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The Education Forum

Richard Coleman

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You might say that my introduction to political matters was watching President Kennedy’s steel-crisis speech with my family on TV in 1962. I was 18 and my main interests in life at that time were sex and drinking.

I was doing none of the first (then) and lots of the other, so my knowledge of politics was nil. Nevertheless, I can still remember thinking to myself, “Wow. Presidents don’t talk like that.” True then and true now.

I was stationed on a tiny Navy base in southeastern Spain in 1963, ultimately closed per JFK’s policy, when the assassination happened.

That was one scary time, believe me. Two days later when Oswald was shot by Ruby, my buddies and I exchanged looks. Our comments to each other immediately were that somebody sure shut him up fast. I’ve never had any reason to change that opinion.

My experience in the military, though short, was quite educational. I’ve always since been astonished, in a disgusted sort of way, at the fact that some people insist that as a radar operator, LHO only needed a CONFIDENTIAL security clearance. If that’s true, pigs fly.

Over the years my interest in the assassination waxed and waned, but I never forgot it, even as my interest in progressive politics expanded. Around the time of the Shaw trial, I saw a bootleg copy of the Zapruder film at MIT in a large assembly hall. It was packed.

My interests are eclectic and tend toward the exotic, but the assassinations have always been near the top.

For anybody who goes back to the sixties and remembers “the death of the hippie” parade in San Francisco in 1967............I was the dead hippie. All my friends got their faces on the TV news stories about it that night, but there wasn’t one shot of me! I guess I’m still pissed about that...

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