Thursday, March 4, 2010
NOT MEETING JFK
The only time I ever skipped school was in 1960, to go to London, Ohio, as Senator John F. Kennedy was supposed to be in a motorcade on his way to Columbus.
When we got there the motorcade had already passed. Whoever heard of a political event being ahead of schedule? When I returned to school, all was forgiven because Mr. Kelley was a Democrat and he excused me!
Watching the results of the election, President Kennedy was quoted as saying, "Ohio--where I get the warmest welcome--and the fewest votes." I was passionate about the election and spent every moment I could "campaigning" for JFK. There is no way to ever capture the passion felt of young love--or young politics! One of the saddest realizations--and a defining moment in my life--was discovering all of the anti-Catholic sentiment in my county. My best friend and I would go around the county with her mother, gathering up all of the anti-Catholic literature we could find and destroying it. At that time, there were phone booths on nearly every corner in Washington C.H. and there were always pamphlets left there. They were also all around at Downtown Drug and Pensyl's and all other businesses of the John Birch Society followers. I was so naive that I asked Mr. Pensyl if he knew who had left those disgraceful pamphlets! He told me to leave the store. My friend's mother quit going to Dr. Binzel when she saw those flyers there. In the remainder of the time that Pensyl's and Downtown Drug were there, I never again entered the buildings. That is the main reason that we started shopping out of town. My friend has kept one of those vicious pamphlets framed on her wall with the note, "Lest we forget."
At a class reunion, two of my classmates and I were discussing JFK and how important he was in our lives. Then something peculiar occurred--everybody there said how they had been for Senator Kennedy--but I knew better because Mr. Kelley had conducted a mock election in our Government class. I spoke up and said, "I remember the mock election and there were only FOUR votes for Kennedy and the rest were for Nixon." Mike Coil laughed and told them that it was true. I then proceeded to tell WHO in our class had voted for Kennedy: Mike Coil, Bob Hammond, Don Grim and myself! I took out my collection of senior photos and inscribed on the back of the pictures of Mike, Bob and Don were references to our being Democrats. As my brother Norman says, "I can never find anybody NOW who admits he/she voted for Nixon!"