Jonesboro man recalls JFK assassination while in Dallas

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-  A Jonesboro man was in Dallas the same time President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago.

Joel Gambillwas traveling with the Arkansas State University football team to a game in San Antonio but they had to land in Dallas for fuel.

"With us,those of us my age, my era will always remember what they were doing, wherethey were when President Kennedy was shot," Gambill said.

Gambill is a retired ASU journalism professor and said everything about that day is embedded in his mind.

After stopping for fuel in Dallas, Gambill said he remembers seeing Air Force One.

"We were out wondering around and we spottedthe president's plane so we walked over to the plane," he said.

Gambill said he and a friend shot pictures of the plane before being told they were going back in the air.

"We're inroute to San Antonio when news came to us by our stewardess that the presidenthad been shot," he said. "There wasjust silence and we didn't really know what to think."

By the timethe plane landed in San Antonio, Gambill said he remembers seeing extra editionsof the newspapers out on the street.

"During thatperiod, it seemed like everything shut down,"Gambill said. "This was a time I will never forget. It'sembedded in my mine and will be."

He said thenews of the assassination took an emotional toll on him.

"I was veryemotional during that period, I was struck by the funeral and the procession," Gambill said. "Therewas always a photograph that stood out in my mind and that was the one of littleJohn Kennedy saluting the casket."

He said forweeks the country mourned the president's death.

"A lot ofpeople don't remember how they got from one place to another during that time becausetheir mind was so focused on what was taking place," he said.

Gambillsaid it was something about Kennedy that gave the country hope.

"He wasreally energetic and one that a lot of young people at that time were reallyable to identify with," he said.

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