Though I was just an awkward teen when he was gunned down, I remember very clearly the day John Lennon died. My friends and I gathered in the quad area at Bancroft Junior High and fumbled with adult words we'd never previously spoken.
"I've never seen my mother cry before, until this morning," said Pat McCann, one of the more popular kids in school, who suddenly looked very much like a little boy. "I didn't even know . . . she said it was hard to explain what he'd meant to the world. " We all just nodded in silence, because we just didn't know either. From our parents emotional reactions and the news headlines that screamed between the lines, "Noooooooooo!", we got a sense but really, we couldn't get our still-growing arms around it.
How could we possibly know what John Lennon signified when we were just barely entering a world of zits and periods and Reaganism? Rock and roll had always been, as far as we were concerned, war only existed in our history textbooks and 'Beatlemania' was a nostalgia tour manned by look-alikes.
Well, now I know. Today, I'm honored to have walked the Earth at the same time as John for as long as I did and wonder why he had to be taken from us so soon. Certainly this is not an original thought but 16 years later, it is more obvious than ever - we could really use him right about now.