The anniversary of the assassination is coming up. November 22. It's a question that I ask all of my older friends and relatives when I interview them - What do you remember? Where were you? How old were you?
As I listened to this man and his experience, with the news anchor asked him ridiculous questions (as I feel they often do) Gregory said something that captivated my attention. When asked why he had decided now, after all of these years, to write an article about his friendship with Lee Harvey Oswald his reply delighted me. He basically said that experience was history, and that if when he died, if it wasn’t written down, he would be lost with him.
I was delighted to hear this confirmation that his experiences, as a friend of an assassinator, were relevant to the interpretation of history. His article features a strong narrative frame, personalizing it for his audience. It made me wonder - what other experiences can be narrated this way. Why not emphasize the actions and memories of each person that lived through that day? I was interviewing a local physician. When asked what he remembered about November 22, 1963 he said that he had been working the floor in a children's psychiatric hospital in Dallas, Texas. My grandparents and their children were in Berlin, Germany.
So, a challenge? Think of the historical events that have happened during your life time - or your parents, or your grandparents - and narrate them like Gregory did. What might you come up with?