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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Interconnected through tragedy

We watched the finale of The People vs. O.J. Simpson the other night.  It's not like we didn't know how it was going to end but there was just something about it that we couldn't tear ourselves away from.  I think it was such a huge part of our American modern history that it is hard for people who were alive during that time to not know where they were when the Bronco chase was going on or when the verdict was read.

We worked for lawyers at the time, it was a very interesting culture.  We weren't lawyers ourselves but you'd see the table of young lawyers who had come down to the cafeteria to watch as though it was a case study.  I suppose to some degree it was for a few of them.  They would put their heads together, whisper and debate.  We would roll our eyes, discuss our opinions on the case and yell at the TV when something ridiculous would happen.  Reality TV on the brink of becoming a "thing."  Since the Mr and I remember so clearly where we were when the verdict was read, it got me thinking about how traumatic events can attach people to you forever.

Like I remember when the Challenger exploded.  My elementary class was on the way back from gym class and I remember Sam F. rounding the corner screaming "the Challenger blew up!"  Our teacher started running toward the classroom and we ran behind him.  That day we watched as they replayed the tragedy over and over...burning it into our brains.  Now I can't hear the word "throttle" without having a physical reaction and I will always think of Sam F. running down the hall to tell her mom in the admin office about it.

I also remember being in Crate and Barrel waiting in line to check out and this blonde woman ahead of us got a text, gasped and said out loud "Robin Williams died."  I felt like someone kicked me in the gut...I couldn't breathe.  The Mr and I both said to each other "oh my God, what happened?"  A minute later she got a text back and said aloud "suicide."  It was the way she said it that pissed me off.  Like it meant less because he took his own life and was so disgusted in her tone.  I had to get out of there as soon as possible and when we got to the car, I sobbed.  Whenever I think of Robin, I always think of the traumatic, non-chalant way I was informed of his passing.  While I don't know her name, I am forever connected to her.  In my mind, I just call her "heartless bitchface" and move on.

It's funny how we can be interconnected through tragedy either with people we know or perfect strangers.  Even if you never see those people again, you have a connection to something that profoundly stays with you for much of your life.

Who are you interconnected with and to what event?

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  1. Much like you I am tied to that lady that informed us of Robin Williams' death. But another one that comes to mind is Steve Ray Vaughn. I was in Phoenix with my brother and my brother's roommate was this guy from Hermosa Beach, CA. Let's just say the guy was a big surfer and he actually resembled Jeff Spicoli from Fasttimes at Ridgemont High quite a bit. I cannot even remember his name but I can remember the way he said "Dude, Stevie Ray Vaughn died". I remember the way he said that every time I hear Stevie Ray Vaughn music or even a mention. Funny how that is eh?

  2. I remember all those well. I will never forget the day I came home from school and my mom was sitting at the kitchen table crying...the radio was on and they were playing "Love Me Tender" and she told me that Elvis had sad. And thus I will never forget yesterday finding out that Merle Haggard passed away. My father was from Muskogee, OK and Merle was his guy. Now I feel like another piece of my life just died again.

  3. First one that comes to mind for me is the twin towers and the second plane going in. Watching the tv all day at work with co-workers. Still makes me cry. The other was way to close to home was the San Bernardino shootings. That is about 15 minutes from work and my work is right next to one of the next closest court houses. Needless to say we were fearful for days.

  4. Here's the three that come right to mind:
    Challenger -- it was the day after the Bears one the Super Bowl and we were off of school. I remember being in my room watching tv and wanting to see my soap operas and then all the networks came on showing the explosion over and over again. I remember just sitting there numb because it was such a big deal then about having a civilian teacher going up into space. That image never leaves me.

    9/11 -- The hubs and I were driving to the suburbs where we worked and were listening to WGN and Spike O'Dell was saying something was going on with a plane in NY and you could tell he was trying to watch a monitor and it was almost like he was talking to himself on the radio. I remember we were just getting off on the ramp towards Woodfield Mall when he said a plane just crashed into one of the towers. By the time I got to work everyone had their radios on and were glued to their seats.

    John Ritter -- It was our first day on vacation in the North Woods and we had on Fox News and all of sudden it came across that he had passed away. I must have watched the coverage for three days straight.

  5. 9/11 was 7th grade picture day.
    My friend Sammi D was shaking as she tried to put her earring back in. We were in the upper gym for gym class that day. She sat riveted to the radio, listening. We didn't have structured class due to the events.

    May 3, 2011 - The day they announce Osama Bin Laden's death. I was on duty as an RA. My campus was in a roar. I went to a senior military college that had traditional students as well. Cadets were running around the parade ground, whooping and hollering. Someone was blasting "America the Beautiful" from their window. Air horns, vuvuzuelas were going off. Laps were being done with the American Flag. The canon was being fired (it was blanks). Security was trying to get the police to come help calm everyone down. I had just finished watching "Titanic 2" on Netflix with my friend Zane when it all began. I wish that it had been my last night on duty, because it would have been the best way to end college since I graduated less than 2 weeks later.


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