Monday, December 05, 2005

Working Class Hero

"Where you been, Johnny? We miss ya. All the Beetles miss ya!"
Lee Marvin, "The Wild Bunch"

I got the news of John Lennon's death on Tuesday morning as I was getting ready for school. I saw the CBS Morning News give extended reports on his murder and fan reaction from around the world. I had never experienced anything like it in my lifetime then. It seem like the entire country was in a state of shock.

My first rememberence of John was in the Beatles cartoon show on ABC Saturday morning. The music was fantastic and had me rockin' as a babe. Then came "Yellow Submarine" in 1970 after The Ed Sullivan Show on a Sunday night. They looked kinda familiar, but it was them, but they had a lot of facial hair and weird colors. I'm not mistaken, but I think I was tripping at four years old.

As I got older, I discovered their music and their movies, but most of all, I discovered their fearless leader. John was a smartass from day one. He had pluck, he had the energy and he was having fun. The attitude of rock with the soul of a poet. This man was gaining my respect when others were getting into the disco lights.

Wen Charles Kuralt hit me with the late news, all I could was just sit on the bed. My mama came into the room and asked my why I was getting late for school and I showed her the tv screen. She just looked at me and and shook her head and said, "He was just a man, baby. That's all he was ." She realized that I actually liked this guy and understood how I felt. She let me watch the rest of the reports and wrote me a note okaying me for being late. She cared.

When I got there, the school was kinda quiet that day, especially in the chourus room where I had class during third and six period. We were supposed to practice for a Christmas show, but all we did was talk about John. What surprized me was the fact that all the kids: White, Black, Asian, Latin, whoemever was affected by it. It was an assasination. Most of the students were just born as JFK was shot and The Beatles were making their way to America. They never knew the pain of a nation when both Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X were gunned down. Now, we had our own.

Ever since then, I've grown to enjoy the writing, the artwork and the lessons that John Winston Lennon taught us during his time here. All he was saying was give peace a chance. Some of us have forgotten that. Perhaps on the 25th anniversary of his death, we should go back to those words and try to remember that man who taught us that.

Merry Crimble, Johnny. We miss you.

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