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Remembering — By Tommy Purser

I’ve been listening to news broadcasters proclaiming that everyone remembers where they were when man first landed on the moon.

News flash: I have no idea where I was.

I remember watching Neil Armstrong step off that landing pod onto the moon’s surface on an old black and white television. But for the life of me, I can’t remember where I was at the time.

I may have been preoccupied because on the day of the moon landing, July 16, 1969, I was about six weeks away from my wedding to my high school sweetheart whom I had been dating for seven years, since we were both 14 years old.

That means that, today, the good wife and I are about six weeks away from celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary.

But back to remembering where I was.

I do remember where I was when I heard President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I was in class in high school when our science teacher stuck her head in the door to announce the news.

And I recall where I was when I learned Bobby Kennedy had been shot. I had fallen asleep on the couch in my parents’ home in Waynesboro. I woke up around 4 a.m., the TV was still on and there were news reports about the shooting. I stayed there, glued to the TV, for the rest of the night. At daybreak I heard my mother walk into my room at the other end of the house and then return to her bedroom to tell my father, in a panicked voice, “Carlton, Tommy’s not in his room and his bed hasn’t been slept in.”

She may have thought I’d been shot.

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