25 December 2015

Published December 23, 2015 by rochellewisoff

The disc and the dragonfly

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This week’s prompt is a rerun. We will be out of town visiting family this week so please forgive me for very slow or nonexistent response time. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. If you’ve already written a story for this prompt as a few have, feel free to enjoy the respite. Look for next week’s prompt to be a retread as well. Thanks to each and every one of you who participate. I can’t begin to tell you what this group means to me. 



Copyright-Scott L. Vannatter

PHOTO PROMPT – © Scott L. Vannatter

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 97

Here’s the original Post


            Like the anguished images that flashed across our television, Friday, November 22, 1963 will ever be etched into my memory in black and white.

            Walter Cronkite wept on camera.

            The nation mourned.

            Dazed, Mom sorted Christmas ornaments at the kitchen table and mumbled empty phrases. Dad dropped to his knees, laid his head in her lap and sobbed. 

            “He was my hero!” I screamed. 

            My eleven-year-old world spun out and I kicked at the two faceless uniforms.

            Their vacuous condolences pelted me like the bullets that killed my big brother in Vietnam.


            I’ll never forgive Mr. Kennedy.


I was in 5th grade the day Kennedy was assassinated. We had just come in from recess when the teacher greeted us with “The president’s been shot.’ and flipped on the TV. What a cold and hollow weekend followed as we all crowded around the television and wondered who would do such a horrible thing. I don’t mean to spark a controversy but the fact is that President Kennedy did send advisers to Vietnam  and he did get us into the war.

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52 comments on “25 December 2015

  • That must have been a reality for someone, I guess, on that day. I could imagine the mixed emotions. This is a powerful piece Rochelle, whatever the reaction to it. I remember getting home from college that evening, and the shock of seeing the news. You’ve captured that moment well.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Bigger the mistake, sever the punishment. At that time we just new that he was a great friend of our prime Minister so we mourned. Your writing makes it an excellent story. i can imagine a sister’s woes . Thanks for the full information. .

    Liked by 2 people

  • I had worked then gone to college four years after high school. That placed me at college in my first year. I came from the library and went to my next class. In that class, the instructor was on a TV screen for the lecture. Instead of the instructor, that day, Walter Cronkite was on the TV screen crying and telling us President Kennedy had been shot and killed. We were told to go home as classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. The whole weekend we were glued to the set watching everything that happened after that. Good story based on history, Rochelle. Well written as always. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

  • I think we all remember where we where when that terrible event happened. I was a senior in high school and the school jokester told me that the president had been shot. At first I thought he was joking. Still remember his name to this day.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Danny,

      I can see where you’d think it was a joke. On the same line, I remember my dad saying, “Wouldn’t it be something if someone shoots Oswald?” Then a few minutes later, when my mom and I were out of the room, dad yells, “He’s been shot. Oswald’s been shot!” We thought ti was a joke since my dad was such a kidder. No jokes that weekend. 😦



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle
    I remember the original, and the discussion that followed, as everyone remembers where they were that day. It was my birthday so I will never forget.

    i know I have been absent without a note, for quite a few weeks and I have missed everyone very much. I intend to retire next Spring, my job is quite demanding and I feel ready now to hand over the baton and get my life back!

    I hope to carry on with my writing, you have set the barrier quite high, but I hope to finish the book about my ancestor and write and travel a lot more.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and look forward to chatting more in 2016.

    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dee,

      Helluva birthday present. I know a few people who have September 11 birthdays. You’ll always share it with a monumental tragedy.

      I’m sure you’re counting the days to your retirement. I certainly was at this time last. year. 😉 I’ve gone back to the store a couple of times to visit those to whom I passed the cake decorating baton. I’m happy it’s them and not me.

      I am loving my life. To be able to write and paint for most of my days is wonderful. My life is mine and I’m relishing it. I look forward to the same for you.

      Best wishes on that book. I look forward to reading it.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Great switch around from Kennedy to the more personal tragedy of the girl’s brother.
    Sadly I don’t have a 1963 story to share as I hadn’t yet been born but I imagine it was quite a shock for people across the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Very powerful story. You’re right, people make mistakes, the great ones, and the ‘normal’ ones, only those of the great ones affect so many lives. I was five, and people were sad. My parents told me that a great man had died, most Germans loved him. There isn’t much I remember from being five years old, but this is one of the things.
    Nevertheless, Happy Holidays, Rochelle, and thank you for all your hard work, and the fun you give us every week.


  • It is a wonderful and very adept piece as everyone before me has said. I think we should all remember that heros are just people. The world is full of varying perspectives and experiences. I for one, enjoy stories that give a twist or variant on some well known occurence.
    I hope you have an enjoyable holiday and a new year full of good health and good cheer!


  • You’ve captured the moment well. Even I, as a 14 year old in Australia, was aware that something unimaginable had occurred. It was the kind of event that signals a shift in reality. I like your ‘twist’ on it – we are all fallible, aren’t we? We all make wrong decisions – even the heroes. But the cost can be enormous when the heroes fail.


  • I was writing a Grade 12 English exam, when the teacher returned to the room and interrupted us, to tell us that, “President Kennedy has been shot.” Looking at 30 expectant faces staring at him, he finally asked, “WHAT??” Is he dead? “Of course he’s dead. That’s what I just said.” No you didn’t Mr. English Teacher. You said he’d been shot! 😛
    Everyone appreciated Camelot, but we Canadians weren’t quite so blind, or as distraught as most Americans.


  • I’ve always found it interesting and unsettling, how biased and inaccurate history classes were in school. We learned a lot about Kennedy and his assassination, but glossed over the Vietnam War, which my dad was grievously injured in.

    We also learned nothing of Rosemary Kennedy, his sister who was institutionalized due to invisible disabilities, then ignored by her family, and was “treated” with lobotomy, which destroyed what little life she had left. She was the inspiration for the Special Olympics, but her personal story isn’t addressed very often, nor are the continued injustices visited upon people with all sorts of disabilities today.

    This story also reminded me of a conversation with my mom from several years ago. We were talking about 9/11 and she brought up the Kennedy assassination. She said something along the lines of, “Every generation has at least one huge event. One shared trauma, that unifies them in fear, sadness and grief.” I can’t remember her exact words, but that’s the sentiment behind them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Emilie,

      It does seem that your mom is right. Although some of us now have two huge events. It’s strange to me that something like the Viet Nam war that was so much a part of adolescence was so soon relegated to the back row of history.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.




  • Dear Stephanie King,
    I was in 2nd grade at the time and don’t remember a whole lot of the Kennedy administration. I do remember my parents discussing his candidacy before the election and doubting his chances because he was Catholic. Why that stuck in brain I have no idea.
    What I find truly sad is that several presidents since that time have continued the practice of sending troops to places we should not be and putting them in situations we cannot win. Like the song says, “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.”
    Happy Kwanza
    Brad Pitt Gayer

    Liked by 1 person

  • Very powerful story.
    We didn’t have a television yet, so my parents kept the radio on. My dad talked about Lincoln and a nation in mourning. Mom said it couldn’t happen in Canada. I was old enough to understand, if not completely grasp, the enormity of it.
    My father was in South-East Asia twice: once early in the war, then again at the end. The war impacted a whole generation; and we’ve rarely not been fighting someone somewhere since.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Phylor,

      The most interesting part of posting this story, in 2012 and again this year, is that those of a certain age all want to share their stories. Love it. I can’t imagine not having a TV.
      Thank you for your kind words re my piece.




    • Dear Dawn,

      It has bee a busy, wonderful week with my youngest son and his beautiful bride to be in Chicago. Sarah’s a talented artist and a kindred spirit. What more could a mother ask for her son? Oh yes, did mention that she adores him?

      Thank you for your comments re my story. Although it’s one of my earlier ones, it remains a personal favorite. Glad you liked it, too.



      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you’re having a wonderful time; carpe! We lived in downtown in Chicago for 7 years… some of the happiest years of my life! We still visit whenever we can, and think of it as home… where our babies were born. Enjoy! xxo And a very Happy New Year!


  • Nobody’s perfect, even those who are handsome and die young. I’ve not entered FF this week because I am knee-deep in a family Christmas, but I am deeply grateful that I discovered this group and hope you keep it going for a long time Season’s blessings. Lizy

    Liked by 1 person

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