Tuesday, April 29, 2014

W is for Where were you when?

That question is asked, and it seems that big events, whether on a national stage, or just an important event in your life, or your family, seems to have a diamond point you remember.

I tried to work backwards a bit...

Boston Bombing- I had finished a (yarn) spinning group, and was doing weekly shopping.  Dad called Mom, and we were getting info as the day progressed by both phone and the broadcasts on the radio.

9/11- I was in the shower, having come home from my Ren Faire, grungy and tired, and received a phone call.  "Go turn on the TV".  I did, and sat in the front room of our trailer in shock, desperately wishing my husband was home, and crying as I saw the flights hit, again and again.

First shuttle flight- I woke early, and turned on my little black and white tv to see this amazing bird taking to the skies.  I was giddy most of the day, my geeky self feeling wonderful about "the next frontier".  Later to be overwhelmed with grief when Challenger crashed.  I was a Education major, and it hit rather too close to home...

Berlin Wall falls- I was at school, and several classmates were running by cheering.  Huh?  I walked to the commons, and people were watching as the video was shown of the wall tumbling.   Several students were dancing.  I think I joined in, then had to run to class, as I was going to be late.  The professor I had then wouldn't have put up with the Second Coming as an excuse for being late...

Reagan shot-  We were returning home on a flight from my Grandparents.  They wouldn't let us off the plane, and it was the first time I found out what a Flight Marshal was.  A big bruiser of a guy in a suit got up and strode toward the front of the plane, when I saw the butt of an automatic pistol... A quick whisper to Mom confirmed he was an "airline policeman".  We knew something was wrong, when all the stewardesses came out from the cockpit crying.  The announcement came over the loudspeaker, and there was either stunned silence, or crying all along the plane.

Hostages in Iran- In my classroom, the teacher had us write historical incidents.  Normally, it was something that had happened 100+ years ago.  That morning, he had us write about the hostage taking, telling us, "This is LIVING history".  One of the best teachers I think I ever had.

Mt. St Helens erupts- I don't know why I didn't pay much attention, I had heard people talking about it, but it didn't quite "gel" until I went out to my play fort, and found sand... on the upper deck.  I figured out quickly it wasn't sand, but ash.And quite a bit of it, it looked like a good dusting of snow.  We lived more than 100 miles away, and I was seeing results.  My first person experience with the power of nature...

I am sure if I worked at it, I could come up with more, but I just am amazed at what "a place in time" can crystallize in the memory.

And no, I still don't know personally about Kennedy being shot, even if my professor had me write a paper about where I was...


  1. According to my mother, i was sitting in her lap when she saw the news about Kennedy, as i was 4 months old at the time.

    The first space shuttle flight, i was a senior in high school. In art class, the teacher left the radio on all day, so i got to hear it live on the radio. It was thrilling to listen in on history being made.

  2. I was in our family room holding our six month old baby when Mt. St. Helens blew. I looked out my window and saw what looked like an atomic bomb.


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