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Written By: Mike Schulz
Category: Feature Stories
Nearly everyone who was of TV-viewing age in 1963, it seems, remembers where they were on the day President John F. Kennedy was shot. For writer/performer/instructor Arlene Malinowski, that day is especially memorable, because as she recalls, it was one of the first times that this hearing child of Deaf parents had to act as her parents’ translator.
“I’m six, I’m in the first grade,” says the Chicago-based Malinowski, “and I remember coming home from school, and they’re in a dark living room watching the television, and they’re crying. And my father says, ‘Tell me what’s on the TV,’ and my mother says to my father, ‘No, no, no, leave her alone – she’s a kid.’ But I’m like, ‘No, I can do this!’
“So I’m listening,” she continues, “and the man on TV is using a lot of big words. Words I don’t understand, like ‘assassinate’ and ‘motorcade’ and ‘depository.’ I figured out that ‘assassinate’ was ‘killed,’ but I couldn’t figure out what ‘depository’ meant. And then I remembered that Daddy deposits money into the bank, so it must mean ‘the bank.’ So I told my father, ‘The president man has been shot, he’s dead in his car, and a bank robber killed him.’
“And here’s the coda to it: They never [definitively] figured out who shot the president. So I am not necessarily wrong.”
Read More About A Third Space In The World: Arlene Malinowski Creates A Bridge Between The Deaf And The Hearing, April 9 At Augustana College...
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