Monthly Archives: June 2010

Where were you when? Historical events energize our flabby memories

President Kennedy and Jackie in Dallas

“Where were you when?…” It’s a fascinating memory game. Where were you when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated? When World War II began?  When those planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11?

Adolf Hitler

It illustrates the fact that most of our days are not significant enough to recall. Memories have to be jogged by some event, a war, disaster, or a murder. But just recalling the event isn’t enough.  Our event has to be so stunning, horrifying, or thrilling that  you can remember where you were at the time and often what you said or thought.

I can’t answer for anyone else, but the moment President  Kennedy was shot I was in my basement, sitting on the floor.  I had stepped through the basement door into the dark interior, and my foot landed on the tines of a carelessly placed rake whose handle rose swiftly and smacked me smartly between the eyes. I collapsed and assumed the sitting lotus position for what seemed like ages, counting the comets and stars shooting before my eyes. Continue reading


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