Thursday, December 08, 2005

Where were you?

My grandparents remembered vividly where they were on December 7, 1941, when they heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor. For my parents, it was November 22, 1963, the day JFK was shot. My mother, who takes enough medication that she can't even remember what medication she's taken, can even recall exactly what she was wearing that day.

For much of my generation, December 8, 1980, is the terrible day we remember so clearly. It marked the first time in my almost eight years of life that I was allowed to stay up late on a school night to watch the news.

My dad was watching football when Howard Cosell made the announcement that John Lennon had been shot. He hollered upstairs for my mother, and we all joined him in the family room.

My cousin Michael introduced me to the Beatles, especially Lennon, almost from birth. If Mike said John Lennon was the man, that was enough for me. I felt like I'd lost a friend. As my family stared at the TV in shock, I crawled up into my dad's chair, terrified and sobbing inconsolably. The worst conceivable thing for little kids is the death of a parent. I remember thinking of Sean Lennon, and not being able to hold onto my dad tightly enough. I've found the holiday season depressing ever since.

It remains as incomprehensible now as it was 25 years ago. It's hard to imagine what John Lennon would be like today, in a world filled with unnecessary wars and iPods and rap stars and artificial sweeteners and so much madness.

I won't join the throngs of fans at the Dakota and Strawberry Fields tonight. Somehow, I feel like John Lennon would think we were idiots for standing around in the freezing cold, mourning someone who's been dead for so long. But I'm grateful to him, and I miss him, and I'll admit to being a little sad today.

How do you remember the day John Lennon died?


Blogger Jim Donahue said...

Hitting the "Next Blog" button on Blogger generally lands me on crap. But your blog isn't crappy at all!

9:28 AM  
Blogger missbhavens said...

I was only 10, and for some reason my Mom & I didn't get the news until the next morning as I got ready for school and she for work. I remember her being in such a state--she was 30 at the time and John Lennon & The Beatles were resposible for shaping her entire youth. I had lost my bus pass and she had to give me a dollar to get to school and back. I had enough spare change to make it to school, and I thought I'd snag the dollar for pizza or something, but when I looked I realized that in her fog she had give me a $20. My mom was not one to screw up cash. I figured she must really be an emotional wreck. I felt so bad for her that I walked home from school without even getting change for the $20 to take the bus. And I gave her the money back. Even though we lived 5 blocks from the Dakota, we didn't go over there because it was such a scene. We played all her old Beatles albums that day. It was terribly sad.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous jgreenbaum said...

"You may say I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one..."

We miss you, John.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Horace Finkle said...

Sweet blog page. Definitely worth bookmarking for a return visit.

If you're up for a good laugh, read

3:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I was only 6 months old when Lennon was shot - but his music (both as a Beatle and as a solo artist) has touched my life in too big of a way to measure.

I think Elton John sums up the way I think of Lennon - "I would have liked to know you, but I was just a kid... Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did."

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Glenn said...

Hes dead?!?! Why didn't someone tell me?

8:10 PM  
Blogger Critical Darling said...

Well, it isn't hard for me to remember John Lennon because he died the day I was born. So, I've never known a world with John Lennon, but I can tell it would have been a much more enchanting place.

4:03 PM  

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