‘I cheered when Ruby shot Oswald’

I remember how Mr. Hayek’s voice broke when he told my 5th grade class that President Kennedy had been killed.

Two days later I cheered when Ruby shot Oswald.

Peter Lawford on JFK: ‘You’ll never know the truth….’

Chuck Pick has been Hollywood’s go-to parking valet for decades. Most recently his company handled the exclusive Vanity Fair Oscars party. In his time he’s interacted with not only film personalities, but also presidents, including JFK.

Pick recounts that when working an early 1960s Hollywood event at which the Kennedys and Marilyn Monroe were present, Secret Service men told him: “You have eyes but you can’t see, you have ears but you can’t hear and you have a mouth but you can’t speak. You’re going to see a lot of things, but you have to keep quiet.”

That party was held at the home of JFK’s British-born brother in law, Peter Lawford, according to James Spada’s 1991 Lawford biography, “The Man Who Kept the Secrets.”

On November 22, 1963, Pick was working as a personal assistant to Lawford, who was doing a show with Jimmy Durante at the Harrah’s resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Pick and Lawford were up until dawn that night and had just got to bed when a Harrah’s representative woke them with the news that JFK had been shot in Dallas. Lawford, who was reportedly instrumental in arranging JFK’s presidential “affairs” such as his alleged liaisons with Marilyn Monroe, immediately prepared to travel home to Los Angeles on Harrah’s private plane, which had been made available to them.

As Pick told Spada, it was when they were frantically packing to leave that they heard Walter Cronkite’s tearful announcement that Kennedy was dead. Lawford collapsed on to the kitchen floor, beyond consolation, vomiting between sobs.

The assassination was the beginning of a downward spiral for Lawford, who, already estranged from JFK’s sister Pat, descended into drink, drugs and a series of brief marriages. He died at age 61 in 1984.

Pick told Spada that he later mustered up the courage to ask Lawford what “had really happened” in Dallas.

“You’ll never know the truth of what happened in Dallas,” Lawford replied. “You’ll never know the truth.” Pick pushed further to no avail. “I interpreted it as meaning that he knew what happened and few other people ever would.”

Spada also quotes Paul Wurtzel, a Lawford friend who was the assistant director on the films “Dear Phoebe” and “The Thin Man.” Wurtzel had become “a student” of the assassination, and asked Lawford to answer a single question: “Did Oswald kill Kennedy or was it higher up?”

“It was higher up,” Lawford answered.

“I let it drop,” Wurtzel told Spada, “and I never asked him what he meant. I’m sure he wouldn’t have said anything more to me. He still had kids and the family.”

New Orleans picks up on Politico’s JFK story

On May 12 I reported bout the 3,600 JFK-related documents that remain out of public view.

On Monday, Politico picked up on the story and added a host of new details and comments.

Yesterday the story was picked by, the Web site of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

What JFK researchers need to do

A reader writes:

“I am 60 years of age and was in the 5th grade on 11/22/63….”

Read more

‘A charismatic president lives on’

From MSNBC, a piece about Kennedy’s unique place in American memory.

JFK Memory: Seeing Oswald shot on TV

I was 11 years old, and sitting in Mr. Lobdell’s 6th grade classroom when the teacher came walking into the room and said we were being sent home because the President had been shot and killed. He looked so grim and worried.
The thing I remember about JFK was he was the first President I was really aware of and looked up to. And he could be funny. Read more

JFK Memory: As the World Turns

On November 22, I stayed home from school, sick, and was watching “As the World Turns.” So I watched the CBS coverage live from the living room couch, eating macaroni and cheese.
The reports kept repeating that Mrs. Kennedy said “Oh no,” and I remember hearing the “grassy hill” early on in the report.

Read more

JFK memory: Didn’t believe it even at 9 years old

I was nine years old and going to Catholic school in the same Connecticut town where JFK had attended prep school. The nuns were very proud that their president was Catholic and that he had roots in our town. They reminded us often that Kennedy had attended Canterbury School which was right down the road from my school. All of this meant that the assassination was more personal.

I distinctly remember some public school 4th graders chanting “Kennedys dead hooray” as we walked to the buses to return home (our school was too poor to have it’s own buses so it had made arrangements to transport it’s students on the same buses as the public school kids since their school was half a block away).

Even at nine years old i knew that we were being lied to after Ruby shot Oswald. All the kids in the neighborhood knew it at that point and openly discussed the load of BS the elites were expecting us to swallow.

JFK Memory: Those ringing bells

I was working for Visión, a Spanish-language newsmagazine patterned after Time. I was on my way to AP to get related photos, when as I passed within a short distance of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, its bells tolled the death of JFK. I can still hear them. Even now, after 49 years, a heaviness comes across my chest as I remember that day, and look at the photos.

JFK memory: ‘Something really bad had happened to Mr. Kennedy’

I was two and half years old when Kennedy was killed. I was toddling around the house when the soap opera my mother was watching came to a halt. The news came on. I paid little attention, but knew something bad had happened, since all my family did for the next few days was watch television. Read more

JFK memory: A boy learns that what is on television isn’t necessarily happening now

On November 22, 1963, I was 3 years old. The trauma was obvious. My mother and grandmother were on my parents’ bed upstairs watching the television about the assassination. They were crying. I was downstairs, where another television was on as well. On it I saw what was, in retrospect, obviously film of a speech JFK had given. On seeing it I ran upstairs to my parents’ room, where my mom and grandmother were watching the same channel. I pointed at the screen and yelled, “See! He’s alive!” They both looked at me, puzzled for a moment, and then started crying even harder. I didn’t entirely understand, but I knew enough to realize the fact he was there on the screen speaking didn’t mean he was still alive.

JFK memory: In suburban St. Louis

I was born in 1958 so I was five years old when JFK was killed. I was living in St. Louis, the third of four children. My father was a minister in an Episcopal Church near our our house. My mother was in graduate school. I recall Kennedy’s assassination as my first public memory, my first recollection of an event that Read more

JFK memory: My Catholic aunts

I was 7 years old when Kennedy was killed. The only memory I have is spending that Christmas in Rhode Island, with my mother’s big Catholic Italian family. My aunts were still talking about it and crying on and off.