What’s in a name?

imageGrassy knoll, Southbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

November 22, 1963. Does that ring any bells? I was in high school in Corpus Christi, Texas. The country had embarrassed itself at the Bay of Pigs. We had walked right up to the edge with the Russians over a few misssles in Cuba, and it started to looked like things were going to get better. Kennedy seemed to be blessed. Television loved him, and if they knew of his clay feet they weren’t talking about it in public. We were commited to go to the moon, and who could stop us.

It’s amazing how little it took to move the country in a different direction. A few ounces of lead and the course of history changed. I won’t debate whether it was better or worse, but without doubt it has been different. A few ounces of lead, and just as an infinitesimally small deflection at the tip of the barrel can put the impact of a bullet yards off target, the death of one man affected the course of world events in ways we will never comprehend.

It’s funny how the mind works. As I took this photograph I was thinking about what to call it and the words “grassy knoll” popped into my head. And no sooner had I thought that, when I remembered being back in high school and hearing about the grassy knoll in Dallas, a city I had visited several times and had found unimpressive. Things stick with us; John Kennedy’s cocky smile and the words grassy knoll.

Pentax K5IIs with kit zoom, processed first in Photoshop CS4 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 then moved to my iPad Air for processing in Nik Snapseed and Stackables. Sometimes it takes sheer will to bend an image into giving up what was seen in the mind’s eye when the shutter was tripped.


2 comments on “What’s in a name?

  1. I remember it well…I was 8 years old and our teacher Mrs. Berry came in and told us. It didn’t mean much to us, but it changed the world forever. This image is superb 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the comment, James. I value your opinion. It’s funny in a way, I haven’t taken notice of the date some years, and years would have forgotten all about it but for news stories about an anniversary. But this year, because of this image, it was all brought right back to my mind. That is one of the things I like about photography; the ability to take one back in time, for better or worse.


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