Sunday, 22 November 2015

WHEN JFK WAS SHOT IN DALLAS, I WAS DELIVERING GROCERIES IN BELFAST (1963)

I had an after school job at the Mace supermarket on the Glen Road.
I can answer that question “Where were you when JFK was assassinated?” 
I was on one of my delivery jaunts, on a “Granville” bike. I remember
Overhearing a passer-by telling a man across the street what had happened.

“Kennedy? Shot? Where?”
“In the head.”
“No, where was he?”
“Texas.”
“Seen that in cowboy pictures. Lot of gunslingers there, you know.”

I knew it was fairly important news but I was preoccupied with my own fate  
At the jaws of a yapping dog behind the railings of a house in Fruithill Park. 
I was scared stiff and could not pluck up the courage to open the squeaky gate. 
Luckily, after tense minutes the owner joked:  “His bite’s worse than his bark.”

She called off the dog and beckoned me up the driveway.  I delivered her box
Of groceries, she put a half crown tip in my sweaty hand – big money back then -
And I scarpered before the dog was let loose again to bite lumps out of my arse,
Legging it, knowing that oil-free hinges would squeal the mutt back into action.

Phew!

I had escaped with my life.  Unlike the poor President.




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