1968 was deemed the beginning of the ‘Age of Aquarius’ by some, but honestly, it was a tough year.
I was an awkward preteen, not turning 13 until December. In San Antonio, we held the World’s Fair, Hemisfair 68, from April 6 to October 6.
The day I’ll never forget was June 6.
It marks the anniversary of the assassination of Robert Frances Kennedy. He was tragically killed not even five years after the assassination of his brother President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Senator Kennedy, a candidate for President was shot three times—once in the head and twice in the back—with a fourth bullet passing through his jacket.
That night I followed live news from the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and across the nation with coverage on my transistor radio until sunlight the next morning. Reports indicated his condition was not good. He died almost 26 hours later at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Often referred in newspapers and media as RFK, I guessed it was because they did the same with his brother, JFK.
When JFK was elected, RFK (also known as Bobby) became the 64th United States Attorney General.
He served from January 1961 to September 1964, and as a U.S. Senator from New York from January 1965 until his death.
RFK left a strong impression just two months before when another leader referred by his initials, MLK, was assassinated.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot from a distance standing out a hotel room balcony in Memphis on April 4, 1968. The country was disillusioned. Millions were angry.
Bobby Kennedy was in Indianapolis to speak to crowd of mostly African-Americans, most who had not heard of Dr. Kings death.
A burden fell upon Kennedy to share the tragic news. He appealed for calm by acknowledging not only their pain, but his own abiding grief over the murder of his brother.
Bobby Kennedy looked down and solemnly quoted a variation of an ancient poem by Aeschylus (526-456 BC):
“Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom from the awful grace of God.”
“Wisdom through the awful grace of God” is a remarkable and meaningful statement.
It means God’s grace fills us with awe and gives us the opportunity to grow in wisdom during life’s most difficult moments.
That August, of 1968, was the most horrific of my life. I witnessed a beating and someone I love placed a gun to my head. Before he could cock it, under horrific duress, I had the instinct, or the “wisdom” to kneel and pray.
God answered my prayer.
Later, when I talked with Pastor Randall of Bellaire Baptist Church in his home, he shared James 1:1-8 with me. The verse I keep dear to my heart is this:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
James says that this wisdom is grown in the soil of hardship. We not only learn from wisdom of God, we can rest–Be Still–in the grace of God.
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.