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My John Lennon (for his 70’th birthday)

By Rosalie Tirella

It’s true – every Baby Boomer knows where he or she was the night John Lennon was killed. I was in Worcester, in the passenger seat of my pal Jane’s little gray Honda. Jane and I and my other best buddy, Tracy, had spent the evening hanging out. Then, as Jane was driving down Lamartine Street in Green Island, to drop me back home, the news came on the radio: John Lennon shot – by some nut job in the lobby of the Dakota Hotel in New York City, where Lennon and his second wife, Yoko Ono, lived.

I gasped. Jane pulled over. And we both cried. We were around 18 or so and, for me at least, Lennon and the Beatles, were a talisman for me. The ticket out of Worcester. By that I mean mentally – emotionally. A lovely musical escape hatch.

The Beatles – through their songs – told me I could transcend the crumby three-decker apartment I shared with my family in Green Island. Through my imagination, through poetry and songs and writing, I could leave our tenement. Fly away on dreams of strawberry fields, walruses, yellow submarines. The Beatles collective imagination (musically and lyrically) was enough to blast a kid right out of her poverty and dangerously circumscribed world. Continue reading My John Lennon (for his 70’th birthday)