H-GROVER BEACH

Nov 22, 2013 9:35 PM by Victoria Johnson, KSBY News

Local man remembers being along motorcade route the day JFK was shot

A Grover Beach man was on the parade route five decades ago in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was shot. On Friday, he shared his memories of the day he saw the President just minutes before he was shot.

"The crowd was huge and it was a beautiful, sunny day in Texas," said Stephen Hughes, Grover Beach Resident.

"I took a bus down to the parade route. It was a great parade and it was an opportunity for a bunch of kids to go see the President. Seeing the President of the United States when you are 14, that's a big deal. We rustled ourselves a place up front. I got too close because I had a motorcycle run over my foot while I was there, and I got to touch the President. In junior high they had these little, they called them pep ribbons. I had that pinned to my shirt, so I took it. I stepped out into the street, had the motorcycle run over my toe which was in front of the limousine, and then I reached over and handed it to the President," said Hughes.

Hughes added that even though he was at the parade he did not hear the shots fired.

"I did not hear any of the shots. We were far enough away that it was not part of my experience with it. We were the first ones to bring the news into the junior high. We were just talking among ourselves and said, ‘Gee, this is a big deal and all of the adults seem to be really concerned... and sad,' and so that was infectious and the rest of us began to feel the gravity of the event," said Hughes.

Hughes said he will never forget that day. Fifty years later, he says he still talks to his classmates about that day, a day that created a bond between them.

Some of Stephen Hughes' classmates just published a book called The Confusion and the Quiet. It is about the recollections of more than 100 students in the junior high as they discuss what that day meant to them.

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