Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer L.T. Garvin -November – Dallas Texas – L. T. Garvin

In her second guest post, L.T. Garvin shares a poem about an event in history that is forever etched in the memories of people around the world… It is one of those events that people ask “Where were you when….?”

November by L. T. Garvin.

Dallas, Texas
From the bank building,
south we go
trudging the city sidewalks
It’s lunchtime
high noon
the smell of barbecue
piques interest
of the business bunch
white shirts, ties
tweed skirts, navy slacks
we go
Willa May’s Rib Haus
where meat, sauce and all
the trimmings
are served on the line
served with a side of Blues
and there we find
mounds of potato salad
golden, creamy, tangy
southern cooked garlic green beans
black eyed peas
seasoned like grandma’s
“You ain’t seen my sorrow….”
the line server sings
Tragedy though,
wound down these streets
in 1963
The motorcade turned
and headed toward
Dealey Plaza…
these paths haunted
where they came in droves
to hammer out the truth
jack hammered bullet holes
from the curb
as the lies sunk into
the cement
“I say, you don’t know, don’t know, don’t know….”
The woman with her
smart tortoiseshell eyeglasses
well versed in Change Management
eyes the hot rolls with honey butter
considers the pinto beans
tinged with smithereens
of chopped tomatoes
decides on
pickles crisp, tart, dill
“We work til the sun go down….”
On the 6th floor of the
School Book Depository
Lee Harvey Oswald waited
And of the Father…
Sharp turn onto Elm Street
a turn that marks history
the death of a President
the sorrows of lost Camelot
The tabletops at Willa May’s
covered in bottle caps
I trace it with my fingers
it is rough
like rotten history
under the watchful tears
of the Trinity River
the sorrow that shadows downtown
spins furious heads faster
than the ball restaurant in the sky
And of the Son…
“Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone”
they told the teary public
gulping their grief
but rumors rampaged
along these winding streets
and chants of conspiracy
rose up screaming
like hot summer air
hitmen, mafia
tucked beneath
rail cars
the convertible raced
to Parkland Memorial
And of the Holy Ghost…
“All I need is to find my way home….”
The singer delves
into his music
uplifting in sorrow
defining another history
uprooting a troubled past
the essence of America
here among the pitchers of sweet tea
as the business interns eye
the caramel-colored delicacy
the nut-filled sugar confection
of pecan pie
And the Trinity River flows on
engulfed now
in a Vision Project
and a man with vision
slipped behind
earth’s barricade
away from these
scarred streets
a rendezvous with eternity
into blissful sleep
and the facts
concealed by men
who roam the dusk
are settled now
like dark sediment
at the bottom of
the Trinity River.

©L.T. Garvin

Sally: I was ten years old at the time, living in Cape Town, waking to hear my mother crying in my parent’s bedroom.. We were British but like millions of people around the world, this event shook us to the core. If you are old enough, I am sure that you remember that day in November too… Please share with Lana in the comments.

About L.T. Garvin

L.T. Garvin is a huge fiction fan and literature lover. She enjoys writing fiction, short stories, and attempts at poetry. L.T. has a particular fondness for Southern literature possibly because they have such good food and bigger than life stories in the South.

She currently has three books available, Confessions of a 4th Grade Athlete, a humorous children’s book about a boy named Nathan and his exuberant experiences in school and sports. Another children’s book, Animals Galore explores unique animals and their antics. A novel, Dancing with the Sandman, is suitable for all age groups and takes readers on time travel journey back to the 1960s. L.T. Garvin maintains a WordPress site where she shares fiction, poetry, and humorous essays

Books by L.T. Garvin

About Dancing with the Sandman

The Sandman cometh dancing to the beat of rock ‘n’ roll, blasting the turmoil of the Sixties. And where are you? West Texas, of course. Billie Jo Dunstan confronts her past, traveling back to the 1960s through a decade of turbulence and swirling color memories, contemplating life growing up in rural Texas. Tragedy and comedy come alive, preserving the past and a portion of small town life that will survive beyond super highways and the ratcheting progress of time.
Garvin’s (And They Came, 2017, etc.) latest novel offers a reflection of one girl’s coming-of-age in small-town Texas in the 1960s. … Garvin is at her best when offering these cheeky nods to the past, never getting bogged down in nostalgia.
A winning narrator enlivens a charming tale of a town facing modernity.–Kirkus Reviews

One of the reviews for the book

The story starts and ends in west Texas as Billie Jo revisits the small town she grew up in, a town left behind years ago when progress, in the form of a new highway, raced ahead. It’s a place that holds memories so tangible they feel like ghosts rising out of the sand, and they create the substance of the story.

Garvin calls the book a fictional journey, but it reads like a memoir. If you were a kid in the 60’s, this book will feel something like a trip into childhood, a time before helicopter parents and iphones, a time when kids had to create their own fun while learning the painful lessons of life.

Though the book takes place in Texas, there is so much about Billie Jo’s experiences that felt familiar to me, a child of rural Connecticut. In a way, the qualities that make up a childhood – the way adults are perceived, the family quirks, sibling teasing, unexpected kindnesses and losses, how kids think and fill their leisure time – seemed universal. This is a thoroughly relatable book.

And told as a “look back at the ghosts of the past,” the book has a nostalgic aura that lingered beyond the last page, calling forth my own ghosts and eliciting memories that I’d forgotten. Dancing with the Sandman is a lovely, poignant, rich read for all ages, but especially for those who enjoy memoirs and those who were children in the 60’s.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by L.T. Garvin

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read other reviews and follow L.T. Garvin on Goodreads:

Connect to L.T. Garvin


Thank you for dropping in today and please share your memories of that day in the comments and if you have any questions for Lana she would love to receive them.

25 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer L.T. Garvin -November – Dallas Texas – L. T. Garvin

  1. I was in Civics class (senior year of high school)…the news broke and we were all stunned and devasted–seemed our hopes were dashed even though we were yet to embark on our adult lives. Families and a nation were shocked, saddened and glued to television sets as we mourned our great loss. I relive that day and that period of Ameican history through the character of Shawn Daniels in my novel Dog Bone Soup.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Another amazing poem from Lana. Her work is consistently stunning (as was her book). I was little when JFK was killed and I remember his funeral motorcade interrupting my morning cartoons. It’s one of my earliest memories. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was in Junior High School and I remember that school was dismissed for the day. We were all crying and I remember walking home from school with tears streaming down my face. Even at that young age, I understood the horror of what had happened. Thank you for sharing L.T. Garvin’s work, Sally!

    Liked by 2 people

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