Pages/People/Philm – Legends

I am near the end of Killing the Legends – The Lethal Danger of Celebrity – by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The book is excellent, there are many facts included I did know, and several new insights into the lives of all three men of which I was unaware. The book is so well-written you read along at a quick pace. The book has a few photographs, but not many; I would have enjoyed more photos.

As far as the legends are concerned, I was always fond of one, disliked the other, and was a bit ambivalent about the third. My feelings haven’t changed much after reading, and I realize I should always trust my instincts.

ELVIS was one of three films that lured me into a movie theater in 2022. The other two, Downton Abbey – A New Era, and Where the Crawdads Sing were the others. I enjoyed the latter two, but ELVIS was my favorite. Where the Crawdads Sing was a close second, and after I saw the movie, I bought and read the book.

I am reading Chicken Soup for the Soul – Best Advice I Ever Heard, now, and loving it. A few days ago, I read chapter 51 by author Laurie Davies. Her topic was advice she received from a teacher on how to overcome her fear of elementary school recess. “Walk out onto that playground like it’s yours,” the teacher told her. This is advice I sure wish I had lived by in the past when uneasy or thinking myself out of place. Maybe in my senior years I’ll manage to live by her wise words. That brings my thoughts back to Elvis. He owned the stage he performed on, but through most of his career, offstage, he was owned and controlled by others. He couldn’t escape the web they wove, and was, in the end, consumed by the prison of success.

Perspective – Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard



A strange fact crossed my mind a year or two ago. I commented about it to my husband, “Do you realize,” I asked, “The percentage of people who remember the day Kennedy was shot is much less than those who don’t remember?”

This felt like strange territory to me. It was another instance  that gave me pause about the fleeting nature of life. How could this be?  I was just barely six years old on November 22, 1963. I was a first grader at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Easton, Maryland. My father was the pastor of the Wesleyan Church, known then as the Pilgrim Holiness Church, at 620 Goldsborough Street.  After lunch the principle of the school, Mrs Lyons, slipped into the door of Mrs. Johnson’s first grade room. We were told that President Kennedy had been shot and we all closed our eyes, bowed our head, and prayed for him.

Oh, how times have changed!  In the age we are living in now the truth and calling upon God would not be allowed. How many lawsuits, how many newspapers articles and newscasts would happen if as a school and nation we were (with utter sincerity and purpose and not just as a convenient sound bite and spin) called upon to pray for anything? How we have fallen!

When we were dismissed we found out, from the parents who suddenly drove to pick up their children who always walked home, that our president had died.

As  young as I was I remember the solemn hush that fell like a dark cloud. I remember watching the funeral, the procession on black and white television. I learned a new word I had never heard before in my young life when the commentators spoke of…”the caisson carrying the president.”

Caisson – A horse-drawn vehicle, usually two-wheeled, used to carry artillery ammunition and coffins at military funerals.

I relate my experience of the Kennedy assassination to recommend the book written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.   The book was very well-written, and I came away from it with a new appreciation for John and Jacqueline Kennedy. The book was not a whitewashed account. Flaws and weaknesses of the president and those around him were honestly revealed, but without being sensationalized.  It is regrettable that his assassination eclipsed so much of the good JFK accomplished while he served his term as president. I’m so glad to have read this honest and factual work. It is a terrific book.

Thursday will mark the forty-ninth year that has passed since JFK was assassinated.