The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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November 22, 2013

Recalling JFK visit here


- — Hugh O’Brien, 60, formerly of Farrell:

“I remember it so well. It was a beautiful Saturday morning. We lived on the last house on Roemer Boulevard, across from Haywood Street. We had a big family, and my brothers and sisters and parents all came out to watch him.

“I remember my Dad holding my baby sister Margaret on his shoulders. My mother swears Kennedy made eye contact with her when he went by. She insisted. That became her claim to fame,

“I guess. I would have been about 7 years old. I was old enough to remember hearing about it for a week. People were lining the street.

“I remember just as vividly the day he was killed. I was in fifth grade at Our Lady of Fatima and the teacher said the president had been shot. All the kids were crying. The teacher was trying to comfort us and the principal came in and said he died. It was a happy time and then a very sad time.”

Hazel Mondoc, 79, of Sharon:

“I was at Elks Square at 4 a.m. waiting for him to come speak. No one was there. I remember a policeman brought me a cup of coffee. We had gone to Youngstown, too, to see him get off the plane. I was sitting so close when he spoke in Sharon I had to strain my neck to look up and see him.

“I made friends with another woman, Carol Calca, from Hubbard, because we both talked about what big fans we were. We’re still friends to this day.

“The day he was killed, I was working at Westinghouse and I thought it was a joke. It couldn’t be true, I thought. It was awful, and it’s still awful. What a terrible thing to have happen. I wonder what he could have accomplished if he’d had the chance.”

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