Thirty four years ago today, I was working as a teenage carpenter with mentor Joe Schwarte. We were working on trim details for a condo conversion in west Rodgers Park. It was a snowy day in Chicago. I remember digging out my 1972 MGB-GT wedged between a Chevy van and VW Beetle after a hard days work. As I sat letting the MG warm up, I popped out the Black Sabbath Never Say Die! 8 track and popped in the new Double Fantasy 8 track Joe gave me. I wasn’t really into John Lennon outside the Beatles, and certainly not a fan of Yoko, but what the hell. In the time it took me to drive home on slippery TVX Michelins, I listened to about five songs and pondered John’s musical and political history. Here’s a man that devoted his life to world peace. Quite a futile challenge I thought.
Later that night, as my father and I were watching Monday Night Football, around 10:00PM Howard Cosell stopped his game commentary to give breaking news that John Lennon had been shot outside the Dakota and was at Roosevelt Hospital.
Why? Why? Why? Was all we could say.
It was then, that I went from a high-schooler, to a young adult that realizes that the big world can be an unjust and scary place.