My only memory of those four days in late November 1963 when America lost its innocence was watching a bunch of pretty horses slowly trotting down a street, towing a box draped in stars and stripes and on top of something that had wheels. And it was all inside that wondrous magic box in our living room.
To a 4-year-old kid, it looked a lot like a parade. Except that nobody looked happy.
Many were crying, including my mom, who was wiping away tears as she watched the magic box, the one that was home to Captain Kangaroo and Lamb Chop, and which was suddenly scary and unfriendly. It had made my mom cry, even more than I did when I acted like most 4-year-olds do.
I don’t remember anything else from those four days 50 years ago. Maybe I retreated into the safety of my playroom and the make-believe world of toy soldiers, cowboys and horses, where not a single tear was shed.