The first time I saw television in our home I saw Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas Texas, November 24, 1963. Gunned him down in our living room. Oswald was dead within forty eight hours. America burst like a runaway freight train into our living room. It was the day before my birthday. I thought it was just another show like Bonanza, but set in the modern west. I was nine. My brother and I had been hounding our father to get a television. Most of our friends had them. After school we'd walk over to someone's house and watch the BBC. It was always an American western.
But our dad was a hold out. He thought TV was bad news. Well it took Oswald's bullet to finally persuade him to get one. We got the thing home after the assassination and took it out of its box and plugged it in and right away bang bang, there goes Harvey. He just crumbled into a bunch of Texas hats. I've never forgotten it. We weren't even sitting down—just standing around fiddling with the screen. It was a dose of reality, a wake up. I think that's when childhood ended for me.