The depth of one’s friendship is not measure by the gifts or items they exchange, but the heartfelt love they feel for one another, the encouragement and support they give, and the sincerity of the words they share.

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It Was 40 Years Ago Today: John Lennon Remembered

I still remember where I was when I heard 
Cranked up the volume got caught up in the words
Cosell was saying
While the teams went on playin’
Tears fell from my eyes …   JS   3/81
Senseless killing in the street
Yoko screamin’, husband at her feet.
Killer was a fan who lost his head (yeah, yeah, yeah)
gunned down his hero – stood in the rain and read.
Johnny was a victim…    JS  12/82      
downloadToday marks the 40th anniversary of the tragic death of John Lennon.  The renowned musician was returning home from a New York recording studio where he and Yoko had been putting finishing touches on their new album “Double fantasy” his first new release in nearly five years. His death was a terrible loss. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone so long.
For me, Lennon’s death, like that of John Kennedy, was one of those moments in time where you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news.
I was at home that fateful Monday night, 12/8/1980, watching the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football, when Howard Cosell suddenly interrupted the play by play regular broadcast and somberly informed viewers of Lennon’s death. 
lennonnyclg-210x300I couldn’t believe it!  John couldn’t be dead! I frantically began flipping through channels and found a special report with live coverage from in front of the Dakota where Lennon lived. A large crowd had already gathered and was growing by the minute. Stunned fans stood in the chilly night air, some singing Lennon songs others simply huddled together, in disbelief, tears flowed freely. At home I, too, was stunned and crying as well. John Lennon was gone.
Lennon was and still is my favorite Beatle. I loved his irreverent attitude when being interviewed, always the wise guy, the grand cut-up. His music with the Beatles and in his solo career has had a profound influence on my life. Many of my beliefs about love and life were a result of the music. His final album, ‘Double Fantasy” was Lennon reborn, a work of art,  filled with songs about hope, truth, love and respect. I can’t help but wonder what direction his music would have taken had he been given the opportunity. Always a visionary Lennon appeared to be on a new life path. Sadly that life, cut short  by a crazed gunman, depriving the world of a much needed ray of light in a dark and dreary world.
                                                      “Favorite Lennon Story”
My son John was only two when Lennon was killed. By the time he was six he’d been inundated with Beatles and John Lennon music. He knew the Beatles.
 One afternoon in the summer of 84, while driving to my parent’s home I spotted a friend of mine Tim Ryan walking west on Arrow Highway. I quickly pulled over and offered him a ride. We drove him to a friend’s house in Azusa. The entire time my son sat in the backseat listening to us talk and didn’t say a word which was quite unusual for him, he just sat there staring at Tim.


After we dropped Tim off and were driving away, John Michael, in awe, said to me,” Dad I didn’t know John Lennon was your friend.” I thought about that for a moment and realized that Tim, with his long hair, round, wire rim glasses and hawk nose did sorta, kinda, bear a resemblance to John Lennon. And my son actually thought Tim was Lennon. I remember smiling and telling him “Yep, John Lennon and I are friends, good friends.”  

My buddy Tim

My buddy Tim

And I hadn’t lied to him. Although I never met Lennon I knew him just the same. Through his lyrics and all that I read about him ( and believe me I read a lot) I knew him well. Lennon was indeed a good friend and saw me through some very troubled times. For several years my son would tell the story about the time we gave my friend John Lennon a ride in my VW. It was priceless.       


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Remembering 9/11/2001

It feels like forever since I’ve posted anything from my blog. I believe my last new post was back in October 2018 just after my divorce was final. Actually I was very productive until 2015. I lost my pops and my cousin Dave that year and with them went my desire to write any longer. I really wish I could get back into blogging, there is so damn much to write about! Believe me I’ve tried but the feelings gone and I just can’t get it back. (Thank you Gordon Lightfoot) Maybe someday soon.

Here’s a reprint of my 9/11 blog. That we never forget…

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on America. Like the December 7th, 1941, surprise attack by the Japanese on Peal Harbor, the tragedy of 9/11/01 will live on in infamy. The attack on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC resulted in  2997 deaths the worst single terrorist attack in history. It was the first time terrorist took over passenger jets and deliberately flew them into buildings. It was also the first time this type of terrorist attack had ever been broadcast live on television.

911-300x2453 (1)

WTC Tower One after impact

I will never forget the morning of 9/11/01.  I was still in bed when my wife called me around 5:50 to tell me that she had just heard that a passenger plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately switched on the TV and was shocked to see tower one of the World Trade Center aflame. I watched in awe as the newsman explained that a plane had crashed into the building. Less than fifteen minutes later a second plane plowed into the second tower.



I watched in total disbelief.  It was surreal. Both towers, though still still standing tall, were severally damaged and on fire, the black smoke pouring from them spread across the sky. As I sat there, the towers, symbols of America at her best, suddenly reminded me of two mortally wounded giants, once proud guardians of the city, now casualties of a major terrorist attack.

9-11-fireball-at-towers1-300x230 (1)It was horrific! Images that will live with me forever. All I kept thinking was that America was under attack. Then less than a half hour later reports began coming in of a third plane headed for Washington. The attack wasn’t over! Soon it was announced that the plane had crashed into the Pentagon. and that a fourth plane was also in route to Washington. Jets were scrambled and in route to intercept, but before reaching its target the plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania, deliberately crashed by the hijackers after a group of passengers attempted to take back the plane. Modern day heroes.


9/11 Aftermath

Less than ten minutes before the heroics of the passengers on flight 93, the unbelievable happened. Tower one began its collapse. One moment it was there, the next it was gone, reduced to a pile of smoking rubble! I couldn’t believe my eyes! But by the fifth or sixth replay there was no denying the tower was gone. A few minutes later the second tower also collapsed.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you I was in a severe state of shock like every other American who viewed their collapse. How could this be happening? How could terrorist have pulled off such a massive assault on the U.S.?  I felt sick and shivery, like someone had knocked the wind out of me. And yes I cried. You see, just the year before we had been to New York City and been up to the observatory on 1o2nd floor of the south tower. Having been to the WTC somehow made the 9/11 attack even more personal. I kept thinking “Oh my God! I was there, I was there!”

We’d gone to Clifton Park near Albany to visit my cousins and took the train into the city for a one day whirlwind tour. We went to Time Square, Park Avenue and Central Park to see Strawberry Fields. From there we walked to the Dakota Apartments so I could see where John Lennon had lived and been slain. We then made our way to the World Trade Center. I remember standing outside the towers gazing up at these magnificent giants!

My view looking up at Tower One WTC

My view looking up at Tower One WTC

Earlier we had talked about going out to the Statue of Liberty but Tom, my cousins husband, wanted to go up to the observatory. They’d lived in New York nearly ten years and never been. We stood there talking about what to do. If we did the observatory we probably wouldn’t make it to the Statue of Liberty. I was okay with that, but for some reason my cousin seemed a bit reluctant. I will never forget Tom saying to my cousin, “Come on Doreen, we’re here now, I say we go on up, it could be a once in a lifetime thing!” No truer words were ever spoken. It was so prophetic.

View from WTC

View from WTC

After a brief discussion we all went up to the observatory 102 floors up. It was quite a ride! I’m glad we decided on the WTC. It was truly an awesome experience! We never did make it out to Lady Liberty or the Empire State Building, but we got to see them from the top of the World Trade Center and they looked incredible from the observatory!

"Sometimes Freedom Hurts"

“Sometimes Freedom Hurts”

I’ll never forget my visit to the World Trade Center, just as I’ll never forget the events of 9/11. Please take a moment today to honor the memory of those who lost their lives that fateful day in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, those unsuspecting souls who went to work that morning expecting nothing more than the usual, those who worked at the WTC, the airline passengers and crew, the heroic firemen, police officers and rescue workers who gave their lives to save others. Remember these innocent victims of our fight for freedom. Thy died for the greater good. Say a prayer for them and the families left behind.      Honor their memory…

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