January 22, 2004

Where were you when...

Some folks will never forget where they were when they heard that JFK had been shot. I remember every second of my morning at work when the shuttle Challenger tragedy happened. I also vividly recall where I was when I found out that John Belushi had died. Everyone has different events that touched them in deeply personal ways.

This story is about my most memorable 'where were you' moment. It actually has a happy ending, although it was by no means a sure thing at the time.

It was the early 1980's, and my best friend Paul and I were on leave from the Air Force. We'd gone to his hometown in southeastern Minnesota - near Mankato, Little House on the Prairie country - for R&R. We'd spent this particular day road drinking, at least that's what I call it. Basically, we were out running around to all the various small towns dotting the area, visiting his old friends and stopping for a beer at every bar we happened across.

In one town (Blue Earth? Good Thunder?), we stopped at this little hole-in-the-wall biker bar, obvious from the line of dusty Harley's parked out front. We walked in and went to the bar and ordered beer. There were 8 or 10 people in the place, and they all looked like stereotypical bikers. We were getting a pretty good looking over because, well, with our military haircuts we didn't exactly blend in. Drinking our beer, I glanced up at the TV going in the corner and asked the bartender to turn it up.

President Reagan had been shot. Attempted assassination. He was conscious, and was heading into surgery.

Paul and I bought a round for the whole bar, and as all these bikers came up to see what was going on, Paul lifted his shot and said "To the President". I echoed him, and then so did every biker.

I'll never forget that moment.

Posted by Ted at January 22, 2004 07:20 AM
Category: Boring Stories

It surprises me, but I can't remember where I was when I heard Reagan was shot. I do remember the Challenger tragedy. I was sitting in the living room of my parents house watching the launch.

Posted by: StMack at January 22, 2004 01:12 PM

funny you should mention that, cuz I remember getting into an arguement with another college student that day. We were at the student union and the news came over the t.v. This loudmouth jerk next to me started spouting off to the whole room, "see I knew he wouldn't live to walk out of the white house."

If you recall that was the big knock on Reagan, his age, as well as the belief that he would get the US into a war to help the economy.

Me and a bunch of nearby folks just started to rip into the guy. I couldn't see how an assisination attempt had anything to do with his health, (and as we now know, he did walk out of the white house, without starting a war.)

We all just shouted him down. I met a nice bunch of similar minded republicans that day, some I am still friends with today.

Posted by: Jim at January 22, 2004 07:47 PM

Three of my biggest "Where were you" stories were in college.

I was on line at my school bookstore buying something and a fraternity brother of mine was walking by and walked in to tell me Reagan was shot.
Also in college I was hanging out around the bar in my fraternity basement having a few beers when a brother walked in with a big smile on his face and said, "John Lennon just got shot. I have an alibi". He was not a Beatles fan.
The night the U.S. Olympic Hockey team beat the Russians was a weekend night. I was at a fraternity party and the place went wild as word spread that we beat the Russians . The guy next to me asked, "Did they put more time on the clock and give the Russians a few chances to score?", a reference to the fiasco with the U.S. basketball team in 1972 Munich.

Posted by: roberto at January 26, 2004 11:23 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter