Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 22, 2012

RONNIE ELLIS: Reflections on day JFK was shot

FRANKFORT — Like a lot of people my age, I remember precisely where I was 49 years ago on Nov. 22.

I was on a sidewalk outside Liberty Street Elementary School in Glasgow when a classmate, Mitchell Nance, told me President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

We walked across the campus to the Music Hall where our seventh-grade class in Kentucky history was to meet after our lunch break. I didn’t know what to think.

We asked our teacher, Mr. Saltzman, if the president would live. He didn’t know and he didn’t know what to tell us any more than we knew what to feel. Then over the intercom (we called it the loud speaker in those days) came the principal’s somber, baritone voice telling us Kennedy was dead.

It was a Friday. I spent the next day with cousins and uncles while they stripped tobacco. I wasn’t much help, good only for stripping the tips which remained after others had stripped the higher grades from the stalk. I spent most of my time outside the barn, playing.

On Sunday afternoon we sat around the black and white television watching as thousands lined up and filed silently by the president’s coffin in the U.S. Capitol. I remember his widow kneeling in prayer beside it. Then the next day, we watched the rider-less horse, the salute by John-John and the lighting of the eternal flame.

Life seemed to go on however. Christmas came and went. We returned to school. In February four lads from Liverpool took a grieving nation by the hand – or at least its youth.  I recall the quizzical looks on my parents’ faces while I watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.

I’ve always maintained the “sixties” began with Kennedy’s assassination and ended with Richard Nixon’s resignation as the Watergate scandal unraveled his presidency. A lot happened in that decade. There would be more rock bands, British, American and subversive, and we dreamed of joining a band and growing our hair.

Text Only
Local News
  • Condemned Kentucky inmate seeks new trial

    A death row inmate from eastern Kentucky has asked a federal judge to throw out is conviction and sentence, saying a judge erred in accepting his guilty plea.

    July 24, 2014

  • Town stuck with school after court order

    A southwestern Kentucky community is stuck with an unused school at the moment after a judge issued an order stopping its sale for the moment.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lexington school finds crude bottle bombs on campus

    A bottle bomb exploded at a Lexington school, chasing band members inside and bringing police to the scene.

    July 24, 2014

  • News in brief, 07/24/14

    A Fleming County man was arrested on sex charges Tuesday by the Kentucky State Police.

    July 23, 2014

  • Boyd/Greenup backpack program turns 10

    For 10 years, the Ashland Alliance Young Professionals Association has been helping children start their school year off right.

    July 23, 2014

  • Area water plants recognized

    Water treatment plants across the state were recognized for consistently producing drinking water in 2013 that exceeded state and federal water quality standards, including the Rattlesnake Ridge Water District in Olive Hill and six others.

    July 23, 2014

  • City gives wastewater treatment plant operations to Greenup agency

    During joint special meetings of the Greenup Joint Sewer Agency and the Wurtland city commission on Tuesday, Wurtland agreed to hand over operations of its wastewater treatment plant to the agency.
    Pending the signing and approval of certain legal documents, plant operations will officially be under the GJSA on Aug. 1.

    July 23, 2014

  • Edelen studies fiscal health of rural hospitals

    On the fourth stop of his listening tour to address the fiscal health of rural hospitals, Adam Edelen said the crowd in Morehead was the largest he has seen yet.
    The big attendance attests to how seriously the region regards the issue of sustainability of local hospitals, he said.

    July 23, 2014

  • Putnam renovations ‘coming together’ as football season approaches

    Locker rooms are beginning to take shape at Putnam Stadium as rebuilding of the venerable arena nears completion.
    Workers are readying concrete forms on the home side and grading the site on the visitors’ side and soon will erect the structures, the goal to have them ready to use for the first home game of the 2014 season Aug. 22.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huntington man wanted for armed robbery

    The Ashland Police Department is searching for an 18-year-old Huntington man who was involved in an armed robbery last month.

    July 23, 2014