Where Were You When?

Obviously, I am referring to the killing of John F Kennedy on this day in 1963. As the median age of the US is still under 40 (although probably not for long), most people alive today were not alive when Kennedy died on that day in Dallas.

Even though I was only about 3 1/2 years old, I remember that day. My younger sibling (from whom I have been estranged for a long time) was upstairs taking a nap. I was downstairs on the sofa reading–yes, reading–while my mother was watching TV, As The World Turns. My older sister was in school.

At first, the news broke that Kennedy had been shot. It was not for another hour, I believe, that word broke that he had died. My mother began screaming and crying although I don’t remember for how long. Remember that my mother, a Holocaust survivor, had only been in the US six years when Kennedy was killed.

As I have written before, I concur with the theory of ballistics expert Howard Donahue as laid out in Bonar Menninger’s book, Mortal Error. Donahue presents compelling evidence that while Lee Harvey Oswald shot at Kennedy in an attempt to assassinate him, the fatal shot was an accident as a Secret Service agent in the motorcade accidentally discharged his weapon. People are going to believe what they want to believe, but if an open-minded person studies the information I think it is difficult, although not impossible, to reach any other conclusion.



Some have called that event the end of innocence in the US, but I think that is a temporally arrogant view. For example, I can’t imagine that the Civil War and assassination of Abraham Lincoln didn’t have a profound effect on the country even if electronic communication hadn’t yet been invented.

I also recall watching Lee Harvey Oswald being killed two days later in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters as it was shown on live TV. I am in no position to say if the events of those few days left a lasting impact on me as I have no frame of reference to do so.


On a (much) lighter note, legendary automobile designer Harley Earl was born on this day in 1893. Earl was really the father of the Corvette being influenced by the European sports cars he saw on a trip to Watkins Glen. He was the first top executive ever appointed in design of a major corporation in American history. Credit should be given to the man who hired Earl for that position, then GM President/CEO Alfred Sloan. (Yes, I am sure I have written about Earl in a post on this day in the past.)

I have often dreamed of having a replica built of a famous concept car in the very unlikely event that my wonderful wife and I win a huge lottery jackpot. As much as I love the design of Tom Tjaarda’s Rondine, I think that I would try to have a replica of this car built first.


The Buick Y-Job, the First Concept Car, Designed and Built in 1938 - Flashbak


This is the Buick Y-Job. Designed by Harley Earl, who is behind the wheel, and produced in 1938, it was the auto industry’s first concept car. By the way, Earl drove this car until 1951. Again, the sad irony that Buick produced this car and at this moment in time doesn’t manufacture anything except SUVs is very disquieting to me.

Although I have to admit that current trends in the automobile industry have robbed me of some of my enthusiasm, my profound feelings of wonder and admiration for cars like the Y-Job have not diminished. If I could afford it, which I cannot, I would pay a seven-figure sum to have a replica of this car built for me.







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10 thoughts on “Where Were You When?

  1. I was 14 years old, in Junior High School that day, English class, if I remember correctly. I was pretty upset upon hearing the news. For whatever reason, it seemed like I was the only one in the class to take the news that hard.


    1. I have often wondered what my reaction would have been if I had been older and in school. I can tell you that I was embarrassed by the reaction of the majority of students in my curriculum and year when the mother of a student in our curriculum and year who had committed suicide–she was a local TV personality–came to talk to us. Most of the students would not stop talking.

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  2. ” current trends in the automobile industry have robbed me of some of my enthusiasm”

    Given what is being offered to the public, there isn’t much to get excited about. Other than a shrinking handful of true performance cars, the pickings are getting mighty slim. Electrics don’t do much for me being as they are neither efficient or “green”. Even pick up trucks are getting to the point where you can’t use them for what their original intention was, actually carrying stuff. “Can’t scratch that paint, I’ll lose resale value.” Jesus wept.

    And as content of the electronic variety increases, so do the cost of future repairs*. And some of the content, to me, seems overkill. Example; A couple of months ago I rode with a friend to a car meet in his 2021 Chevy pick up. While there he decided to have some beer and asked if I would drive back (glad he thought to ask). Driving home, all of a sudden my right butt cheek started “tingling”. WTF? I at first thought the electric seat was shorting out and zapping me. When I said something he told me that is a warning you are too close to the edge of the road and would do the same if you got too close to the center line. I tried it and sure enough, left butt cheek was tingling, actually a vibration. If you need this to let you know your driving is sub-optimal, you should probably put down your phone and pay more attention to the road.

    These are some of the reasons I have only 2 vehicles made in this century, and will only maybe upgrade to something made in the last, or current, decade.

    *I think I mentioned previously about a TPS issue I had, and trailer brake lights being installed in a Buick at a friends shop. SMH


    1. Thanks, DDM. I do know some people, in the minority however, who think common sense will prevail and the mad rush to EVs will slow. I think it will only be after the many negative consequences of the “switch” become obvious that society will feel some remorse, but by then it will be too late.


  3. I was a junior in high school when in my American History class we heard the news about the President. More details were forthcoming in my last class and sadness reigned for the rest of the weekend. I was standing in the family room watching TV on Sunday when Oswald was shot. The rest of the family was still getting ready so all of us could go to church. At the time I was a delivery boy for the local morning paper, The Arizona Daily Star, I kept and still have the complete issues of those newspapers from Friday through Monday.

    I too have read Bonner Menninger’s book “Mortal Error.” He is the only one who analyzed the shootings correctly. He did theorize that Oswald’s last shot to hit the President would also have been fatal, if not for the accidental discharge of the Secret Service agent’s weapon. The car the agents were riding in was the Cadillac convertible, President Eisenhower used for his parade car. I saw President Eisenhower in that very same car in July 1960 when he attended the Boy Scout Jamboree in Colorado Springs were I was a member of my council troop.

    The Buick Y-Job is a beautiful concept.

    I am with DDM, I do not like anything currently being built and sold by the automotive manufacturers. Which is exactly why I am continuing on my project truck the 1948 F-1 Lightning. Classic pickup truck body with modern drive train and interior. Besides it goes along with the “woke” environmentalists because I am “recycling” an old vehicle. Not because I care one wit about what they think, I love the classic lines of the truck.


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