On the anniversary of John Lennon’s death I can’t help but remember where I was at that time. Freshman year, high school, almost winter. The news took me by surprise, of course. First John Bonham, now John Lennon. Two of my favorite bands were clearly never ever getting back together, a reality that predates Taylor Swift’s assertion by more than 3 decades.
I heard the news on the radio, I have vague memories of lying in my twin-sized bed listening to WPLJ in the dark, and hearing the breaking news. He was shot – injured – dead, all reported in an amount of time which seemed so rapid in those pre-Internet days, yet would certainly seem impossibly slow in our current digital days.
I was just becoming aware of NYC as the city at the center of fashion, entertainment and opportunities. After this tragedy, I wasn’t scared about what had happened in this wondrous city, just sad that a man who had chosen to make a home here with his family, had fallen victim to one of the mentally unstable attracted by the magnetism that is New York City. There was a memorial service, and Yoko asked those wishing to show their respects, to honor John’s memory with ten minutes of silence, a request I solemnly granted. The time passed quickly.
I have vague memories of a bean bag chair and a window looking out to a sky filled with snow of the most pure white imaginable. There was a sense of peaceful quiet, a cottony muffled feel to the afternoon which was comforting. Things were going to be different, but life would continue. Thirty-two years later, I still subscribe to that belief.
“What we’ve got to do is keep hope alive. Because without it we’ll sink.” – John Lennon