In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

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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