Ron continues to narrate his life story. On November 22, 1963, Ron and his friends are driving their car to pick up their homecoming dates. This time, Ron is wearing store-bought clothes and penny loafers. As they are trying to pull onto the freeway, traffic shuts down. President Kennedy and his entourage roll through, passing in front of them close enough that Ron can see the details of the president’s and the first lady’s faces. After the procession moves on down the road, all the gathered onlookers suddenly scatter. The radio announces that the president has been assassinated, and a city-wide manhunt is underway.
While not directly related to any of the story’s major themes, the assassination of JFK anchors Ron’s young adulthood into a specific period of American history. It is also notable that Ron has replaced all of his handmade clothing, signaling that he is taking his first steps down the path of materialism and preoccupation with money and status.