December 8

It was a Monday, 35 years ago today. It was dreary out… I remember heavy low clouds compressing the morning.

It snowed.

I was just a high school sophomore looking forward to the impending Christmas break. I had a shop class, a lunch, a study hall. Pretty mundane day if I recall.

I worked after school and on some weekends at the local Kentucky Fried Chicken shop. That kitchen cleaned, the garbage out and the lights off I locked up and headed home.

In those days before cell phones Facebook Twitter and CNN, I didn’t hear the news.

The next morning, clear and cold, there was a weird buzz around the school parking lot. I headed into morning shop class and found a gaggle of friends.

“Somebody shot John Lennon!” one of my friends filled me in on the details. “He’s gone…”

It took awhile to process. By lunchtime many of us had cut class and congregated in various cars and living rooms around town.

We shared stories, listened to Beatles and consoled each other. We wondered and raged. We watched candlelight vigils on the evening news.

This was the first senseless act I remember taking personally. John Lennon was a hero of mine and he had so much left to give.

Today I remember my hero by giving a spin to his posthumous album Milk and Honey:

Thank you John, I miss you!

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