Two Contemporaneous Documentaries

 Turner Classic Movies, in its run up to the Oscars is showing award wining movies and documentaries. 

Two we watched were about the times through which we lived.

Everybody — of a certain age —remembers where they were when President Kennedy was shot, and the space race to the moon, which JFK kicked off.

Doug and I both thought we knew so much about these events; what in could be new in the old documentaries?   

It’s Important to Stay Teachable, Right? 

Well, we learned not all reporting and film footage made it into the news sources we knew, including so much live television and radio coverage. So, we saw and heard some “new” stuff.

TCM’s  documentaries filled in some details and had some footage that made our memories even more vivid. And . . . 

Oh How YOUNG everybody looked! 

So many of those “movers and shakers” in the 1960’s and 70’s were younger than our kids are now! 

Even “the older generation” looked young — and they were; most were younger than we are now. 

 “It seems, in youth, that everything we do is practice for the real thing, a rehearsal for some future grand debut.  And then the years go by, and we look back and realize that the practice was the real thing, the rehearsal the grand debut.” Robert Brault  

 Then— as if to underscore our age, a post from the Good Will Librarian, on Facebook, showed me what has become obsolete in the years since the assassination of JFK and the Apollo Missions:

contemporaneous stuff

Since 1968?

Are we really that old? 

Oh Yeah. 

The good news, however, is Doug is still full of surprises. I learned some new things about my husband! 

Back Then

One, I did not know — after how many years of marriage(!?)— that on Friday, November 22, 1963, Doug was having lunch with a friend in the Senate Dining Room when the news of the shooting broke. 

Then, he and his friend went  into the Senate Chambers as Senator Ted Kennedy, who was presiding, received the news of his brother’s death. 

Finally, as we watched the scenes of the President’s casket being carried into the Capitol, Doug said he was in the Senate Office building in his Air Force uniform as the procession passed

He never told me this! 


As February is drawing to a close, it’s nice to know that even watching documentaries together, there is always something to learn about your husband— and that finding out the friend at that lunch was a female kindled a wee greenish spark! 

That contemporaneous documentary on Apollo’s Mission closed with what seems like naivety. But, it’s  so apropos to these uncertain times:

“For All Mankind” is a phrase excerpted from the inscription on the Apollo 11 lunar plaque, which reads in part, “We came in peace for all mankind.”


We can’t see the troubles . . .


O, Lord, Have Mercy on us. And grant us the time to keep commending you to the next generation — and our own. 

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