Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Prep

Pool Day at Premier Fitness. Kari is on vacation, so I worked with Sandy. I like Sandy a lot, was a tough workout for me. Went to New Oleson's afterwards to get last minute items for Thanksgiving dinner. Rested for about 2 hours and then wrestled with the turkey, cooked the giblets, and pulled bread for the stuffing. Dick always chops the cooked giblets and the onions, thank goodness.

Dick winterized the boat in the driveway - always an exciting event! He lowers the motor into a bin, fills the bin with water, and runs all of the gas out of the motor. It was fun - lots of splashing and smokiness. The whole place has been winterized now - all of our outside furniture is under cover, the covers are on everything, the yard has been de-leafed and it looks great. In the words of our illustrious President, Bring it on.


Today is the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Baby Tommy was almost one month old, Laurie was 2 years and 9 months old. Mom and Dad were coming for the weekend because it was the weekend of the Michigan-Ohio State game. Kennedy was shot around 1 p.m. on Friday, and the football game was cancelled. We spent the weekend watching events unfold on TV - it was very bizarre and upsetting.


That Day in Dallas


Forty years after the death of John F. Kennedy, the world is obviously a different place. Since Nov. 22, 1963, numerous developments — most recently, those of Sept. 11, 2001 — have shaken the nation and the world until both would have been all but unrecognizable from the perspective of the Kennedy years.
The young president's more extreme admirers lamented in 1963 that even the greatness of the nation, the future that had seemed so glowing, might suffer decline with the loss of the Kennedy touch. Some political analysts calculated that the Democratic party would not for years recover from the loss of so attractive a leader. Many were deeply affected personally. "We may laugh again," said Daniel P. Moynihan, then an assistant secretary of labor, "but we'll never be young again."

In the shock of the assassination — the first of a president since Leon Czolgosz had shot William McKinley more than a half century earlier — no one could be sure how the cold war would be affected by a new man at the head of American policy. What about Kennedy's civil rights bill, deadlocked and stymied in Congress? Could his space program, including the promise to put a man on the moon, be continued? Might the war in Vietnam be won — or should it be abandoned?

Four decades after the shooting in Dallas, it's surprising how little the assassination — at the time a veritable thunderclap among events — affected these specific questions, much less the inexorable tide of history. Kennedy's absence from the government and the political scene, of course, immediately changed the presidential succession — but politics already was changing, not necessarily for the better, and would have changed even if Kennedy had lived.