By Mr. R
Editors Note: November 22, 2011 will be the 48th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 was a horrible shock to our nation. To those who are old enough to remember the news announcements of his death, the question arose: “Where were you when you heard JFK was shot?” The answer was not as important as the fact that every single person asked this question, even years later, could remember where they were when they heard the startling and tragic news.
I am unable to tell you exactly where I was when I heard President John F. Kennedy had been shot. It might have been during my high school chemistry class, but I don’t really remember. I do remember that during the next passing period, I acted unnaturally happy over something, and I was shushed by a few of the students near me in the hall who told me, “Show some respect.”
But I can tell you exactly where I was when I heard Kinsey Stoneham was killed in a car crash. I was walking down the east side ofColgate Streetwith my good friend Danny to my right. I was carrying my school books in my left arm tucked around them in traditional “cool” style, and it was approximately 7:05 am. I remember Danny’s words and our simple but shocking conversation.
“Have you heard about Stoneham?”
“No. What happened?”
“He was killed in a car crash last night.”
“Did somebody hit him?”
“Nah. He was driving by himself, probably speedin’, and he lost control of his car. No one else was involved. But Stoneham’s dead.”
I never knew Kinsey Stoneham very well. None of us did. He was a classmate who died a month before JFK. None of us ever got to know him well, for he died early in the school year at his new school. Kinsey Stoneham was buried, but unlike Eleanor Rigby, not along with his name.
I’ll always remember where I was when I heard that Kinsey Stoneham died in a car crash.