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Remembering John Lennon, 29 Years Later - Joe Scarborough

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Jenna Bluehut
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« on: December 09, 2009, 12:06:00 am »

Halfway through my senior year, I was watching Monday Night Football with my dad when Cosell broke the news that John Lennon had been shot dead in New York City. I stared at the TV unable to speak. My father stayed focused on the football game on the screen while my mother tried in vain to offer consolation. But there was nothing she or anyone could say.

I couldn't explain to them how much this hurt. After all, how do you explain to anyone that some guy I had never met, never spoken to, or never even seen in concert, had taken a more central role in my life than many people I dealt with every day?

Nor could I explain it to my friends (who had always thought I was more than a little bit strange for refusing to listen to anything recorded after 1969 unless it was a Beatle's solo album.) So I did the only thing I could do. I walked quietly back to room, slipped on my headphones and began listening to "Plastic Ono Band." Then "Imagine." Then "Walls and Bridges" and "Shaved Fish" and "Somewhere in New York City" and anything else I could get my hands on.

I listened to Lennon's last BBC interview with Andy Peebles. I read the Rolling Stone tribute issue that told me how my hero's last word was "yeah." I remember watching Elton John singing "Empty Garden." I remember listening to Paul's tribute "Here Today." But nothing really helped in a murder as senseless as this one. Nothing, sad to say, but the passing of time.

Almost 30 years later, I still can't believe what happened that cold night in December 1980. But tonight, I will kiss my 6-year-old daughter goodnight under the sign on her wall that reads "All You Need Is Love." Then I'll be listening to Lennon on my iPod when I walk a few blocks over to 72nd Street and Central Park West. When I reach the Dakota, I'll keep pushing my iPod's button until "Merry Xmas (War is Over)" starts playing in my ears.

I'll say a prayer and walk back home.
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