Tuesday, December 09, 2008

28 Years Ago Today

Twenty-eight years ago today I was in the 6th grade and on Safety Patrol duty. I had woken up that morning to the shocking news that John Lennon had been murdered the night before. My Safety Patrol assignment was to raise the flag in front of the school every morning. That morning I only raised the flag to half mast. I didn't ask anyone if it was okay, I just did it. It seemed like the right thing to do, and nobody argued otherwise. I think former Safety Patrol officer (and then still President) Jimmy Carter would have approved.


Darren said...

If my 28-year-old memories are at all reliable, I heard the news from your brother. I can picture him telling me in Mrs. Darden's 3rd-grade classroom.

Pete Bilderback said...


That's funny. I remember watching the news on TV that morning, and just being totally freaked out. It never occurred to me that anyone would try to hurt a Beatle, let alone the one who wrote "Imagine."

I felt like with John Lennon dead the whole world should just stop. But since I couldn't make it stop the best I could do was fly Arnold Elementary's flag at half-mast. That and make sure you little third graders didn't run or engage in any unauthorized horseplay. It was the sacred duty of a Safety Patrol member to prevent horseplay.

Doug said...

I don't recall the flag at my middle school being flown at half-mast that day. It should have been.

Peter Hennig said...

While we were up in NYC this weekend we visited the Dakota and the Strawberry Fields memorial. We were there on Sunday walking through Central Park and they were blasting Beatles songs from one of the pavilions.

I guess I expected to see some flowers placed at the Dakota, but there was nothing. If you didn't know, you'd think the people stopping were just taking photos of an beautiful building, and it is a beautiful building, certainly much more elegant and timeless than the celebrity-filled San Remo.

I asked the doorman if there would be anything in remembrance the following day and he said "no, but sometimes people will stop and play music here".