There are events that cause us to remember things in terms of before and after and we remember exactly what we were doing and where we were when they happened.
When J.F.K. was shot I had the chicken pox.Â We had a black and white Zenith TV and I lost count of how many times I saw the clip of John John saluting as the casket went by.
I lived in a house with two other girls and had a party when the newpaper headlines proclaimed the end of the Viet Nam war. I had just graduated high school.
I was at work when we got the news that John Lennon had been killed.Â I cried.
We were staying at Dale’s parents house, waiting to leave for a pipeline job when the challenger went down.Â Dale and his mom were out back planting tomatoes and I ran out the back door and told them to come watch the tv.Â My heart broke.
We were in our van with the kids, on our way down to meet my Mom in San Antonio and had just gotten to Austin.Â We turned on the little TV in the van thinking that we might pick up some cartoons.Â The news about what was happening at Columbine was on every channel.Â I called my friend in Littleton from the hotel that night.Â They live in the sub-division across the street. It was a quiet little neighborhood with a pretty little park in the center.Â We stayed with them for awhile after the pipeline job and then moved to an apartment there in Littleton where we stayed until my son was born.
Kids that knew their daughter came to their house and called parents that day.Â The little park took months to get back to normal.Â It had been made into a shrine.Â Their neighborhood had constant traffic long after the shooting.Â People were driving through, looking at the park, pointing, helicopters were flying overhead.
John Kennedy was the first president that made me aware of politics.Â The war in Viet Nam was the central theme of EVERYTHING at the time I was coming into adulthood.Â The Beatles were the first music that was my own and not my parents.Â The space program was just always a part of the background of our lives. We were America.Â We were Camelot.Â We were rock and roll.
Columbine stands on it’s own.Â It was unimaginable.Â It should never have happened.
I remember turning on the little TV in the van that day.
Amazing what little details you can remember when things like that happen.
I remember when 9/11 happened. We were about to go out to recess, and I was so excited because we were getting popsicles that day at recess. Mrs. LaRue took us down the hall and we waited outside the teachers lounge while she went in to get the popsicles. When she came back out, she didn’t have any popsicles, and we had to go back to class. She explained what happened, but all I cared about was that I didn’t have my popsicle.
Now I think about it, and compared to everything that happened that day, that popsicle was completely irrelevant.
I didn’t add 911 – it is just too huge a thing. I remember being here at school and walking into the office and seeing it on the tv. Miranda caught me in the hall in tears and asked me if we were safe here. That was when it really became real for me. I’m kind of glad that you were young enough that the main concern at that time was a popsicle 🙂