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Mobile man recalls his role in president's funeral procession

MOBILE  --  A Mobile man recalls the important role he played when the world watched the president being laid to rest.         
PFC Arthur Carlson was in charge of guiding the Riderless horse for JFK's funeral.

 50 years ago ---Andy Carlson was 19 ---
A young and eager soldier assigned to the Old Guard.

Andy Carlson/Guided Riderless Horse: The Old Guard is the oldest active regiment or unit in the United States Army it was actually formed before the Constitution was signed
part of that is Caisson Platoon which is where I was. and primary duty is funerals in Arlington National Cemetery

Carlson had only been with the unit for six months --- when he learned that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.

Saw a group of people clustered around a car listening to a radio. being curious I just walked up to them to listen to it and found out what was going on and my day off officially ended

He was soon given the task of leading Black Jack --- a 16-year old quarter horse --- in the fallen president's funeral procession.

When I started working with Black Jack he was a middle age horse about 16 and calm. knew his job did it. no muss no fuss no bother. Years later I found out when he was a young horse when he first got there he was wild. and barely controllable

Black Jack had outgrown that wild behavior --- until the day of the ceremony.
He had gotten spooked. he was starting to dance starting to throw his head. completely wet with sweat and I said I don't know what's wrong with this horse but I'm in big trouble

And as soon as they got inside the White House
People tried to crowd around us and Black Jack moved them back people decided they didn't want to get kicked or stomped

Despite everything
Carlson did manage to keep control

Never did get to beat that horse but Christian I thought about it, I thought about it
50 years later his day's aren't nearly as stressful.

Where I am today is blissfully retired , The Grand Mariner here is my local it's where I come every afternoon to table of knowledge where like-minded people share stories
and have a beer or two