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For What it’s Worth

So…I’m a little kid living in Washington D.C…I was happy as kids go…We had a wonderful President with kids like me, and a beautiful wife..Caroline was into horses and so was I…life was good…and they were always dressing up and sounding great and looking good…There was even a comedy album making fun of them that was charming, not insulting…we were laughing…and I was just a kid…

Oh, yeah, BTW, I was being raised by a fantastic woman, because my parents were gone a lot…her name is Hattie Jackson. Hattie did everything that my mother couldn’t do…like drive a car…I would be sent off to stay with Hattie and her family on weekends, because my parents were at diplomatic and political events…that was their job. Sometimes, they went to the White House too…but I was with Hattie…thank Goddess, and we liked dogs. Oh yeah…Hattie was black. I was more comfortable with Hattie and her family than with my own actually.

I used to ask her.."what’s the difference between my skin and yours?", and she would say…"chocolate and vanilla". Sounded good to me. So, like I said…I’m a little kid living in D.C. in the early sixties…Suddenly, they started telling us, in school, to get under our desks and to "duck and cover"…WTF???? Yeah, because they were telling us that we were in great risk..on any day, of being obliterated by a nuclear bomb. Lovely….

My father was a diplomat from Norway. I can still remember his silhouette in the light of the window of our apartment, when he stood in front of my mother, my brother, and me and said that there was a situation in the world…between the U.S. and Cuba, and the Soviet Union. He told me that he had "orders" from the Government…the Norwegian government, that involved something that he could not tell us…regarding escape or something…(at least I hoped that was what he meant)…I had never seen him so serious…EVER. BTW, he never, even on his deathbed revealed what his orders were.

I couldn’t do my homework…besides, when I went to school..they were telling us to duck and cover…I was terrified…We were ALL terrified!! After all, we lived at "ground zero" as they called it at the time. We were all gonna die…We were about to be "vaporized"!!!…maybe tomorrow..maybe today…

Anyways…things got diffused…False alarm I guess s/…we got transferred back to Norway..then, one day, my Dad was fussing with this old-timey, wooden radio…crackle, crackle..Kennedy, crackle…WTF!!!!!! JFK was Dead! WTF, WTF, WTF, WTF!!!Noooooooooooo!!!

That was the day the music stopped…and that was also the day the "music" started.

Today…all of these decades later… something changed…Whatever you call what was there before JFK’s assassination, is suddenly palpable again…I had forgotten what it fact, I’m not sure I even know what it is, but I can feel it again. It is back. It is here. This time….we will never let it go. Never let it go. Never let it go.

This is for Hattie, who is now in her late 90s.


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