The LuLac Edition #1354, Oct. 30th, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.
I talked to a person just a few years older than I about the night fifty years ago that John Kennedy came up the highway.
Q: Remember the night?
A: Oh my Goodness. It was incredible. One of the supermarkets closed at about 4pm in Pittston. He was late though but oh was it worth the wait.
Q: You try to explain to people what it was like, do we do it justice?
A: You can’t. It was a different time. Don’t forget we were only 16 years removed from the end of World War II and JFK was a vet. My dad was so proud that both Kennedy and Nixon were Navy men.
Q: Were we you on the route?
A: I was on a bike.
A: Yeah I rode ahead and stopped right at the Triangle in Pittston. I saw him in Wilkes Barre then peddled like a madman through Plains. I had to ditch the bike right around the triangle where that Sunoco is in Pittston. And I stood there but thought I could get a better vantage point a few blocks up.
Q: Your reaction when you saw him?
A: It was bedlam. At first I couldn’t see much because the crowd was surging. I mean I felt myself (and I was a lanky kid) get lifted. It was an odd feeling.
Q: Obviously the draw was….
A: Oh everything. Catholic, Irish, movie star good looks. And he wasn’t Ike. I mean he was born in this century you know?
Q: I know. What do you remember the most after the event?
A: It was strange. It was pure joy. Pittston had its share of celebrities in town. Oral Roberts, Edie Adams, people like that making appearances. But this was special. I think every son of an immigrant felt a connection, every Catholic felt a connection, every vet.
Q: And then in just a few moments it was over, just like in a few years, everything for him was over.
A: Yeah. But let’s not talk about that today. Let me remember that glorious night.
Q: You’re right. It was a good night pal. We were in separate areas but it was a good night.
A: Indeed it was.