Shepherd reportedly burst into the Village Voice offices, where he wrote a column for them, excited. He’d just heard that, “Wouldn’t you know! It was a Fair Play for Cuba guy who did it!” The Voice‘s Jerry Tallmer described Shepherd as being very excited that “it wasn’t some right-wing fascist but a nutcase of the left.” Barry Farber remembers that right after the Kennedy assassination, “We didn’t go on the air for four days. I didn’t want to–I was too affected. [Shepherd came in, saying] ‘For crying out loud, finally have something to talk about–they took us off the air!’ “
Jean and Lois circa 1962
She and her mother and Jean were together in Manhattan: “Those three days I guess it was, when everybody was watching. The three of us watched that whole thing and Jean was absolutely absorbed. We even went down, walked around, went over to St. Patrick’s and saw all the people sitting on the steps and everything. And he was—he had a very emotional side—very strong feelings, but I think you have to know that if you know his work.” Nettleton commented that she and Jean had been strongly pro-Kennedy, and Jean had said in his radio eulogy that he had “been a Kennedy man” because of Kennedy’s intelligence and wit, among other characteristics. After Kennedy’s funeral, when Jean got back on the air, he gave his masterpiece of a eulogy.
Back on the air, Shepherd broadcast his beautifully composed elegy in which he described how the mood of the country had been changing to an unsettling dissatisfaction with the world, and that this mood-change probably contributed to the tragic events. He ended by saying, “It was a terrible weekend. And I’m not so sure that we’re not in for a few more in the next hundred years.” Very unusual for him, he concluded by doing the equivalent of signing his name to the eulogy, just saying, “This is Jean Shepherd.”
As on so many occasions, Jean Shepherd, as indicated in this
last paragraph above, predicted accurately.
And it’s not just in other countries.