09 December 2005

25 years

I remember when John Lennon was shot, despite having been 12 years old at the time. My understanding of the geography of Manhattan was shaky, and it was years before I figured out that the Dakota, instead of being in a dodgy part of town full of dark alleys, was in fact one of the nicest buildings in the city, but still, I wore my black-and-yellow John Lennon Lives! button with pride throughout junior high school, hoping to impress the cool kids. (There was also a Jim Morrison Lives! phase I'm less fond of remembering.)

It wasn't until I was older that I had any real sense of what John Lennon had meant to people; still means to people. Maybe he was naive. Maybe he did too many drugs. But:

Imagine there's no countries,
It isnt hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Last night, after my date with, oh, a very nice, but honestly, never going to rock my world, man, my taxi crawled up Central Park West. It took me a while to remember that there were going to be remembrances of John Lennon all day at Strawberry Fields, across the street from the Dakota, and close to where I now live. I got out of the taxi early, and took a detour in the park.

There were equal numbers of hippies and yuppies in attendance (do we still call people yuppies? It seems so '80s, but then, they were wearing suits). There was one cluster of people around a man with a guitar, singing "All You Need Is Love." At the Imagine mosaic, it was "Give Peace A Chance." I didn't stay long, but left the park singing along to "Help," with a tear in my eye.


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