CHARLESTON, W.Va.--There are days that live in infamy, seared into our memories, like scars of a long-healed wound that will never go away.
Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas.
We all know the story of the motorcade and First Lady Kennedy's pink dress, the schoolbook depository and the pathetic assassin with his $26 gun.
But that story spawned millions of others. Almost anyone old enough to remember President Kennedy's death can recall where they were, who they were with and what they were doing the moment they heard the news.
John Cavendish was in Mrs. Wilkinson's sixth period English class at Charleston High School, sitting next to his friend, Carolyn Karp.
About 1:30 p.m, the school's principal came over the intercom and announced President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.
Carolyn immediately began weeping as the class sat waiting for more information. None came, but a short time later Cavendish received a message. His station manager at WKNA needed him to come to the radio station and help with coverage of the assassination.
Cavendish's voice had changed when he was 12, giving him a rich baritone, and for the last several months he had worked as an announcer for "The Jazz Band Ball" on WKNA, a classical and jazz music station in South Charleston.
He was too young to drive and usually rode his bike to work. This day, his mother came to the school and drove him to the radio station.
When he arrived at the squat cinderblock building, his bosses led Cavendish to a small room near the back of the station where they kept the Associated Press and United Press International wire service machines.
In the days before the Internet, national news was transmitted to newspapers, television studios and radio stations via Teletype machines, a kind of automated typewriter that banged out stories on long rolls of yellow paper.
The station had run a 75-foot microphone cable to the small room, where Cavendish was plopped in a chair alongside a big Shure microphone.
As each new story came across the wire, Cavendish ripped it from the machine and read it on the air.
"I read dozens of articles. Nobody knew what was going on. It was various accountings of what happened. It was sketchy at best," Cavendish remembers.
Details of the assassination were scarce. Journalists in Dallas were reporting the shooting death of a local police officer, but authorities hadn't yet apprehended Lee Harvey Oswald.
He remained in the tiny room for four hours, turning over the microphone to another announcer about 6 p.m. But Cavendish was back at the station the next day and for the rest of the weekend, helping broadcast the news of Oswald's arrest and his assassination, President Kennedy's funeral and the beginnings of President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration.
"I was just a kid and didn't have anything else to do. I didn't know up from down at that point," he said. "I just had a deep voice."
Patti Barnhart Price was a senior at Scott High School in Madison, Boone County. She was editor-in-chief of the yearbook, and was heading to the yearbook office for her final class of the day.
She was in the hallway when she heard the principal's announcement.
"We just went into the yearbook office, and we sat there," she said.
Price had met Kennedy during his 1960 presidential campaign, during a stop at the Boone County Courthouse.