I had this whole post planned for today about how I remembered all this stuff from 1980--all of which are things that happened while I was in first grade--but I don't remember John Lennon being shot and what that means to me. Except that it turns out that in 1980 I was in kindergarten, not first grade, and I don't remember crap from kindergarten. It's as if I spent kindergarten on some sort of graham cracker-induced bender. I remember pre-school (I had corduroy Sesame Street pants and sneakers with rainbows on them) and I remember first grade (I was the narrator for our class production of Peter Pan because I was the only one who could read well enough--and I got to wear a pretty lavender dress with lots of frilly things and bows on it), but the year between the two is pretty much a wash. Except for one thing: I know I was black cat for Halloween in kindergarten, and I had a kick ass tail that my mom had made. I remember this because the next year I was Alice in Wonderland (I got to wear a long blonde wig for that one), but the year after that was when the teachers of the Montessori school I attended decided that Halloween wasn't educational enough. For the next 4 years, we had to dress up as historical figures for Halloween--AND write reports on them. That was one way in which Montessori school totally sucked the fun out of an event that would have been just fine if left alone. From a kid's perspective, anyway. Now, as an adult, the whole historical Halloween costume idea is cool if not a bit too eccentric, but back then it meant dressing as Deborah (the character from the Torah, the military leader and sage--very nice, Mom.) or Albert Einstein. Hardly a black cat or Alice in Wonderland. Montessori school did everything else pretty well as far as I'm concerned, but one could argue that they dropped the ball on Halloween.
But I digress. John Lennon was shot 25 years ago today, when I was far too young to imagine the sort of impact his words and music would have on me in my most socially formative years. The Beatles in particular shaped my adolescence and fostered my inner urge to question authority and look for meaning in seemingly meaning places. Still I wonder, had John Lennon not died that cold December day in New York City, would he have continued producing music? And if he had, would it suck as much as Paul McCartney's stuff? If the answer is yes, or even half as much, then perhaps his death is not entirely tragic. Just a thought.