Photo of the day: REMEMBERING THE DAY – JOHN F. KENNEDY – On November 22, 1963 we did not own a television, mother thought it was a bad influence on me. I was six years old. My great aunt “Anny” from Germany was visiting with us for the holidays. Anny came racing home in a frenzy asking us if we had heard the news. This was not such a media savvy time. We hadn’t had the radio on – we were playing records. It was an exceptionally cold day, so we stayed inside. Anny cried as she breathlessly told us the news of Kennedy’s death.
Anny was in the lower level of the Lexington Avenue ‘E/F’ train subway station, when a screaming woman came racing down the mint green staircase declaring Kennedy was shot. My aunt witnessed a moment of American history as the entire platform rushed to this woman to hear her tell the news. No radio, no IPhone, no cell phone, just one distraught woman. Anny remembers an eerie silence falling over the platform, just the sound of crying could be heard and men removing their hats. People did no bother to get on their trains, they just stood there. As more people came down the stairs crying out the news, the gruesome story became a reality. Anny raced home to tell her American family the news. I will never forget the moment. I remember the houndstooth coat, black felt hat, suede shoes she was wearing. I remember her perfume as she held my hand to explain what had happened, and I remember the look in her eyes.
I briefly once met Jacqueline Kennedy at the Forest Hills Tennis matches in the early 1970’s. We had box seats diagonally behind her. I never watched the games, I was mesmerized by her grace and elegance. She turned around and shook the hand of everyone behind her, whispering hello. We got the handshake because we were in these fancy seats. This was the days before the assassination of John Lennon, today she would have been surrounded by security guards in a private roped off area. I was in respectful awe how she remained cool, calm and polite as the crowds surged towards her as she freely walked around the grounds which is incomprehensible today.
She was/is the personification of grace and elegance.
Photo of the day: GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL IS 100 YEARS AND 100 DAYS OLD TODAY – In the 1968 the city wanted to tear it down. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stepped in and fought for it’s protection:
“Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future? Americans care about their past, but for short term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters. Maybe… this is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won’t all end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes.”
Sadly enough, her statement is even more true today in the Mayor Bloomberg/Councilwoman Christine Quinn administration than it ever has been. One half million people a day wonder at the awe of this magnificent saved building. With the greed that is so prevalent in our city today, with buildings being torn down left and right in favor of monsterous soul-less glass boxes – how many buildings are we to loose?…
Visit Grant Central’s web site for their calendar of centennial events: http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/events