Boynton woman has iconic footage of JFK - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Boynton woman has iconic footage of JFK

BOYNTON BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The TV was on in Becky Rister's living room Thursday night for only a few moments when some of her brother's handiwork popped on-screen. "That's it, that's it," Rister exclaimed. "I just tear up every time I see it."

As the first official White House cinematographer, Tom Atkins shot hundreds of hours of film for presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

On Nov. 22, he documented the president's last moments.

Fifty years later, they're crystal clear. "We want him to be remembered for what he did and for what he saved for the country," said Rister. "JFK's last smile."

Atkins died two years ago of a stroke.

But Rister recalls the feeling in November 1963, wondering whether her brother survived the attack.

"We heard it on the TV," said Rister. "We knew he was there. We knew he was close to the gunfire."

They had no way of knowing he wasn't hit, had leapt from his car, and was taking these now-iconic films.

"He ran to the grassy knoll to get pictures of the public and their reactions. That's the type of photographer he was," said Rister.  "He wanted to show how America loved JFK."

Atkins would later record the flowers in Kennedy's empty, bloody seat.

"I wish he were here to see this anniversary."

The Naval officer made it to the White House, then to Dallas, and through five more years filming for President Lyndon Johnson.

His images have circled the globe, but remain close to his family's heart.

"He left a legacy through our family and through the Kennedys."

And through his steady hand, and watchful eye.

Copyright 2013 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • The Children's Museum homeschool day

    The Children's Museum homeschool day

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 5:23 AM EST2018-02-20 10:23:31 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    Interacting with other children and having fun, both while learning… The Children’s Museum in Lake Charles has been a destination for families in Southwest Louisiana for years now.

    More >>

    Interacting with other children and having fun, both while learning… The Children’s Museum in Lake Charles has been a destination for families in Southwest Louisiana for years now.

    More >>
  • Threats to local high schools being investigated

    Threats to local high schools being investigated

    Monday, February 19 2018 11:56 PM EST2018-02-20 04:56:52 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Multiple agencies are investigating allegations of threats made against a local high school.  Threats were allegedly made against DeRidder High School by a juvenile, according to Deputy Chief Christopher Rudy with the DeRidder police department.  The juvenile was detained and a search warrant has been served. Deputy Chief Rudy says there is no immediate threat to the students or staff at DeRidder High School.  The DeRidder Police Department, Beauregard Parish Sheriff...

    More >>

    Multiple agencies are investigating allegations of threats made against a local high school.  Threats were allegedly made against DeRidder High School by a juvenile, according to Deputy Chief Christopher Rudy with the DeRidder police department.  The juvenile was detained and a search warrant has been served. Deputy Chief Rudy says there is no immediate threat to the students or staff at DeRidder High School.  The DeRidder Police Department, Beauregard Parish Sheriff...

    More >>
  • As federal taxes go down, Louisiana income taxes go up

    As federal taxes go down, Louisiana income taxes go up

    Monday, February 19 2018 10:10 PM EST2018-02-20 03:10:50 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    It's no fun getting a pay raise only to have it eaten up by an increase in your bills, which is what's happening with federal tax reform in Louisiana. If you noticed a small increase in your pay check from federal tax reform, it may be fleeting as state taxes go up. The Louisiana constitution says if federal taxes go down, state taxes go up. But tax preparer Jessica Fisher, who is an area manager for Jackson Hewitt, says the offset should still leave you with a little somethin...

    More >>

    It's no fun getting a pay raise only to have it eaten up by an increase in your bills, which is what's happening with federal tax reform in Louisiana. If you noticed a small increase in your pay check from federal tax reform, it may be fleeting as state taxes go up. The Louisiana constitution says if federal taxes go down, state taxes go up. But tax preparer Jessica Fisher, who is an area manager for Jackson Hewitt, says the offset should still leave you with a little somethin...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly