Friday, April 04, 2008

Sage Was Just a Toddler When It Happened

Remember the scene from "When Harry Met Sally"? Harry's dating a younger woman and mentions to his friend that it might be an issue after all:

"I asked her where she was when Kennedy was shot and she said, 'Ted Kennedy's been assassinated?'"

I get that joke. It's happened to me. I'm older than a lot of my friends. (Except for the ones who are my age. Or older. I have a lot of friends. I'm super popular).

I don't usually think of myself as being all that old. It's not like I've got brittle bones and spend my days crocheting tea cozies and waiting for "Jeopardy" to come on. But I was just reminded that it's been 40 years since we lost Martin. 40 years.

Here's what I remember. It was a beautiful spring day. I was 10. The news went through me like an electric shock. I remember walking around in the back yard crying and praying, a scene that would be repeated 2 months and 1 day later when Bobby was taken out.

It's a crushing thing when heroes fall. My generation has seen a lot of that. I suppose every generation has. And if it's not the death of a hero, it's some other defining event, some "where were you when"...Pearl Harbor, 9/11...take your pick. Every generation has its dark days, collective grief. It might be the death of a politician, a princess, the start or the end of a war. It's always something. And then we have to find our way back to the light, until the next time.

I don't know where I'm going with this, to be honest with you.

This probably should have been my video today.
video
U2 "Pride (In The Name of Love)"

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19 Comments:

Blogger sageweb opined...

Wow I really thought you were younger then me...you pull of the young vibe so well.
Although you are not much older then me, the years..you have on me put you in the time when horrible events hit our country. JFK, MLK, Bobby, but you are right all generations unfortunately, will experience something that makes them stop in time. We reflect back and put a little time stamp in our memories.

April 04, 2008 8:53 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Tee. Immaturity really starts working in a girl's favor after a certain point.

And you summed that up better than I did.

April 04, 2008 9:55 AM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

I was ironing with JFK....I really don't remember with MLK....you kind of become insulated to those things after awhile in order to survive.

April 04, 2008 9:59 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

I was in my first grade class with JFK, Rosie. Our teacher cried. It was also the only time I remember praying in public school. No one minded.

April 04, 2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger jp opined...

I had a GWB comment but I'm going to refrain.

April 04, 2008 12:36 PM  
Blogger D.A. opined...

I think my earliest 'collective grief memory' is the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Or maybe the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.

I wonder if things like YouTube and Blogger etc will dilute the sense of these collective, time-stopping memories or intensify them.

April 04, 2008 1:09 PM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

OK, I feel ancient....I had just given birth to my second child when JFK was shot....I was ironing diapers (only cloth in those days) because it was raining and I didn't have a dryer.

April 04, 2008 2:22 PM  
Blogger Leah opined...

Lorraine, I was nonexistent at the time, but I often wonder if the world would be different today if he was still alive. It probably wouldn't be though, Humanity seems to evolve at a snails pace (or so it seems).

And- you're young at heart, which is all that counts now that you can drive, vote & drink. right?

I love the video- it gives me goosebumps everytime.

April 04, 2008 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

The point to me is that I roll up the sleeves and go to work.

Why belittle the sacrifice. The changes have been incredable. Yes there have been betrayals. Yes more needs to have been done.

Inclusion vs Exclusion

In a nutshell

Peace

:+}

April 04, 2008 3:29 PM  
Blogger Mom opined...

I think Martin's death and the riots that spanned the country afterward were the end of a liberal agenda that brought about Medicare, Head Start and lots of other social changes. The riots were truly frightening and people became afraid and recoiled and the right wing and the moral majority came barreling in their wake. I think maybe the time has come for a more liberal, less frightened country. I pray for Martin's dream to become reality.
I was feeding my firstborn when JFK was killed. I was chasing three toddlers when MLK died.

April 04, 2008 6:15 PM  
Blogger Auld Hat opined...

Challenger blowing up was my 1st biggie as well.

April 04, 2008 6:26 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

I was a teenager,watching TV one night,and waitng for my mom to come home from her waitressing job...$1.85 an hour,plus tips.
Bobby had finished his speech,and then he was dead.
I turned 30 that night.

April 04, 2008 7:29 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Leah, society does evolve at a snail's pace...and yet, the world is better now because MLK lived and fought...we're still not to the Promised Land but it is a damn sight better. And however much still needs to change, we can't be forgetful of the change that has come.

Anonyba, that might be the most cogent thing you've ever said. Peace out.

April 04, 2008 11:21 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Mom, "a more liberal, less frightened country"...hell yes.

Hat, you are such a babe. You and DA. Ding dong, how did I get so many young friends?

April 04, 2008 11:22 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Btw, Rosie, you're not ancient.

And I used cloth diapers, too. Granted, I had a choice, but still.

April 04, 2008 11:23 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Sling: word.

April 04, 2008 11:23 PM  
Blogger Willym opined...

i'm not sure what happened with my first comment - too much coffee or my system garbling things but boy was it weird.

Most of my memories are more Canadian or British oriented. But compared to most of you I'm feeling real old - yes I remember when JFK died but my first memory of that type of event - oh lord I am old - was King George VI's death - I was in grade 2. But strangely the one that always comes to mind is Josef Stalin the following year. For some reason the picture on the front page of his body laying in state has stayed in my mind - perhaps because it was the first picture I had ever seen of a dead body? Its that time stamp that Sage is talking about.

JFK - it was announced at school and we were sent home (he was an icon in Canada too!!!) we didn't have a TV so I went next door to the Michalski's and we watched it all unfold. In hind sight it was a strange surreal experience. Pretty much the first time that something like that was covered on televison live.

April 05, 2008 4:09 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Willym, I've been hearing about the mysterious eating-of-comments-phenomenon.

Now then, don't feel really old. And it's funny, because before I read your comment I was thinking about the fact that the events of which I spoke were all American things (except the death of a princess but you know, we always liked to think she was one of ours anyway)...and how even non-Americans (like DA) have that "where were you when" about certain US events and how odd that was and then there you were with the death of the King. Which resonated immediately because I remember my mom telling me about that. Which is not to alarm you because she was much older and well out of school when the good King died.

Bet there'll be another one of those time stamps when the Queen finally goes.

April 05, 2008 7:58 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

This post is touching. Except the part about old people crocheting tea cozies. (hands on hips) I'm not old, whippersnapper.

April 07, 2008 5:23 PM  

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