EDITOR’S NOTE: Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe’s article about former reporter Keith Shelton [DRC, June 30] and his memories of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy prompted Denton resident Ed Glick to write the insightful letter below. As we approach the 50th anniversary of that fateful day in Dallas, we invite other readers to share their own memories of the assassination and its impact.
It was good to read about Keith Shelton’s recollections of President Kennedy’s assassination on Page 1 in Sunday’s edition. I have my own recollections, too. Although I didn’t have a direct involvement as he did, I have never forgotten the day.
On Nov. 22, 1963, I was the faculty program director of Ohio University’s radio stations, WOUB-AM and FM. That morning we heard a “flash” alert, from our Associated Press newswire teletype. That’s how we learned that Kennedy had been shot in Dallas and was gravely injured.
WOUB primarily played popular music, and I told the student music director to make sure that any music we played for the next few days was to be appropriate. My admonition worked out well except for one particular instrumental recording that was very popular at the time. The music was certainly appropriate, but almost instantly, we began getting outraged calls.
Unfortunately, the title was “Days of Wine and Roses.”
Although I wasn’t in Dallas at the time of Kennedy’s assassination, his death affected me personally, because as a recording engineer in Boston in 1953, I recorded all of his radio commercials during his campaign for the Senate seat against the incumbent, Henry Cabot Lodge. (There were many experiences during his campaign that I still recall vividly.)
In 1966, as I was leaving Ohio University to take a job in Dallas, many people I spoke with said somewhat accusingly, “You’re going to Dallas. That’s where they shot President Kennedy.”
In view of those comments, it’s interesting to recall a statement made by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings several months ago. He said that Dallas was planning a major public memorial ceremony on Nov. 22, 2013, to mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. “We want to mark this day by remembering a great president with a sense of dignity and honor he deserves. The 50th will be a serious, respectful and understated public memorial.”
In 50 years, Dallas will have come a long way from its day of shame.
Ed Glick, Denton