Today is the 57th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I was in Miss Bilton’s 5th grade class at Connaught School in Calgary when the news came over the PA system that morning. Miss Bilton gave a screech and then wept. I didn’t understand the word ‘assassination’ at the time. I thought perhaps it meant that someone had insulted the American President. As we all know there could have been no greater insult than to take his young life. He was 46 years old.
It is the 56th anniversary of Joseph Daniel Ducharme, Uncle Dan. He was 64. He had been in hospital, probably for heart issues, he was a bit chunky, smoked and drank beer. Apparently he got out of bed in the night to visit the bathroom and passed away on the toilet. I don’t know if that is accurate but the story went something like that. My favorite Uncle, more like a grandfather than an uncle. I had just turned 11, we lived on Maryland in an upper floor apartment. I was in the bathtub when my father told me the news. I wasn’t shattered or dismayed at being given the information. I was new to the idea of death. He was buried in Haywood, Manitoba beside other members of his family. The following January Winston Churchill died. I wrote a 6th grade term paper on him in Mr. Kirkpatrick’s class at Wellington School. Human’s certainly are not long lived. We should make the best of the little time we have. Wear your mask, save your life and the life of your favorite Uncle.