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Since JFK, U.S. has lost its way


Michael Hogan
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From the ContraCostaTimes

November 18, 2007

By AJ Buttacavoli

Thanksgiving this year falls on Nov. 22, the 44th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. Although much has been written about JFK, and the avalanche of books appears to have no end, no account can begin to match what it was like to be alive during the Kennedy years.

My first year of college began in September 1960, and JFK was elected in November. The impact on college students everywhere was unprecedented. Suddenly Kennedy was like a comet in the sky, a blazing light that lit the land, a man so extraordinary it was as though the second coming had occurred.

It really wasn't anything he did -- it was just who he was: the youngest man ever elected to the presidency, in the process replacing the oldest man to leave office, Dwight Eisenhower; the first Catholic elected -- and so far the only Catholic.

Kennedy was young, dashing, smart and witty. And by his side was perhaps the most beautiful woman any of us ever saw outside Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn. Jack and Jackie together redefined celebrity. They had something Hollywood never had -- class! That was something we knew virtually nothing about. But we soon learned.

Manners were in vogue. Being civilized and cultured were acceptable virtually overnight. The ballet and the opera were no longer weird. Culture was important now, and becoming part of culture was something to strive for.

Then it all ended in the twinkling of an eye, and the nation has never been the same. Indeed, it's almost as though America has been in its own dark ages and culture has descended into the pit of a black hole. That is perhaps the greatest loss of all -- that the forces of darkness should grip the nation in such a way that has never happened before in America's history....

Full article: http://www.contracostatimes.com/columns/ci_7498648

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From the ContraCostaTimes

November 18, 2007

By AJ Buttacavoli

Thanksgiving this year falls on Nov. 22, the 44th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. Although much has been written about JFK, and the avalanche of books appears to have no end, no account can begin to match what it was like to be alive during the Kennedy years.

My first year of college began in September 1960, and JFK was elected in November. The impact on college students everywhere was unprecedented. Suddenly Kennedy was like a comet in the sky, a blazing light that lit the land, a man so extraordinary it was as though the second coming had occurred.

It really wasn't anything he did -- it was just who he was: the youngest man ever elected to the presidency, in the process replacing the oldest man to leave office, Dwight Eisenhower; the first Catholic elected -- and so far the only Catholic.

Kennedy was young, dashing, smart and witty. And by his side was perhaps the most beautiful woman any of us ever saw outside Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn. Jack and Jackie together redefined celebrity. They had something Hollywood never had -- class! That was something we knew virtually nothing about. But we soon learned.

Manners were in vogue. Being civilized and cultured were acceptable virtually overnight. The ballet and the opera were no longer weird. Culture was important now, and becoming part of culture was something to strive for.

Then it all ended in the twinkling of an eye, and the nation has never been the same. Indeed, it's almost as though America has been in its own dark ages and culture has descended into the pit of a black hole. That is perhaps the greatest loss of all -- that the forces of darkness should grip the nation in such a way that has never happened before in America's history....

Full article: http://www.contracostatimes.com/columns/ci_7498648

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Thank you, Mike.

For remembrance of more halcyon days, when the joy of life seemed more readily attainable, when there was so much more in the way of simple pleasures for the taking, and the appreciation of life's beautiful treasures meant more than the price tag placed upon a consumable commodity.

A happier Thanksgiving, maybe someday, for us all.

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