In a way, you down there in the United States
are our American cousins
which, godcidently (or as you say 'synchronisticly'),
was the name of the play Lincoln was watching at the theatre
that night of his assassination,
ie 'Our American Cousin'.
~ Jackie Jura

To Orwell Today,

Thanks Jackie,

It looks like you've threaded in the double-image mirror narrative quite well within the historical context of your remarkable story.

Not that it's important, but I was actually only four years old (not ten) when I took that photo of Kennedy's funeral procession from my dad's broad shoulders.

Recently, I made a more trivial personal discovery, which also involved my father and me in the Washington D.C. area.

On April 10, 1968, even though the fires were still smoldering from the civil unrest following Martin Luther King Jr's assassination, Dad and I attended the opening baseball game of the Minnesota Twins vs. Washington Senators -- at what later became known as RFK Stadium. Just recently, I looked up the records of that ancient game on the Baseball Almanac website and saw that the attendance was a paltry 32,063. This means that the stadium, which was usually filled to capacity on Opening Day, was almost half-empty. This I reveal as a prime piece of evidence to show the world just how much of an extreme-sports enthusiast my father was (and still is), by taking me through a challenging riot area to pledge allegiance to our struggling team!

If I am lucky, I will find a ticket stub from that historical game, sitting in a box somewhere around here, next to my legendary JFK photos.

Back in those days, someone had a machine that used to manufacture waxed molds of selected presidents down on the National Mall. For a dollar or so, the machine behind some glass would pour some wax into a small steaming metal vat, then form a mold before young children's fascinated eyes, cool down for a few seconds and then pop out a hand-sized waxy presidential facsimile from the receptacle. I wonder how much one of those stately baubles would go for on E-Bay these days.

Best regards,
Jim Banholzer

P.S. The Senators lost that game 2-0. Back in the day, the saying (not yet vaporized down the memory hole) was always: "Washington -- First in War, First in Peace and Last in the American League!"

Greetings Jim,

I guess it was good that you attended that baseball game, in honour of a Washington Senator named Robert Francis Kennedy who had calmed other rioters' anger when on April 4th, 1968 he'd had the guts to walk into their midst to tell them the news of Martin Luther King's assassination. Then two months later - on June 5th - Bobby himself was shot dead.

Thanks for correcting your age from 10 to 4 (I guess your father's shoulders weren't THAT broad) and for the info on how to make those presidential wax molds. I'd like one each of JFK and Lincoln.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

PS - Speaking of legendary American experiences, the photo above of my children sitting on Abraham Lincoln's lap was taken at Mount Rushmore about twenty years ago.

OnLincolnLap RushmoreLincolnLap

That statue of Lincoln on whose lap the boys are sitting is outside the entrance to the museum that looks out on the mountain opposite. I superimposed the former on the latter and placed Lincoln's head betweem Washington's and his own on the carving. That's my husband sitting on the rocks below. I'd been to Mount Rushmore when I was a child and wanted to make sure my children had the experience - and also my husband who was born and raised in England.

Actually, while our sons were growing up we often went down from our home in Canada to the States for our summer vacation and twice we drove across the United States one way and came back across Canada the other way. We camped all along the way. We loved it in the United States - especially our elder son because he was born on July 4th, 1976 - the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence -- and so every year his birthday was celebrated in a very big way. The fireworks would light up the night sky wherever we were - be it on the beaches of Oregon catching crab, or swimming at Grand Coulee dam, or in Yellowstone National Park by the geysers and bears - we'd tell him the celebrating was all done just for him. We'd get his birthday cake every year in the local grocery store - always iced in the American flag. We loved travelling in the United States in those old days - even though our Canadian dollar was worth less (pardon the pun but it's true).

PPS - In a way, you down there in the United States are our American cousins which, godcidently (or as you say "synchronisticly") was the name of the play Lincoln was watching at the theatre that night of his assassination, ie "Our American Cousin"


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~