“Like the Arthurian years at Camelot, the Sixties constituted a breakthrough, a fleeting moment of glory, a time when a significant little chunk of humanity briefly realised its moral potential and flirted with its neurological destiny, a collective spiritual awakening that flared brilliantly until the barbaric and mediocre impulses of the species drew tight once more the curtains of darkness.” Tom Robbins
November brings with it an ominous cloud, causing us to become anxious, depressed and even hopeless at times. Perhaps it’s the lack of sunshine as clocks are turned back. With it, the sun rises later and sets earlier. We suffer from vitamin D deficiency. We feel tired a lot. This transition month is a time when we know that winter is right around the corner.
November is also a month of remembrance of a young president and his lovely wife – the first Catholic to hold the office – the first to be born in the 20th Century – the youngest ever to be elected. His tenure lasted for a brief 1036 days, but his imprint upon our nation has continued on through history. The rumors, gossip, stories of womanizing, mafia connections, pain killers, nepotism and extreme wealth – all fodder for the tabloids. The family business was finally being realized in the person of John F. Kennedy. Add to that the fact that the first lady was setting fashion trends, restoring the White House and bearing children. She soon became an icon sharing the spotlight with her husband.
At the time of his election, I had just graduated from high school. Within his short time in office, I began to plan for my wedding. Life seemed almost perfect. This president, in spite of the back stories, truly loved our country and the principles of freedom and liberty. Somehow, November holds a spot in my memory, which saw a radical change in how we viewed those things.
We saw a beloved president lose his life at the hand of an assassin. Shortly thereafter, the assassin would be killed by a nightclub owner, with possible mafia ties. Everything was instantly in our face. How could this happen? We were stunned and amazed as these events unfolded on our televisions each day. Later on we were witness to the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. The violence had been unleashed.
The tube became a source of opinions, rather than facts, and gave way to a different style of reporting the news. Times have changed in the past 50 years. We now have access to everything at the tap of a finger. The Walter Conkrites and David Brinkleys no longer exist. The news media has become a venue for fake news and we no longer trust what they have to say.
The days of the Kennedy presidency were filled with glamor, charisma, paparazzi, a royal atmosphere which Americans adored. We wept as the flag draped casket made its way down the street, followed by walking family members, political officials and heads of state. Tears flowed as the little soldier, John John saluted his father. Too young, too sad, too soon. I often wonder how things would’ve played out had JFK continued with a second term. I will never know, but one thing is for sure.
“Don’t let it be forgot. That once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot! ” King Arthur