Saturday, July 26, 2008

Zapruder’s child

I was always known as Zapruder’s child even though my father’s name was Pete Weston. No, nothing funny going on. It’s just that I’m the kid holding his father’s hand in the infamous Zapruder film. Yep, that one.

You just see me, behind a sudden cloud of blood and brain and bone, in the frames that show John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s head being blown away, as the motorcade glides slowly down Dealey Plaza. That’s me. The kid holding his Dad’s hand through history, my mother on his other side, sharing the shock and tragedy of the day and the continuing rumble as history unfolds. As a nation goes into shock where just seconds before, we had all waved our flags and held our breath with excitement. Or I had. I was only five.

We’re still there. We’ll always be there. In magazines, newspapers, TV and movies, our moment is preserved for everyone to examine and ponder over for centuries to come.

Millions of people have seen the Zapruder footage. Millions of people have seen me. It’s a kind of immortality.

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