Until recently, I didn’t know that my younger brother, Stephan, was a ‘love child’. He knows he’s been my best male friend since childhood. My best male friend since we made a pact to be the best brother to each other that we could possibly be. But it wasn’t until three weeks ago, during a recent conversation about the JFK assassination, which is approaching its 50 year anniversary, that he told me he was a ‘love child’.
You see, my brother was born on September 22, 1963, exactly 50 years ago today. That means he was conceived sometime late in 1962. At that time, we were living in Ft. Meade, Maryland, just outside Washington D.C.
In October of 1962, my father, a sergeant in the Army, was called away to Key West, Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Our family was one of many in this country that was living on edge with the thought of a possible nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
My dad left in late October, and didn’t return until late December. My mother told Stephan years later, that upon my father’s return is the point in time that he was conceived.
Those were years and months that this country lived quite a bit on edge. The Cuban Missile Crisis, the early thoughts of war in Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement. All of this and more, and my family was, in hindsight now and in no small way, connected to all of it.
My father would later spend two years of duty in Vietnam. But back to September, 1963, my brother was born less than a month after the March on Washington, and less than a month before my sixth birthday; all of this, in the shadow of the nation’s capital, and exactly two months before November 22, 1963. Little did any of us know, that the President of the United States at the time, would have exactly two months to live.