“He’s Just the President,” by Marcielle Brandler

25 Jun

Marcielle Brandler

Award-winning poet Marcielle Brandler is a TV producer, seminar director, public speaker, and college educator. Her book of poems and CD by the same title, The Breathing House, and Fun with Grammar, are available on Amazon.com. Marcielle’s humanitarian work in raising money for many groups goes back to the eighties. She has been an English adjunct at Los Angeles City College since 1988. Her website is www.marciellepresents.com. She can be reached at marcielle@verizon.net.


In 1963, I was 14 and sitting in my classroom, working quietly, when our teacher Miss Carlson interrupted us and made an announcement. I couldn’t figure out why she was so deadly serious.

“President Kennedy has been shot.”

The stunned silence also confused me. As Miss Carlson continued with details and how Kennedy was dead, some kids actually cried.

So did Miss Carlson.

Kennedy  Kennedy Assassination

I thought, He’s just the president. I was a kid and no one had ever talked to me about how much a so-distant public figure and role model could matter in a kid’s life. What has he to do with me? My parents were Republican, but even if Nixon had died, I would have felt the same confusion.

At 14 I knew nothing about our world and the importance of our leaders, but now I’m always educating myself and meeting with my council people and senators. I work on their campaigns,  and I even went to see President Obama when he visited Los Angeles. We as citizens should learn from our past, its flaws and its virtues, so that we improve our world. We need to call our congresspeople and let them know when they are doing a good job and when they fall short.


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