Sunday, November 17, 2013

50th Anniversary

With the media remembering the Kennedy assassination, I am re-posting my memories of the weekend we will never forget.

One of the things we loved to do as a young family was go to the Starved Rock Lodge and state park near LaSalle, Illinois.  The lodge was one of the marvelous structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's.  This is what we did as a country back then -- use the energy and intelligence of our unemployed to improve our public lands.

We loved to hike on the trails, many overlooking the Illinois River.  Even though there were stairs and bridges plus plenty of signs to help us get around, it was as close as this city dweller came to "wilderness."

Starved Rock is where we were on the weekend that Kennedy got shot, and Ruby shot Oswald.  Word came to us on that Friday morning, but we already had our reservations and decided to go, even though we were as traumatized as everyone else.

We stopped at Marshall Field's to buy some sturdy shoes.  I felt so guilty to be shopping.  Management must have felt the same way because they announced they were closing the store just as we were leaving.

It was a beautiful weekend as the weather was perfect.  The kids didn't know to be shocked, so we stuck with that.  I don't remember whether there was a TV on in the lodge, but if there was, we didn't give in to watching it.

All of my friends told me how they were glued to the TV the whole weekend.  Looking back, I'm glad we were away from it all hiking the trails.  Since then, we've had a lifetime to remember the death and ponder the consequences.