The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 16, 2013

Remembering the day President Kennedy died

(Continued)

NORMAN —

We cried and prayed together for our nation and knew Thanksgiving week would never be the same. As the oldest son, I remember hiding because I didn’t want my sisters or my parents to see me cry.

———

It had been more than 40 years since the assassination and PBS newsman Jim Lehrer was in Norman to accept an award. At a small, Boyd House dinner with President and Mrs. Boren and a few others, he shared his experience as a young Dallas reporter assigned to Love Field. Journalism had asked him about it a few hours earlier.

His job was to cover the presidential plane’s arrival, report back as to what time the plane touched down, what Mrs. Kennedy was wearing and any other details and then call it all back to his city desk. A telephone was set up for him on the tarmac and his city editor called to test the connection.

The editor asked what the weather was like and whether it was raining there. Would the president ride with the top down or leave the bubble top on the limousine?

Lehrer asked the Secret Service agent on duty and there was a discussion between them about the rain. It was decided to remove the top, a decision that has haunted Lehrer his entire career. One seemingly minor decision could have changed the course of history.

When he told that story at our dinner, suddently the tears that came to me at age 6 were back. Nearly everyone at dinner was crying. Only this time, there was no place for any of us to hide.

Andy Rieger

366-3543

editor@normantranscript.com

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matt Lauer is so last century

    How about we rename “The Today Show” the “Yesterday Show” since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953? Isn’t what Lauer asked GM CEO Mary Barra about whether she’ll do “well” at being simultaneously an executive and a mom about, oh, 30 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Religion’s role shrinking

    Surveying the response to last month’s Hobby Lobby decision, I was struck by a comment from progressive Massachusetts senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren....

    July 12, 2014