RonPrice

RonPrice
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2012-11-03 06:49:28 (UTC)

JACKIE: I HARDLY KNEW YOU

Part 1:

In 1953 Jacqueline Lee Bouvier and John K. Kennedy were married. From 10/1/’61 to 22/11/’63 they had the roles of First Lady and President of the United States. Their marriage met a tragic end due to JFK’s assassination as I was beginning to study for my Christmas exams in first year university. I was a child in 1953 and in that decade 1953-63, I went from the age of 9 to 19. For the most part, at least until the weekend of 22 to 24/11/’63, the Kennedys were far out on the periphery of my life-narrative. There they remained except for periodic interventions at various points in my lifespan.

I went from grade 4 to first year university in that decade of their marriage. My life was transformed, perhaps as much as theirs, even more, from childhood to the edge of adulthood was a very big shift. I remember the funeral of JFK on that last weekend in November ’63 since my parents had just bought a TV. They had sold out TV in the early 1950s because they saw it as a bad influence on my studies in primary school and high school. But, by 1963, I was at university and the threat that the TV imposed in the early 1950s had dissipated. It had become a part of the cultural landscape for millions of North Americans by 1963.

Part 2:

Mainstream professional television was launched on 16 September 1956 in Sydney, and so by 1963, Australians had become thankful to Bruce Gyngell who 7 years earlier had introduced TV with the words 'Good evening, and welcome to television'. Since 1963 Australia has seen the introduction of colour, and digital television, and the planned shutdown of analogue broadcasts set to take place between 2010 to 2013.

In 1963 I was so occupied with my small world of school and sport, family and friends, my life in a small town in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe that the life of the President of the USA and the First Lady hardly created a ripple in my world. My emotions and brain were chocker-block full of other stuff.

Part 3:

The neural mechanism of the hippocampi seems to have stored very little in their layers of neuronal cells in my brain about Jackie and JFK. Since different neuronal cell types are neatly organized into layers in the hippocampus, it has frequently been used as a model system for studying neurophysiology. The form of neural plasticity known as long-term potentiation (LTP) was first discovered to occur in the hippocampus and has often been studied in this structure. LTP is widely believed to be one of the main neural mechanisms by which memory is stored in the brain.

In the period 1/9/'01 to 1/9/'02 the Kennedys were back in the news and back in my hippocampi---at least 9 years later if you will persist, dear reader, and read on. This reappearance or stimulus to my hippocampi has been due to the voice of Jackie Kennedy’s conversations, her taped interviews with Arthur Schlesinger Jr., four months after JFK’s assassination. The tapes were released in the summer of 2011 by Jackie’s daughter.

The text of the tapes are now in a book entitled: Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy. By 2011, I had been retired from FT, PT and casual-volunteer work, and on an old-age pension for six years. The Kennedys just never go away and may now have a permanent place in those neuronal cells.-Ron Price with thanks to several internet sites on Jackie and JFK, 1 November 2012.

They keep coming back into my life,
& they’ve been coming into my life
since, well,let’s think, that Cuban
Missile Crisis in October 1962 which
was in the news & took us to the edge
of nuclear war;I was busy on 9 grade
13 subjects and their 4 hours nose to
the grindstone homework; I had my very
libidinal urges under lock & key....the
newest Abrahamic religion had just come
into town; my BPD and its episodic and
emotional turmoil had begun to set in.

Parental shifts of a retirement, a moving
to a new town: that booming & very buzzing
confusion had become part of our lives in
the WW3! as Henry Miller called our years.(1)

Jackie was a sartorial, classy, woman,
always in control, smart and neat, came
in with a handsome husband at the dawn
of the mass television era, really was
far-out on that periphery of my life with
her mystery,privacy, & her understatement.

Her historical drama, Camelot, & its modern
medieval Arthurian tale of magic and myth
which ended less than a 1000 days and came
on 56 million TV screens before I had a TV,
part of an American royalty of sorts, poised,
softly spoken, an independent, & fierce inner
life, loved being centre stage, and was still
shy with individuals. Jackie, I hardly knew you!

(1) Henry Miller(1891-1980) was an American writer, one of the first to use the F word in his novels, and a painter. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of "novel" that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism, one that is distinctly always about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet is also fictional. His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer (1934), Black Spring (1936), and Tropic of Capricorn (1939). He also wrote travel memoirs and essays of literary criticism and analysis. He also wrote, far back in December 1941 that:

“when the destruction of this war is complete, another set of destructions will set in. It will be far more drastic and far more terrible than the destruction which we are now witnessing in the midst of this global war. The whole planet will be in the throes of revolution. And the fires will rage until the very foundations of the present world crumble.”-Henry Miller in The Phoenix and the Ashes, Geoffrey Nash, George Ronald, Oxford, 1984, p.55.

Ron Price
1/11/'12 to 31/12/'12

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