Posts Tagged ‘November 22 1963’

Note: This is a story written in the point of view of an eight year old child.  Although I wrote it many years after that horrible day when I was in second grade, I hope I have captured the day as I experienced it so long ago.


After eating  lunch, I went to wait outside the classroom door with Lydia and Denise, my best friends.  Our teacher, Mrs. Baumann, let us into the classroom every day after she finished her lunch.  We helped her correct papers and get things ready for the rest of the day.

We had been waiting for a long time.  She never took this long.  It was getting cold.  We got tired of waiting so Denise went to the door and knocked.  The door opened and Mrs. Baumann came out.  She looked real sad.  Her eyes looked wet.  She let us in.  She gave us papers to staple and went into the back room with one of the other teachers, Mrs. Quail.

The girls and I were really excited because our second grade class was putting on the Thanksgiving assembly later that afternoon.  Some of us had Indian headdresses to wear and some had Pilgrim hats and two of the boys had turkey feathers to wear.

The teachers were whispering in the back room.  The phone rang.  Mrs. Baumann talked for a little bit then we heard her hang up.  They whispered then the two teachers started to cry loudly.  They weren’t even trying to hide it.  Something terrible must’ve happened because the phone never rang.  It was only for emergencies because we were so far from the other classrooms and the rest of the school.

The teachers just cried and cried.  We looked at them.  I asked Mrs. Baumann what was wrong.  She said we would find out later.  Just then, the bell rang and she went to the door to let the rest of the kids inside.  She didn’t even wait until they were all quiet and in a straight line.  She just let them in.

When everyone was in their chairs, Mrs. Baumann tried to stop crying.  She couldn’t stop. As she cried, she slowly started to talk.  She said that President Kennedy, Caroline’s daddy had been shot earlier that morning.  She said she had just gotten a phone call from the office saying that he was dead.  We all looked at each other, then at her.  We could tell that we were supposed to be sad but I don’t think any of us was sure.

Mrs.  Baumann had us put our heads down on the tables and pray for Caroline’s daddy and for Caroline because she didn’t have a daddy anymore.  I  was sad when I thought of Caroline not having a daddy anymore.  Then Mrs. Baumann said that we might not have the assembly that afternoon because of what had happened.  Almost the whole class started crying, especially the first graders that were in our the class.  We had all worked so hard to do a neat job cutting and pasting our costumes.  It had been very hard to learn all those songs for our program.  Some of us had parents coming to watch.  Lydia’s  mother was coming and so was Denise’s.  My Mommy was supposed to come too.  I was sad because she was going to walk all the way to school with my little sister and there wasn’t even going to be an assembly.

Mrs. Baumann asked us to sit quietly with our heads on our desks and think about what had happened in a place she called Dallas.

The phone rang again.  After she hung up, Mrs. Baumann announced that we would have the assembly after all.  We were all happy about that.  We stopped crying.

We had the assembly but some of the classes did not come.  We walked to the auditorium, put on our headdresses, hats, and feathers and sang our songs.  We did a real good job.  We all smiled proudly as the audience clapped.  Not very many parents came that day.  Denise’s mother didn’t come  and Lydia’s mother didn’t come.  My Mommy and my little sister were there.  Mrs. Baumann said I could go say hi to them when we finished the program.  I was proud that they had come to see me.  My Mommy must’ve been proud of me too because she was crying.


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