Thursday, June 4, 2009

For Whom the Clock Tocks (Theme Thursday...Clock)

Photo: arvbhat

At 12:30 p.m., Central Standard Time, CST, a car turned slowly into the plaza. A woman turned to face the man sitting behind her in the rear seat of the car. His face, lit with brightness, shone as he acknowledged her comment. Two men, the one in the back seat and one who sat next to the woman who spoke, abruptly turned their heads looking to the left and then to the right. The sound of a firecracker or backfire of a car's exhaust caught their attention. The man in the front seat, pleading disbelief, turned to look back at the other gentleman.

As the man in the rear seat raised his right arm to wave, a shot entered his back, pierced his neck and fled his throat. With hands clenched tightly, he raised them to his neck and tilted forward as another woman, who was sitting next to him, wrapped arms of concern around him. The man in the front seat yelled out that they were all going to be killed as the same bullet opened holes in his back, chest, right wrist and left thigh. The woman next to him pushed his gaping chest wound against her lap...saving his life. A third shot repeated. A fist-size hole erupted from the right side of the head of the male in the back seat. Blood and brain tissue splattered the interior of the car like molten lava spewing from a volcano.

The woman next to him wailed that she held his brain in her hand and climbed onto the back of the car. Later, she had no recollection of doing so, she just remembered reaching for something. A piece of the skull perhaps? Another man walking near the car, pushed her back into her seat and jumped in as the car speed toward the hospital. The staff at the trauma room proclaimed the condition of the man in the rear seat "moribund," meaning he had no chance for survival. The man's personal physician was called and he determined that the head wound was the cause of death. At 1:00 p.m., CST, after all heart activity ceased and last rites were given by a priest, the doctor signed the death certificate.

Photo: DRobberdeau

The day was Friday, November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. The thirty fifth president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was mortally wounded while riding with his wife, Jacqueline, in a Presidential motorcade. She had been seated next to him in the back seat of the limousine. The couple in the front seat were Texas Governor John Connally and his wife. The last words President Kennedy heard from the rear seat of his limousine spoken by Nellie Connally, the First Lady of Texas, lit and brightened his face. She said, "Mr. President, you can't say that Dallas doesn't love you."

Photo: flatratelegalservices

His life clock began ticking at 3:00 p.m. on May 29, 1917. It ceased when the last of three fired bullets stopped his pulse at 12:30 p.m. on that November day. Each one of us is a human clock with an unknown number of hours and unexpired, roll-over minutes enclosed in our case. We are geared to run to the end of our time. If you had a choice, would you choose to know when your clock will tick its last tock?


Tom said...

No !
Happy Thursday....tick tock

tony said...

Yes! I would like to know the exact Time!I am working on the theory that I'm ALWAYS late for EVERY Appointment.....!

otin said...

I see that I am not the only cheery guy! LOL! Alot of people don't realize that Jackie was collecting skull pieces, that was some chilling video to watch!

The Silver Fox said...

I'd like to know, but I'm not sure exactly how much warning I'd like. What would be better, knowing a year in advance, so I could try to put my affairs in order, or having a three-minute warning... enough time to phone one or two people and then put my head between my knees in order to kiss my butt good-bye?

The Kennedy segment, which happened one week after my seventh birthday, was a reminder of a very eerie day in my past. I even showed how a thinly-disguised version of myself reacted in a comic book script I wrote.

Brian Miller said...

if we live each day as if it is our last does it matter when it ends? frightening reality that day in TX. hope you have a great Thursday!

Mrsupole said...

No, is my answer. We know it is coming, so since I have almost already died a few times, I do not want to know.

I remember coming home from school for lunch that day and my mother sitting there watching TV and crying. We had not heard about it at school yet. Then watching the furneral and JFK Jr saluting his dad. Some days, you just never forget. And yes it took many years for them to say that Jackie was trying to collect those pieces. Such a sad day and time in our history. Thanks for such a great story about it.

God bless.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

definitely not.... I prefer to go through life thinking simultaneously that I will die tomorrow and that I will live forever

ah, what a day november 22 1963 was, ever etched in the memory of all of us who were conscious on that day....

willow said...

I don't want to know.

And I still get chills every time I think of this day in 1963.

Reya Mellicker said...

No way! When it comes, it comes.

Holly said...

Thanks for the reminder to live each day to its fullest. I don't care when my life ends...I just pray it's quick.

Poetikat said...

I was 2 years old when this happened, but I still remember the atmosphere in our home with my parents. I even recall the funeral on our old black and white GE t.v. set.

Good post.

I don't want to know.


Leah said...

Wow, fantastic gripping writing here.

I would SO not want to know when my life is going to end. I like what mouse said.

Christina said...

Ah, that scene in the photo in your header looked awfully familiar. I once watched an amazing documentary that spoke about the cover up, how evidence (video footage, photos) was tempered with, autopsy reports falsified, etc. It was mind boggling.

I distinctly remember Jackie crawling out of the back of the car, first in an attempt to escape but then she picked up a piece of John's scull and slid back into her seat. Absolutely bizarre to watch that scene in slow motion. What was going on inside of her that very moment?

I also remember that bloodstained pink Chanel dress she refused to change. What a statement!

As for my life clock: I think I'll have to say yes - I'm just too nosy and then I can finally relax and not worry about it anymore.

VE said...

Well I'm gonna live forever. So far, so good!

California Girl said...

I knew the content the minute I saw the photo and the tag line...never fails to make me sad. I was in 7th grade when he was killed. Time passes...

Ronda Laveen said...

Tom: Okay, I won't tell you. I'll just send a martini your way.

Tony: I like your attitude. One of my friend's mother was ALWAYS late, and not by just a little bit. Sometimes hours. When she died, They scheduled her service for 2:00 and didn't start it until 2:20 just to make it specific to her.

Otin: We were sure close to riding the same wave length on the theme of our post. Next week we'll havet to post something humorous. I like to change it up. It was a chilling video to watch.

SF: I would like to know too, maybe, sometimes I think so. I would want to make sure my stuff is done, house cleaned and toilet scrubbed. Some things are important for transcendence:) I would like to read your comic script of that event in a post some day.

Brian: Ahhh, therein lies the key! Live each day as if it is your last. How old are you really? I read your posts. There is an old soul in that young body.

Sherry: For those of us old enough to remember that day, the emotional charge is engraved in our memory. This event changed a nation.

Mouse: I think most of us feel that way. And we probably will live forever. Just not in the way we are now.

Willow: Yes, for those of us that witnessed JFK's assassination, the intense reactions seem to be stored in our cellular memory.

Reya: It would be nice if death would just sneak in and painlessly close our eyes. For this I hope.

Holly: Amen to the quick and painless part! I hope that for those on the recent flight that disappeard, the end was cataclysmic and instantaneous.

Kat: Yes, that memory of the heavy atmosphere and the shock of a nation was so strong.

Leah: I like what mouse said too. Die. Deny. Die. Deny. Ahhh...the duality.

Christina: When I was looking for pictures to use in this post, I came across a vid clip that showed the head bodyguard signaling the nearest bodyguard to stand down seconds before the first shot fired. It shows the agent that was orderd to move back shrugging in disbelief, like WTF????

Yes, I wonder what Jackie was thinking? In my imagination it feels like she thought, in shock, that maybe if she saved the pieces, they could put him back together again. You know, like when you lose a finger or a tooth?

VE: If anyone can live forever, it will be you. You'll just keep outsmarting and tricking that grim reaper.

CA Girl: Time does pass but somehow, that event seems to have stopped and stayed in all of us who witnessed. Funny how that works.

Gabby said...

I don't want to know either but try to live each day, not necessarily to the fullest, but having achieved something that makes me and others happy. That's a reason I joined TNT.

Thanks for letting me know about the broken link. I fixed it.

Have a wonderful TT!

Ronda Laveen said...


No, I don't want to know...........7

Yes, I would like to know..........4

Roy said...

I have absolutely no interest in knowing when; I've always appreciated surprises.

As for 11/22/63, I think time stood still for a lot of us.

The Silver Fox said...

Last November, on my blog, I told the story behind my creation of a character called Aero. The seven-page origin story was reprinted here -- -- along with three pages of never-before-seen artwork by comics legend Dick Ayers!

irenka said...

I don't want to know either. Fab post thanks for a gripping reminder.

Wings said...

Sad and scary time.

Not sure if I would want to know my "check out time" or not. Hmmmm....

Michael Rawluk said...

Surprises are good even if it is that last big surprise when you think "Oh, crap. I shouldn't have done that."

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Ronda said,"We are geared to run to the end of our time. If you had a choice, would you choose to know when your clock will tick its last tock?"

Hi! Ronda Laveen,
What a very interesting question Ronda, to pose this theme Thursday... and my
answer is....Drum Roll...Please...Hmmm...No!

Thanks for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Marianna said...

First of all what a great post Ronda!

Second of, I wanna think of life as being an endless and timeless 'vacation' (as in you never know the end destination). Imagine if one knew the countdown and the time left...

Happy TT

Baino said...

Absolutely not! Anyway, I'm bulletproof and immortal . .a legend in my own lunchtime. I still get sad when I think of all that unused potential gone to waste. As for the first lady of Texas' comment . . .jinxed, double jinxed.

Betsy said...

Nope...don't want to know either~ Thanks for the visit on my blog today, too!

Megan said...

Absolutely positively not. Brrrr.

Ronda Laveen said...

Roy: I love your attitude.

SF: As I have time, I will check out that post. I love comics. Your last chapter of For Baby (For Bobbie) was positively Miller-esque.

Irenka: Thank you and thanks for joining on us on TT.

Wings: It was a very sad and scary time in US history.

Michael: I am still laughing at your answer.

DeeDee: Thanks for stopping by and leaving your answer.

Marianna: What a great way to think about life an "endless and timeless vacation."

Baino: I am not surprise you are bullet proof and immortal. Yes, the last words he heard were jinxed. Crikey!

Betsy: Welcome to Theme Thursday. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your vote.

Megan: No equivocation in your answer! Thanks.

Ronda Laveen said...


No, I don't want to know...........15

Yes, I would like to know...........4


The Silver Fox said...

I love being compared to writers I actually like (like Frank Miller)! Too many people get a little taste of something I'm working on, or have worked on, and say "Oh, it sounds just like such-and-such," and "such-and-such" is something so far removed from what I do that I wanna scream! That rarely happens here, on Blogger. Love it.

subtorp77 said...

No way! I've too much on my mind, as it is!

Candie Bracci said...

Wow!wonderful post!Have a nice weekend!

lettuce said...

nope, i don't think so!

good post, this was an unexpected take on the theme

Evening Light Writer said...

I don't know..if I thought my clock were about to run out, I think I'd do a great of things I'd always wanted to do but then, I keep wondering what's keeping me from doing them now? This is a great post, you never know when you're time is up.

Auntie, aka Dog Girl said...

oooooh, what a scary and provocative question you pose.
Death freaks me out.
Can't contemplate it yet....

Kris said...

No thanks!

Ronda Laveen said...

Gabby: Thanks for letting me know you got your link for donations fixed.

SF: Sheesh, I'm glad I was close in choosing a close comparison. It would be oh, so embarassing to miss by a mile.

Subby: Yes, death can weigh heavily on one's mind when it is brought up.

Candie: Hi, you too!

Lettuce: Thanks for stopping by a leaving your opinion.

Mindy: You've got a point. What is stopping? Get out there, stand up and read your work at poetry night. Go on. You can do it.

Auntie: I think death freaks most of us out.

Kris: Thanks, Kris.

Ronda Laveen said...


No, I don't want to know...........20

Yes, I would like to know...........4


And this tally doesn't include all of my friends who e-mailed me with a response. Most of them also voted nay. But there was one: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Thanks TT travelers. The nays have it.