JFK, Our Special Georgetowner


The 50th anniversary of the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas
on November 22 will be on a Friday, the
same day of the week when it occurred in 1963.

This means we will again head into a postassassination
weekend, brimming with restored
memories of the days of drums, days filled
with shock after shock, including the live-ontelevision
of the suspected assassin Lee Harvey
Oswald in front of stunned millions.

This day, and all the recent days leading up
to the anniversary are filled with the memory
keepers, the conspiracy theorist, the still-grieving,
the noted absence of the missing who played
important roles in those days, those times. It is
the job of archivists to remember, and of journalists
and quasi-journalists, and bloggers and
stir-the-leaves-of-autumn-with-doubt types to
rehash, resurrect, remember remind, and reminisce
among the ashes of the time. Oliver Stone
will have his opinion again, that his epic assassination
film “JFK” was a kind of truth, about
the presence of conspiracy and conspirators,
although as you watch the actor Kevin Costner
pretend to be Jim Garrison, who was something
of a pretender to begin with, you may not
embrace the authenticity of the movie so much
even while in the grip of it.

Around here, we note again that John F.
Kennedy, who, on film, even with hard Boston
accents landing like an Irish clog dancer on
words at times, still looks like a man of our
times, modern, pragmatic, inspiring and energetic.
In the intervening years, we have learned
and gotten to know all too much about JFK,
the princely president and his family, not all of
which is savory. It matters not—in all the times
we have noted and remembered his presence at
this time of the year in this publication, our lingering
sadness at his absence has not wavered.
He was in his own way a Georgetowner, in the
sense that he lived here in his young man rising
youth, his young husband years, his years
of ambition pursued and his early young father
years. In Georgetown, we felt the presence of the
youthful man dashing ahead of himself to run
for president, to woo, court and marry the young
news reporter and aristocrat Jackie. It is here we
caught him leaning on a balcony, thin and dashing
as a boy, in white-t-shirt, thick hair. Here, in
Georgetown, we can still catch our breath at a
new and old sight of him in a television still or a
magazine picture from those days.

The history that has been added on over the
past 50 years is a family history—a telling of a
clan both blessed and unduly burdened with loss
and tragedy of the most public and reverberating
kind. Watching the restored George Stevens, Jr.-
produced documentary, “Years of
Day of
and seeing
B o b b y
and Jackie
and John
Jr. at the
f u n e r a l c e r emonies is to
note they
are, like JFK, all gone too soon.
All these memories, however, including
dark knowledge, take nothing away from the
John F. Kennedy that inspired us to action. That
day 50 years ago is a kind of dark, muddled St.
Crispin day for those of us who remember it
clearly as young men and women, just starting
out, biting back the tears. That’s especially true
in our village where he served his time of knowing


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