Thursday, December 08, 2005

John Lennon

I feel old. I heard on the radio this morning that today is the 25th anniversary of Lennon's death. I thought "that can't be right". I actually looked it up and couldn't believe it was true. My God. I am old. I can distinctly remember something that happened 25 years ago. Well, sort of distinctly remember. I was 10 and I was at a party at my piano teachers house with all her other piano students. We played a game. The teacher, Mrs. Brown, came out with a tray with little pictures taped on it that were cut out of magazines and we had 60 seconds to correctly identify what the pictures were of. We were to write the answers on tablets she had provided. The winner got a prize. A new book of piano pieces, but still, it was a prize. I got them all but one. There was a picture of a man with glasses walking with a woman who had long hair and was oriental. I had never seen these people before and was confident that if I didn't know it, none of the other kids would know it either. I was wrong. We had to put our little notepads on the table and go over the answers and everyone could see that I hadn't answered that one and I could see that everyone else had answered it. When we got to that answer, my teacher and all the other kids were incredulous that I did not know who John Lennon was. They weren't necessarily being mean, but they laughed. I can still remember the feeling of my face burning with embarassment, staring straight ahead, eyes tearing up part with embarassment, part with anger. I won, but it no longer mattered. Every time I had to play out of that book, I remembered feeling so stupid. When I went home I was angry at my mother for depriving me of exposure to something, I wasn't sure what, that would have enabled me to recognize John Lennon. What kind of parents did I have? I hated that a lot of people knew something that I didn't know. And they knew that I didn't know it. I swear that was one of those formative moments, and even at 10, I recognized that it would influence me for the rest of my life.


Anonymous Judith said...

I feel older than you feel old...I remember this day, crystal clear. Such an awful shock to lose John Lennon in this awful way. I am a lifelong Beatle fan. About a year before George Harrison died, I 'bumped' into him in my local supermarket. I couldn't believe it--the market fell silent as one after another of us realized it really was George & he was with a male friend & they were picking out vegetables. George's son attended the university in my city at that time, therefore, a George Sighting was actually possible. I was so flabbergasted, I just stood paralyzed with absolute pleasure at seeing him. I am so glad I got a chance to finally see a Beatle in person & not 10 feet further from me--he was a gentle soul (& a gardener).

1:52 PM  

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