The dashing, young president turned his head quickly with a face showing his concern, as secret servicemen began to move the crowd away.
Eddie Hughes, a 27-year-old newspaperman, had tripped on the curb after getting a stellar photograph of John Kennedy shaking hands with the crowd in Fort Worth, Texas, the morning of Nov. 22, 1963.
In response to the president's expression of concern, Hughes gave him a thumbs-up and a wink.
Prior to that, Hughes had made a fateful observation at both Kennedy's airport arrival and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast events.
He reported in the Dallas Morning News that President Kennedy headed toward the crowd to shake hands before making his exits. But both times, the secret servicemen seemed caught off guard and were momentarily separated from him, Hughes reported.
"(Kennedy) would take a chance with his life to greet the people; that was him," Hughes said.
Hughes will be the speaker at the Cole County Historical Society's 70th anniversary dinner on Nov. 6. For more information, see our newspaper or e-Edition for Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011.