Sunday, June 28, 2009

Memory Mondays~ Where Were you?

Oh! That HAIR!

This is how I'll remember him!

What a week it has been with four celebrity deaths. This has stirred up many memories for me. With Michael Jackson music playing on every channel on TV, the music has gotten to me! With every verse of "ABC" I am transported back in time to my yellow bedroom on North Hunt Drive on Saturday mornings when I played my records and the radio loudly as I cleaned my room. "Got To Be There" puts me in a romantic 14 year old's mood as I remember a serious crush on Donny Osmond. Yes, M.J. makes me think of Donny! With every tribute to Farah Fawcett I recall my serious desire to have THAT HAIR! I think I had the cut a few times but not the product or the know-how to pull off the big-ness of it! Each time I hear the "Charlie's Angels" theme play on the news I remember being in labor with Sarah at Desert Samaritan Hospital at 11:30 pm and the only thing on that was any good (?) was a re-run episode of "Charlie's Angels".

I heard a CNN announcer say that the worldwide scope of Michael Jackson's celebrity has made his death one of those Where Were You When...? moments as in:
Where were you when you heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor?

I only know one person who reads my blog who could answer this question!

I do have some other Where Were You When questions that I can answer. Feel free to share where you were if you remember!

Where were you when President Kennedy was assassinated?

I was 4 days away from my 6th birthday. I was in my first grade classroom at Jefferson Elementary School in Mesa. We were having singing time with another class. Suddenly the P.A. system interrupted my teacher. It was playing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" as the voice of a news man told us that President Kennedy was dead.
My young first year teacher Miss Miller put her head on her desk and cried. The other teacher quickly took her students back to their room and before I knew it, we were loaded onto our school buses and heading for home two hours early. I remember that Richard was home that day sick and as I walked into the house he was laying on the couch. He and Mom had the TV on and I recall seeing the ambulance in front of the hospital in Dallas. The TV was all Kennedy coverage for the next week. I was enthralled by it all. It affected me deeply.

Where were you when man first walked on the moon?

It was the summer after my 6th grade year. We had all gathered in our living room to watch the event. I remember being so impatient as the lunar module had landed and it felt like forever before Neil Armstrong appeared on the steps of the craft! When he made that famous "one small step for man" it was absolutely silent in our house. We were all in awe! I remember newsman Walter Cronkite being speechless, wiping tears from his eyes. After a little while Gena and I went outside to look up at the moon.It seemed so unreal! My brother Dean was on his mission in Argentina and told us in a letter that the people he was with were running outside, looking up at the moon and yelling, "I see them! I see them!" I admit, I did try very hard to see that American flag up there!

Where were you when the Berlin wall came down?

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We lived in Los Alamos, New Mexico with our first three daughters. It was 1989. We were once again gathered around the TV watching. Dee and I were so emotional and excited. I am not sure our girls understood the magnitude of the event but we tried to help them by explaining that those people had not been allowed to leave their half of the city for decades and how would you feel if your family had been separated all of that time? It was a great moment in time...I miss Ronald Regan!

Where were you when the US invaded Iraq in
Operation Desert Storm in 1991?
We were living in Salt lake City. I was only days away from giving birth to Rachel. I was very uncomfortable! We had also just learned of Susan's brain cancer that week so it was a very stressful time already. It was hard trying to explain to my daughters what was going on both in the war and in our family without scaring them. Sarah and Brittany came home fromschool one day with a new name for Saddam. They called him "So-dumb!" I agreed.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

I was here in American Fork getting my kids ready for school. I saw Katie Couric reporting on a fire in the north tower of the World Trade Center. She said there were rumors of a small plane hitting the building. As we watched we saw the second plane hit the south tower live. It was chilling and unbelievable! My sweet first grader Richard turned to me with horror on his face and said in a tearful voice, "Momma! Why did they do that? It was SO MEAN!" That said it all. I took Rachel and Richard to school. On the way we heard of another plane rumored to have gone down in Pennsylvania. I questioned what was going on and whether I really wanted to leave my children at school but I did. On the way home the report came in about the Pentagon being hit. I went straight to the phone and called Dee at school. When I heard his voice I fell to my knees and cried. As usual, he calmed me with his immense faith and courage. I was on the phone with my sister Gena when the towers fell. Horror. We comforted each other long distance. I spoke to my parents awhile later. Dad said this would be our generation's Pearl Harbor. I think he was right.

Wow. Those were mostly pretty serious. I think it is important though, to record feelings you have during and after historical events. Our children need to know how we felt and what it meant to us. Those are just some of my historical memories. What are yours?


Helen Ellsworth said...

Marianne Whe we heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked I was at work at Johnson's Drive In. I can't even describe the feeling. I had lived in a perfect world and in an instant that was changed. I had just met your father and had no idea that in a few months we would be married and we would be seperated for most of the next four years. The next thing I heard was that Fort Stotsenberg in the Phillipines had been attacked. My dear brother Orland was there. At that moment I didn't know that in a frew months he would be in a Japanese Prison camp for the next almost four years. Pearl Harbor, an event I will never forget. As you said I was at home and Richard was with me when we heard that Presient Kennedy had been shot. One thing I will always remember was when Walter Cronkite came on to announce his death at the hospital. It was so sad. He started to speak. looked up at the clock spoke the time and choked up and got up and left his desk. Another happened awhile later. You always had a fascination with Pres Kennedy. As young as you were. This day Pres Johnson was having a news conference. You always listened to Pres Kennedy when he was on. You were sitting on the floor in front of the TV you turned around with tears in your eyes and said "Mama it isn't fun anymore" What were you five or six? When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon I was sitting in front of the TV with the rest of the family. Anything to do with space we always watched. I am ashamed to say I remember when the Berlin wall came down but don't remember where I was. I was in Salt Lake with you, waiting for Rachel to make an appearance when they announced Desert Storm. Sharon called to tell us that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV in time to see the second plane hit. When the first tower atarted to fall I had this horrible wrenching in my stomach and all I could say was "Oh those poor people" It was just too much to believe. How could people hate us so much. What had we ever done to deserve this. Like the attack on Pearl Harbor, this will live in my memory forever. I was at a scout event at the 12th ward chapel when the Atronauts burned in their craft, I had just got up after working all night when I saw the space craft explode with the school teacher aboard. Too many things have happened that are hard to forget. This is a long answer but just one more thing. One young man in our ward entered on his facebook page his thoughts about Michael Jackson the day he died. "Michael Jackson died a long time ago. What died today was the corrupted body of what he used to be." So true.

Gena said...

SO many memories, good and bad. I have to admit I smiled little at some of the memories of where I was. Listening to the land invasion of Desert Storm in the car I was pulled over for doing 50 in a 35 but the officer understood (a very nice man). And Farrah's hair was a lot of hairspray! I can do it now knowing that! Thank you for the retrospective.

Nick said...

So I only remember a few of these....but the unique thing about it is how they all affected my family. We were actually in Germany when the Berlin Wall was taken down. I remember how emotional and hectic my parents were. In fact, I vaguely remember my Dad being on Lock-down at the Army Base because of the suddenness of it all. My grandparents were born and raised in East Germany so it was even more than an event for my family. It was somewhat of a reunion with distant relatives. My Grandparents flew over to Germany shortly after the wall came down and took me with them to see family. I remember how gray and dirty and bland the cities were and the emotion of seeing my great-grandfather for the first time....oh the memories. As for Desert Storm, we were lucky in having my dad stay in the on a military base during a time of war really brings out the reality of it all. Motorpools are empty, the number of people in uniform running around is almost zero and the sense of pride that is involved really brings everything into perspective. Like many, I saw the Twin Towers being hit and fall...the pentagon is what killed my family. My dad was in Germany at the time and all I remember is the one phone call saying, "We are just fine. We are at a heightened state of security right now (meaning everyone is now carrying a weapon) but I'll becoming home soon." Following this was yet another emptying of the motor pools, everyone except dependants gone, and another proud moment of being the best military in the world. There was another memory that I remember that I don't think you mentioned and that was Operation Iraqi Freedom. The initial scenes were similar to that of desert storm but having my dad in Iraq brought a whole new feeling. It was pretty funny to hear my dad talk to my mom via satellite phone and hearing another voice interject saying "1 minute remaining" and my parents frantically saying the few last things before they were cut off or my mom saying "What's that sound? Are you ok?" Followed by my dad saying, "Oh we're just blowing up an ammunition dump." I can still see my mom's face...I thought she had seen a ghost or something. LOL Anyways, its always interesting how life deals the cards. Like Grandma said there are so many things that happened that are never going to be forgotten and that includes legends dying and the world moving forward through the grey clouds and the sunshine.

Marianne said...

Wow. Thanks you three! Your insights gave me goosebumps and tears. This may be my favorite post ever because of the comments I am getting. It is so important to never forget!

Mom, I think you were referring to the Gemini capsule exploding on the launch pad. I remember that too. Gus Grissom & Michael White. Why do I remember that? I was only about 9 years old!SO many of my memories include your LIFE magazine pictures.

Gena, did you get a ticket or a warning?

Thanks Nick. I love the perspective you have as a military son. I also love the stories of your grandparents lives in Germany. I hope they write a book! I would love to read it.

Anonymous said...

This is a very "memorable" post, Marianne. I honestly don't have too many memories of M.J., I guess he just wasn't on my radar but I DO remember Farrah and Charlie's Angels, who didn't want to look like her?? That hair AND that smile. Too young for Pearl Harbor (thank goodness), I was in high school when Pres. Kennedy was shot. I was walking into the office at school and a boy was coming out the same door and said, "the president's been shot"...I thought he meant our school ASB president (I lived in a very small world at the time!!) I was in Lake Tahoe with Jim, my dad and step-mother during the moon walk, we were actually in a casino having lunch and everyone was stopped in place watching the TV's. I can even remember what I was wearing. I don't remember too much about the Berlin Wall but I do have a funny story about that. Kaci, our oldest daughter, had just left home and was at Ricks College. She was in an apt. with 3 other girls and no TV. I remember a few months after the Berlin Wall coming down, I asked her some trival current events question (not pertaining to the Wall) something like, "have you heard about Tom Cruise's latest movie?" She responded, "Mom, we have NO TV, I just barely heard that the Berlin Wall came down!!" She was very isolated there in Rexburg. The MOST memorable event for me was 9/11...I will just never forget it. I was walking with a friend in our neighborhood and another friend stopped to tell us about a plane crashing into the WTC, at first it just seemed like a horrible accident and then as I watched more on TV it became clear what was really happening and it was all so surreal. Such a sad day in history. Every year since, I watch the replay of the day on the Today Show, I don't know why, I'm just drawn to unbelievable. I hope we never have to experience a day like that again.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Has Michael started working yet? Kaci said she thought he was on the schedule for this week but she hasn't seen or met him yet. She also said he's been training and so she wasn't sure when his actual start date was. I hope it's all working out for him. Tell him to look for Kaci and be sure to introduce himself to her. She's the pregnant one!!

URFAVE5 said...

WOW what memories! I remember some of these events with vividness others I've just heard about. These are all events that you never forget. How about where were you when Elvis Presley died? Or where where you when the Challenger blew up? Yep, Michael Jackson's death will for sure be a where were you moment.
Thanks for sharing your memories with us!