I remember showing up to school on December 8, 1980. Denise Haddad, a
seventh grader was standing at the school gate. "John Lennon died," she
said. "He was shot." In my mind I heard her say, "JackLemmon died; he
was shot." Denise was crying and I did not understand why she was so
upset about JackLemmon's death. I figured her distress was about the violence surrounding his death. She was the only person who mentioned anything about it that whole day. I told a few of my eighth grade classmates, "Hey, did you hear that JackLemmon died?" They were like, "Who's Jack Lemmon?"
That afternoon, when I got home and my mom asked if I had heard about John Lennon's murder, I finally understood. I felt like an idiot. But I did not cry.