Enterprise baby boomers had more memorable days growing up than we can recall nowadays.
Several birthdays were unforgettable:
6th - Start school
10th - Register for youth baseball
12th - Pay adult prices at Levy Theater
15th - Take written test for learner’s permit
16th - Take driver’s license road test
18th - Register with Selective Service during Vietnam War.
Can’t remember exact dates of anything but birthdays above, but there’s a date that’ll apparently remain etched in the minds of everyone alive then:
The day RCA bought Elvis’s contract from Sun for $35,000: Nov. 22, 1955!
Not it, tragically.
Today’s the 57th November 22 since the world was rocked by U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination in Dallas.
Several theories concern that fateful day; compelling arguments exist for each:
-Did accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?
-Was Oswald a fall guy?
-Was the assassination part of a world-wide conspiracy?
-What about Jack Ruby?
-Was Russia involved?
Watching History Channel’s “Hunting Hitler” in recent years, viewers have seen ever-growing reams of previously top-secret World War II documents released; can’t help wondering if secrets about Kennedy’s assassination will also be liberated.
May have to hang around 50+ more Novembers to learn the whole Dallas story.
Could it be JFK and his brother Robert – assassinated in 1968 – were both covertly dispatched by unnamed henchmen of a certain New Jersey singer/actor over how the brothers treated Marilyn Monroe, who allegedly committed suicide on Aug. 5, 1962?
Back to Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, and Miss Leonidas Jones’s eighth-grade Enterprise Junior High School homeroom, where some of the 15 of us rookie members of Enterprise High School’s Wildcat Marching Band were waiting to be bused to EHS by Mr. Lewie Morris.
At EHS, we were to board one of two band buses and head to Eufaula for the 10th football game of the season, a game that’d been postponed September 20.
In that pre-playoff era, the Wildcats, coached by second-year head coach Paul Terry, beat Eufaula after the assassination-caused second postponement, 21-7, to end the 7-1-2 season that included our second consecutive win against Dothan.
Even as eighth graders, we knew something was wrong when Miss Jones wasn’t in her classroom after lunch that haunting Friday.
Minutes crept like hours while we waited and waited for her.
Meanwhile, at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, we learned much later, the young, emergency room receiving doctor, as history recorded, responded to the media’s question “Will the President be OK?” with an immediate, truthful assessment, in essence, “I can’t work miracles on a dead man!”
When Miss Jones finally joined us, her voice aquiver, she wiped tears explaining the horrendous event the best she could, given limited information the pre-internet American public was provided on radio and all three pre-cable major TV networks.
Naturally, we couldn’t grasp the severity of the assassination and its aftermath as young’uns; even today the baffling tragedy remains a major one of those “how’d that really happen?” mysteries.
The name of the ER doctor quoted above ain’t a mystery, though; years later, we heard him at the end of his taped medical segments during daily TV news broadcasts:
“From the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, I’m Dr. Red Duke” …
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