One Friday Morning

One Friday Morning

Posted:- 2018 / 11





t was a Friday, mid-morning, chilly but not cold. Christmas was a month away.

In those days, in order to snag the night shift workers, bus and truck drivers, heading home from the factories and garages the bars didn't close.

Jimmy's Tavern sat on the corner of Delaware and Duncan Avenue in the center of a Jersey City. It was a working class Irish-Italian neighborhood.

I was eleven and I was supposed to be in school but shining shoes was a hell of a lot more lucrative. Besides, the last person those sadistic old nuns at St. Aloysius were gonna miss was me. On top of which Friday was a language day which meant Mrs. LaFredo goose stepping up and down the aisles, arms folded above a bosom that could feed half the kids in Uganda, making us recite French phrases we'd use out in the street only if we had an overwhelming urge to get our ass kicked.

With her beehive Bouffant hair-do piled high upon her head, size double D's, an ass that could hold a guy's drink while he danced with her all supported by a pair of legs that looked like they were nicked from the chop stick dispenser of a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet, the little gutter snipes, bastards and assholes she was trying to teach, (us), called her 'cartoon lady'.

I never learned one lick of French but I liked Mrs. Lafredo. She probably never realized that she was a petunia struggling to grow in the middle of a rugby pitch.

Apparently there was a standard recommended bar and tavern floor plan set out years prior by the East Coast Bar & Tavern Association of America because every bar in that country I have ever been in before or since that day, had the long bar with a long line of stools in front of it set off to the right with tables and or booths to the left and the toilets located in the far rear of the room.

Jimmy's, one of the first joints in the neighborhood to have a TV, had it tucked away up in the far right hand corner mounted on a shelf turned at 45 degrees and tilted down to the bar room.

There was the usual sandwich bar set up on a large, stainless steel, roll-a-way food cart off to the left corner in the rear. First thing to catch my attention when I had entered the dark, smoky bar room which reeked of hops and sweat.

We all have a seminal moment when we first become 'aware' of the world around us, the outside world. Something outside our little Golden Triangular world of home-school-play.

That Friday morning was my moment of awakening.

Without warning somebody at the bar started yelling; "SHUT UP! EVERYBODY SHUT THE HELL UP!" The bar man scurried to the television stepped up on the foot stool and turned the sound up. The black and white CBS announcer continued his running commentary and an eerie silence blanketed the shadowy bar room.

The man who saved us all from the devastation of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the guy who promised us we'd be on the moon by the end of the decade and the guy who almost restored people's faith in politics was dead. Shot in the head by a mad man in Texas.

Assassinations didn't happen in America, they were something that happened in faraway Third World countries with strange names. Places where people got their water from wells and had exotic diseases that couldn't be cured and worse yet, had no McDonalds.

Despite the fact that shoe shines were ten cents several of the guys gave me a dollar bill after shining their shoes. One even tipped me a dollar but refused a shine. The true magnitude of the situation rang home when Jimmy the bartender/owner didn't even yell at me when I nicked some food from the sandwich cart in the back.

Looking back on that exact moment I now realize what it must be like the first time the doctor tells you have the Big C or some other fucked-up thing they're working on a cure for but it won't be ready in time to do you any good so bottom line is, your ride is here.

The standard American way to deal with something you couldn't deal with had finally reached the national level on a broad scale. Can't deal with it, then apply canine reasoning - if you can't eat it or fuck it, kill it. Only difference is humans have guns. Makes killing much more efficient. You know, the difference between modern man and a caveman? A Caveman can only kill one person at a time.

Little did America realize that this was the start of an epidemic. Assassinations became fashionable after the Sixties, for both sides Cops and Criminals. What the hell? They got away with dusting the president, that means anybody can do it.

Something that went unnoticed and unmentioned at the time was the irreversible effect the assassination would have on the complexion of national politics. Because of the nearly unlimited television coverage of the incident the realization that there was no safe haven for anyone anywhere in America, the U.S. public came just a little closer to that overwhelming, all-consuming uncontrollable soup of paranoia they live in today, day in day out.

Fear of the unknown had already regularly manifested itself in the U.S. throughout its history. Fear of too many foreigners coming to their shores. Fear of the Nazi saboteurs that never showed up back during WWII. Fear of all the communists that people were told were in their government which didn't exist.

Odd that Americans have never developed a healthy fear of trusting their political leaders no matter how many times those leaders have cheated, lied and stole from those who elected them.

People still rally behind these mysterious men who one day seem to appear out of nowhere with plenty of money to back them, slogans and promises and no matter what the fallout, what the damage four years later, the process starts all over again with new faces, new promises new coffers of cash to back them and Americans let themselves get sucked into the cult of political personalities as if they were internationally famous film stars who had just released a blockbuster, Oscar nominated feature destined to be a classic.

The conspiracy theories about who dusted JFK and why will persist as long as the event is remembered but two things are certain.

There were at the time really only two organizations that were qualified or had the ability to pull such a thing off in the way it was executed at that level. Both had the same quality and access of resources, inside intelligence and expertise.

For what it's worth, I sat in that sixth floor window in the Dallas School Book Depository when, in classic tourist attraction fashion, it was set up with simulated crates and a fake rifle with a scope and tourists had access before protests were apparently lodged and they blocked it all off.

Additionally I've made similar shots at 500 meters, twice the distance Oswald did, with similar weapons and while I was an expert marksman, I hold the same exact U.S.M.C. qualifications that Lee Harvey held.

There can be no credible argument against the fact that Oswald did it, the question is did he set it up alone or with help? Probably with help.

Any argument concerning who did it and why is purely academic. The people will find out one day maybe, but because the politicians involved or who had first-hand knowledge of the killing cleverly had key information sealed for an indeterminate period of time, when the truth is discovered the people it was relevant to will all be gone or being force fed through a tube.

So just as we found out Teddy didn't charge up San Juan Hill, Churchill did have reliable knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor and nobody was burnt at the stake in Salem we'll one day find out the story behind the JFK assassination.

The two primary organizations with the ability to pull off the killing at the time were The U.S. Government and the Mafia.

Conspiracy theorists have feasted on this for years until it became a culturally imbedded joke.

Then came 9/11.