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About 1:15 we were standing near the cashier’s desk while one of the company vice-presidents paid the check for the group. The cashier gave me her usual smile—a kind of commercial smile-and then said very calmly as she counted out the change, ‘Have you heard? The President has been shoe in Dallas.

Are you sure? one of the Acme executives asked. No. I’m not sure, she said. Someone just told me they heard it over the radio. When we asked for more details, she said that was all she knew about it. We were not quite certain how to react. For a moment, I think we all felt that this might even be somebody’s idea of a joke.

As soon as we reached the car, one of the men turned on the radio, and we heard the vague and confused early reports. The brief bulletins did not make it clear just how seriously the President was wounded, but we were all stunned.

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