It was one of those "where were you?" moments.
As I was getting ready for work this morning I was listening to KMOX. They were talking about the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. For many of us It was one of those times in your life that you specifically remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news.
December 8th, 1980.
I was in my fourth year at Mizzou. I had been at the library that evening and returned home. A roommate was watching ABC's Monday Night Football and he said that they had announced that Lennon had been shot. My roommate was rather nonchalant when he told me so I got the impression that Lennon was wounded but still alive. We had no idea how serious it was.
I turned on the radio and started listening to the news coverage. If it happened today there would have been videos on youtube.com, text messages from witnesses and facebook postings within minutes. Back then, the information seemed like it was coming out at a painfully slow pace.
The radio reporter made the announcement. John Lennon was dead.
I listened to the reporter on the scene outside the Dakota apartment building talking about the crowds that had gathered. The reports from the hospital of Yoko Ono crying hysterically in the Emergency Room were heartbreaking.
I sat at my desk trying to do some homework and listening to the reports until late into the night. I began to doze off. I took a blank cassette tape and stuck it into the machine and hit "record."
Several years later I listened to the tape again. It was just as sad and painful as it was back then listening to the reports as the story continued to unfold through the night.
I've got that tape tucked away in a box somewhere. When I find it I guess I'll have to go out to my car (that's the only cassette deck I have these days), plug it in and listen again. I'm sure it will be just as heartbreaking.