As he recalls Nov. 22, 1963, his eyes well up and a few tears stream around the wrinkles on his cheeks. In a faint whisper, he remembers how it seemed that the world stopped turning when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
But Castro is touched even deeper than many — the former Rice Hotel banquet captain served the late president his last dinner the night before.
"It was bizarre," Castro said. "The world was shattered and everything just shut down."
In the subsequent weeks and months, people often asked the hotel staff about Kennedy's brief visit, Castro said. But as time wore on, Castro said generations began to forget how the nation was crippled by Kennedy's assassination. Castro said he couldn't forget if he tried and treasured the moments he spent by the late president's side.
Every year, Castro phones his siblings and reminds them to say a prayer for the fallen president.
"He was my biggest hero," Castro said. "Just seeing him on TV or in a photo was enough to lift your hopes and dreams. Maybe this generation will have that with Mr. Obama."
A hysterical political satire depicting the funeral of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. What does George Bush say at his funeral? Who does Donald Rumsfeld bring as his guest? Is Castro dead or alive?