Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22, 1963

In November of 1963 I was a single mom, with a daughter about to turn 2 years old (Dec 4th) and working grave yard shift at the phone company as a long distance operator. The babysitter ( Karen) was a young gal, married to a fellow in the Air Force. She lived with me for her room and board to watch Julie since I was working that crazy shift. Any I came home the morning of November 22nd and got a bite to eat, got Julie up, dressed her, fed her breakfast and played with her for awhile...then went to bed. I woke up a few hours later to the sound of uncontrollable sobbing. I remember thinking oh my, what's happened...has Julie been hurt or perhaps the little son of Karen's. I staggered out of bed to find the TV on and Karen sitting on the floor absolutely inconsolable....Julie and Karen's little boy were both crying too because Karen was so upset. I dropped down to the floor and kept asking Karen "what's wrong, what's wrong?" All she could do is point to the TV. I looked over and watched for a couple minutes and realized that a horrible event had taken place that day. I later tried to go back to bed and get some more sleep...I probably didn't sleep more that day but I do remember going to work again that night. It was horrible, everyone was crying. It was so difficult to do what we had to do that night. The supervisor called extra people in so we could get through the night. I remember I could take a few calls, check a few tickets and then I'd break down and have to leave my position. All of us were in the same boat. Everywhere you looked in that huge telephone building, here in Tacoma on South 9th and would see people crying. It was a time in our history that I will never forget.