" What's with all the affection?
She didn't know.
It was a strange and sad day in our house. We never ate the cake. Mom held on to the presents for a while and one day that next spring
we convinced her to have a birthday party. Things were going to be all right now.
The kids in school for the next year or so were never the same. It seemed we had all aged a bit more than our true age told us.
Anyone from that era can tell you exactly what they were doing and where they were on that day. This is my story.