On November 22, 1963, the Human was a 13-year-old 8th-grader at Sacred Heart elementary school in Sacramento, California. Shortly before lunch, the Sister of Mercy who was the principal came into her classroom and told the teacher and students that President Kennedy had been shot. Not very many minutes later, the grainy black-and-white classroom TV delivered the punch to the gut: This handsome, young, Catholic president was dead.
She can hardly believe it has been fifty years. It's a cliché to say so, but she remembers that day, and the three that followed, with astonishing clarity. Nothing since has affected her quite so much, not deaths in her own immediate family, nor subsequent assassinations, nor wars, nor earthquakes, nor 9/11. It was, she thinks, for her and for so many Boomers, the abrupt end of childhood innocence and the rosy optimism of "Camelot."