Toledoans remember John F. Kennedy
Fri, 22 Nov 2013 23:15:36 GMT —
It's been half a century since president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX.
"It's been 50 years since that happened. A lot has gone by in 50 years," says retired Toledo police sergeant Richard Parton.
Three years before the assassination, a then Senator Kennedy made a stop in Toledo on his presidential campaign trail. At the time, Richard Parton was a young policeman on traffic patrol.
Parton says, "I was doing traffic at Adams & Huron Street, right near the courthouse where he was speaking."
Now retired for 28 years, Parton still recalls the energy of that day.
"It was packed with people. You couldn't get near him. Some officers got close enough to see him him, but I wasn't one of them," says Parton.
Parton now volunteers at the Toledo Police Museum, along with Roxanne Jones... who also has a personal memory of JFK.
"My father was a medal of honor recipient. We attended the inauguration, and I met him at a reception and shook his hand," says Roxanne Jones.
Initially, Roxanne says she was not a fan of Kennedy.
"I was totally against him. He was a Catholic, and there was no way the US would elect a Catholic as president," says Jones.
But that opinion was before she met him, and quickly changed.
"He shook my hand and asked me where I was from. I said Germany and he said, oh how nice of you to come all this way to see me... and I just melted," she recalls.
That Kennedy charisma is a story in itself, which is one reason why he was loved by so many, and his death still mourned today.
Roxanne was in high school when she heard the news.
"It came over the p-a system when he had been shot, and later that afternoon when he had passed," says Jones.
Everyone that was alive then can recall exactly what they were doing on that fateful day.
Now folks can only speculate about what could have been.
"Too bad he couldn't stay a little longer, cause I'm sure he would have been re-elected," says Parton.
JFK holds an Ohio record, and a national record for that matter. He stands the only candidate in history to ever lose the state of Ohio, and still win the presidency.