punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

A list of where I was when...

They have this list floating around work, and I thought I'd take a crack at it. I see this sort of thing from to time, but right now I have to watch 40,000 text files go by over the network in a backup, so I filled it out. Here's what I put at work:

Where were you when...

Pearl Habor was bombed? (12/07/1941)

Not born yet, but a lot of older guys I knew as a kid talked about how it affected this area. The best story was a friend of mine's grandfather who said, "It was during an exciting Redskins game on a Sunday afternoon. Suddenly, they just started paging all these military guys over the speaker. 'Will General So-and-so please call his office...' That sort of thing. Later we heard on the radio we had been attacked."

John F. Kennedy was shot? (11/22/1963)
Also not born yet, but I heard about it a lot growing up. I guess I am not the generation who understood Camelot.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon? (07/20/1969)
I was not even one yet. We (my mother and I) were in Italy at the time, and all the Iocal people kept congradulating my mother about what the Americans had done. Being the only blond Swedish-American in that small town, she was already a celebrity (men would shout out, "Bela Bela, Swede!"), but when we landed on the moon, EVERYONE wanted to speak with her. Heh.

Mt. St. Helen's blew? (05/18/1980)
This would have been late fifth grade, and since I wasn't allowed to watch TV at the time, I probably found out second hand somehow. I didn't really appreciate how bad it was until I was an assistant to a geologist who surveyed the site shortly after ot happened. "Whole forests... just... gone. Jesus Christ, man! I had never seen such devestation..."

John Lennon was shot? (12/08/1980)
I heard it on the radio, and WAVA 105.1 kept playing Beatles tunes. I wasn't into the Beatles at the time, although I knew their songs. This tragedy was delayed, and kind of affected me more years later when I realized what a great guy he was.

Reagan was shot? (03/30/81)
I was at home, playing with a friend, when my mother shouted down to my room, "Hey! The president was just shot!" She had seen it live. At first, we were told that he was okay, but then they said he was in the hospital, and then they said he got shot, but it was just a grazing. Later we found out George Bush Sr. was almost our next president. My father really hated Reagan (something we kind of agree on), but said Bush was even more inept.

The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded? (01/28/1986)
I saw it live on the new NASA channel. I was at home on a student holiday/teacher workday. I was just about to eat some hamburgers I cooked when I saw it blow up. More on this here.

The 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco? (10/07/1989)
I don't recall, really. I was newly married, and we had just found out Christine was pregnant. I watched CNN and saw those people all smashed in the overpass, the reply of the Candlestick park game, and Dan Quayle later visiting the collpasing houses in a shameless photo op.

The Berlin Wall Fell? (11/07/1989)
I was working at the knife store when I heard over the radio. There had been a lot of buildup leading up to this, so I don't recall it being a surprise, really. I recall feeling relieved that my prediction communism couldn't sustain itself was coming true.

The First Gulf War began? (01/16/1991)
It was an eerie day in Springfield Mall. I was still working at the knife shop, and all day it had been really quiet. I think it was a Wednesday, or some day in the middle of the week. It was usually dead on such a day, but this day was REALLY dead. You could hear all the echoes in the mall, and everyone had on WAVA, and I recall the echo of a dozen or so radios playing Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares to You" for the zillionth time (WAVA was a pop station that played top 40, and realy big hits were played once an hour, I swear). Around 6pm, a customer came in and said, "They started bombing Bagdad. I wanted to turn the station to NPR, but my manager wouldn't let me. About 30 minutes later, WAVA finally announced we had been bombing Bagdad for a while, and then went to more music. My manager, a Ranger Qualified Paratrooper on reserve duty went, "Oh shit." Weeks later he went back to school to avoid getting drafted, and I got a new boss. The night of the attack, though, Christine and I put CR in his crib, and watched the live CNN broadcast until 2am.

Burning of the Koresh/Waco Compound? (04/19/1993)
I was recenltly and very tired. I had just about lost interest in the standoff, which was filling the news with "useless chatter," I felt. Before I left for work that day, I heard that finally, they charged the place. When I got to work, I heard that the Waco compund had been "blown up," but later saw the footage which included a sort of time-lapse of the events as all those people burned.

OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco? (06/17/1994)
I was working at the Furniture store at the time, and didn't hear about it until I got home. We had a radio, but we were not allowed to play it.

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed? (04/19/1995)
I was still running a furniture store, and didn't hear about it until I got home. I was working in a dead mall at the time, so no one came in and told me. I found out when I got home, and I recall feeling totally shocked by the devestation. I thought, "Pleasedon'tletitbeArabs...Pleasedon'tletitbeArabs...Pleasedon'tletitbeArabs..." and thought "Ha ha, everyone blamed the Arabs and it was one of our own wackos." Post 9/11? I stopped laughing.

Princess Di was killed? (08/31/1997)
I was setting up an old computer named Alice (which is still my firewall), while Christine turned on NBC4 to watch Saturday Night Live. At first, we thought the live coverage was a really tacky skit that went on too long, but after a few minutes, we were like, "No way!" I was in shock, and my first thought was, "How convenient for the royal family." For weeks I secretly thought she had been assassinated, but my hatred of the Pavarotzi made me change to blame them to this day.

Terrorists destroyed the WTC? (09/11/2001)
At work, programming. Entry here.

The Second Gulf War began? (03/19/2003)
Entry here...

The Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas? (02/01/2003)
Aaand... entry here. (this is easy!)

The trains in Madrid were attacked? (03/11/2004)
I heard about it at work off the web. I am more upset by the fact they backed down, and now all they have done is shown that Terrorism works in Spain!

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000447.html
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