My grandma and grandpa thought it important to get me a copy of “The Torch is Passed”. This work was produced by the Associated Press and details the assassination of President Kennedy.
November 22,1963, six days before my sixth birthday. Vivid memories of kindergarten being sent home early, my mom crying and crying and crying. Me not really understanding how such a terrible thing could happen. And then the even more confusing images of Jack Ruby gunning down Oswald on live television.
Only a small handful of you readers share this with me. It signified a loss of innocence for us, let us know that there really were Boogey Men in the world. Kicking off the 60s and our childhood, shaping us, with the knowledge that no one, anywhere, was truly safe from madness. That hope can be snatched in a moment.
The Cold War. The Bay of Pigs Invasion. Mushroom Clouds. Vietnam. Civil Rights. Air Raid Sirens (when the alarms sounded, we would crawl under our desks, cover our heads with a book, and wait until the teacher gave clearance.) Even then I had it figured as the silliest of exercises. Those were hard times for children.
A lot of it unnecessary fear mongering by authorities losing control of a populace that was insisting more and more on self determination and less governmental control.
So yes, that climate also launched a new way. Prompting youth to stand towards actualization instead of obedience. Students for a Democratic Society. Yippies. Bikinis. The Beatles. Birth Control. Hippies. T-T-T-T-Talkin bout my generation.
Fifty years of perspective. Understanding the historical passing of a torch, hinged on one of the greatest of American tragedies.
Today is the first time in over 4 decades that I’ve looked at this book.
A seminal photo from my youth.
Leading to one of the most colorful, freeing, expressive decades in the history of our country.