It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Friday, November 22, 2013

“He was our president, too”

Bordeaux, France, November 22, 1963. There were over 20 of us, juniors from various University of California campuses. On that evening, we dispersed easily along two banks of banquet tables in the University of Bordeaux student union dining hall and among the French and North African students who had arranged this dinner to welcome us. As the meal progressed, we made friends, jabbering away in awkward hand signals, broken French, and broken English. By 8:40 p.m., the meal was drawing to a close with patisseries, and we were excited about the dance to follow.

A student came in from the TV room to convey the news flash: the president had been shot.