Bio Note: A retired journalist, I live on a gravel road in a wildlife habitat in Arizona. I enjoy writing narrative poetry, photography and hiking. I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve forged and support I’ve received from V-V poets, not only for my poems on this site but other sites. My work has recently been published in Red Eft Review, My Daily Poem and on VV poet Marianne Szlyk’s internet site: The song is...
November 22, 1963 12:30 pm
I am wearing a sweater gray as the Montana sky. The newsroom is dead quiet as everyone dines at Delilah’s except the city editor and me, the rookie reporter, who eat burgers and fries from Fritz’s Cafe next door. Ketchup drips like blood droplets when Ike swivels his chair around to read the Associated Press tape snaking and hissing. President Kennedy has been shot. Before we even hear his fate, reporters rush in, phones start shrieking, typewriters banging like gunfire and presses rolling. Our breath sends distress signals in the frigid air as we rush into the streets where crowds gather and the sky darkens shouting until we are hoarse: The president is dead. Read all about it.
Seeing myself on the Ten O’clock News in the Sixties
I wish I had simply asked Charley Pride about his first top ten single at the press luncheon instead of telling him I was from Montana where he pitched in the minors and sang in honky tonks before making it to the opry. I wish he hadn’t said: Make room for my Montana Buddy, and sat me next to him where we reminisce about Big Sky Country. I wish I hadn’t told my mother about the luncheon and she hadn’t asked for his autograph. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be watching myself on television kissing the handsome country singer on the cheek after he scribbles To Mom Fondly Charley on a napkin. I am grateful my mother is back home sound asleep as the anchors speculate: Who’s the young blonde? Does his wife know?
Smooching with the Great Schnozzola at the Press Luncheon in the Sixties
Maybe it’s the champagne or his gravelly voice singing Inka Dinka Doo and saying Good Night Mrs. Cavanaugh wherever you are but when he leans over the roast beef and mashed potatoes and puckers his lips, I giggle like Goldie, close my eyes and give him a big fat smackeroo. In the photo, we are laughing, me in my twenties in a red, white and blue mini dress, red pumps and a platinum pixie cut and he in his sixties in a black suit and hat, white shirt, striped tie and my lip prints in Revlon’s Ruby Red on his schnozzola.
©2020 Sharon Waller Knutson
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