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Photographer to speak about JFK visit at Fendig Library

Tony Zappone will speak to the Fendig Friends of the Library on at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 about the day he spent photographing President John F. Kennedy during the president’s visit to Tampa on Nov. 18, 1963, four days before his assassination.

The Charles F. Fendig Public Library is at 3909 W. Neptune St. in Tampa.

Zappone, then an 11th-grader at Jefferson High School, received an “all areas” press pass for JFK’s five-hour Tampa visit after presenting officials with a letter from the faculty adviser of his high school newspaper stating he would be representing the publication in an official capacity.

Kennedy made three speeches, all attended by Zappone, at Al Lopez Field (located where Raymond James now stands); Fort Homer Hesterly Armory and at the International Inn, then located at the southwest corner of Westshore and Grand Central (now Kennedy Boulevard).

Not having a car, the young photographer enlisted the assistance of classmate Gary Williams in driving him to the various stops on the president’s itinerary. He will tell the story of how that was coordinated.

Zappone had been an accredited stringer for The Tampa Tribune since age 14 and was asked by the newspaper to photograph Kennedy’s main motorcade, which went quite a distance from Lopez Field winding through town to the armory. His motorcade photo, taken downtown at Twiggs and Franklin streets, has been published in books, newspapers and magazines all over the world. He was riding in the same limousine he was killed in four days later.

Zappone’s book about his experience that day, “John F. Kennedy: A President and a Kid with a Camera,” contains dozens of the best photos he took plus a detailed narrative of the day’s activities. It can be purchased online at www.jfktampa.com.

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Photographer to speak about JFK visit at Fendig Library