November 29, 1963
Last Friday, November 22, Mother Superior came into our classroom sobbing — and whispered something in Sister Regina Mary’s ear.
When the two of them fell into each other’s arms, bawling their eyes out, I knew something terrible must have happened.
That’s when Mother Superior told us that President Kennedy was “with God,” which everybody knows means dead.
Both Sisters left the class, so we all left, too, although nobody bothered to tell us what to do. As I walked home along Boston Avenue, all the cars were pulled over on both sides of the usually busy two-lane street. People were out of their cars, looking like ghosts, crying out, “Kennedy is dead,” to no one in particular.
Two days later, we were all at church for Sunday services when we got the whispered news that Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who killed Kennedy, was shot in the stomach and killed by some guy on television for everyone to see. We hurried home from church as soon as services were over to listen to the news on the radio.
The next day was Monday, November 25, and President Kennedy’s funeral was on television, except we still didn’t have one, so we walked over to Mom’s friend Edie’s house to watch it with her family.
Our new President, Lyndon Johnson, made it a National Day of Mourning, so the whole country had the day off.
At school on Tuesday, Sister Regina Mary spent most of the class time talking to us about the funeral and Oswald’s murderer. Even the nuns had a television set, which made me want one even more than before. Plus, we were missing out on everything, including the news about Jack Ruby, the man who Sister Regina Mary said killed Oswald.
That night, Mom spoke in French to Mem and Mere Germaine about Jack Ruby. “Il est dans la mafia comme Tony’s père,” which means he’s in the mafia, like Tony’s father, which scared the heck out of me.
The next day I asked Adam about the mafia, and he told me they were a bunch of criminals who kill people — or worse. Then I asked Adam if people in the mafia assassinate people, and he said, “absolutely.”
And if what Adam says about the mafia is true, what could be worse than getting killed?
Could it be possible that my father is in the mafia, or is Mom just saying that because she hates him? Since Uncle Luke was the one with the gun, I think that maybe Mom got it wrong, and he’s the one in the mafia and not my dad.
Everyone I know is horribly upset about Kennedy, and Mem says no one will ever forget his assassination. I’m upset, but not because of Kennedy.
I’m upset because whenever I think about Kennedy, I will never forget that’s when I found out my dad is a criminal who probably assassinates people.
Stay tuned for Chapter 13: Mick and the Mafia