Friday, July 3, 2009

Where were you?

Last Thursday, my daughter Avery and I walked into our hotel room in Dallas and immediately flipped on the television. Breaking news was that Michael Jackson had been taken to the hospital and that he was in cardiac arrest. We sat stunned watching everything unfold. We realized how serious it was when the news folk began to refer to him in the past tense and it wasn't long before they announced he'd died.

We honestly didn't know what to say. Finally we just looked at each other. Avery finally know, I think I'll always remember this moment. Where we were when we heard this.

I realized that when these shocking things happen our memories are just so clear. Looking back, I remember sitting in the backseat of my mom's car with my girlfriend Joy. Heck, we were just little girls but I still remember hearing that John Kennedy had been assassinated. Later, I remember sitting on the floor next to my babysitter watching television when they announced that Robert Kennedy was murdered in Los Angeles. When Elvis died, I was standing at the kitchen sink in my parent's home. I learned of John Lennon's murder while on my way to my college sorority winter formal. I was with a date and we stopped somewhere to listen to the news on the radio. I cried and messed up my makeup.

Again, I was with my daughter in a hotel in Plano, Texas when we heard the news of the sudden death of Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter. And the day Pope John Paul died, Avery and I were also in Plano, walking to our car after her tennis match, when friends pulled up and told us the news.

My kids were both nationally ranked tennis players and it seems I've spend much of my life traveling with them here and there for tournaments so it's no great surprise that we were often on the road when hearing shocking news of some kind.

Do you remember where you were when stunning news occurs? Bet you do.

In other news:

My friend Anny Cook, a talented writer and friend of this blog, has a release! YAY! Surpassing Pleasures is out today at Ellora's Cave. I've read this book (not surprising since Anny is one of my critique partners) and I have to say it's AWESOME. If you like shifters and hot hot stuff, you'll love this one.



Special Agent Sebastian Spade has worked hard to convince Zipporah Jericho that he’s her man. But every encounter ends with Zip dancing out of reach to protect a family secret. When they are brought together by a murder, Seb determines this time he will never let her go.

In the bedroom, on the road, in a secret cabin in the woods, he masters her body by daring to satisfy her deepest desires. As they explore the forbidden pleasures that await them with every touch, they discover trust is another word for love.


Zip knew it was going to be a bad week when she found a body in the ladies restroom. Fortunately, it wasn’t her first discovery of a body so she didn’t scream or do any of the other stereotypical sissy stuff but it did piss her off. No woman should have to deal with a dead person when it was that time of the month—unless it was somebody the woman had finished off herself.
The woman’s short blonde hair was mussed, sticking out in all directions. The knife protruding from her back was a pretty clear indicator that death wasn’t accidental. And the pool of blood surrounding her left little hope that she survived, so Zip elected to go for help.
She backed out into the hall, bumping into Sebastian Spade, her brother’s coworker.
“Body in the restroom,” she blurted out. “Dead body.”
He tugged her out of the way, pressing her against the wall next to the door. “Don’t move.” He slipped his gun from his holster, opened the restroom door with his shoulder and peeked inside. Damn. It certainly looked like a body to him. Approaching the woman, he leaned down and checked for signs of life though experience told him the woman was gone. He blew out a quick breath, pulled his cell phone from his pocket and punched his partner’s number on speed dial.
“Me. Your sister just found a body in the restroom.” Before Quill could ask any questions, Seb turned off the phone and went back in the hallway to join Zipporah. “Quill’s on his way. Do you need to sit down?”
She crossed her arms tightly over her chest to hide her trembling hands. “No. I’m okay until he gets here.” Her quick visit with her brother Quill at the local FBI office had turned out to be a bad idea. She thought about asking for her purse, still on the restroom floor where she’d dropped it, but decided that was a bad idea. Maybe Quill or Seb would be able to return it to her later.
Seb crouched next to her while they waited. “How about telling me what happened?”
She rubbed her arms with trembling hands. “I stopped in the restroom to brush my hair. It’s windy outside. A-and there she was on the floor.”
“Did you recognize her?”
Zip shook her head. “I didn’t see her face.”
He just nodded and straightened up as Quill rushed down the hall toward them.


MJFredrick said...

I remember being up late in our old house and watching cable news when Princess Diana died. I remember the next morning my first thought was, "She's dead."

I was getting ready for school freshman year the morning I heard John Lennon died. I remember my mom crying.

I was in the car on the way to the orthodontist when I heard Elvis died.

I don't know why I remember these people and not others. Strange, right?

Molly Daniels said...

I'm PO'd that someone got DVR-delete-happy and deleted the Dateline NBC tribute to MJ...just because according to the DVR it was 'The Office'; '30 Rock', and whatever came on afterward. Only have 30 minutes of it now, and it's all about the trial. AARRRGGGHHHH!!! Gonna kick some serious butt when I find out the culprit!

Wendi Zwaduk said...

I hate to say I don't remember when Lennon died, but I remember my mother crying.

But I remember when Princess Diana died. It was my freshman year of college and all the British students huddled together and cried.

Sept. 11, I stood in a classroom full of 7th graders who didn't understand what was happening. We watched in silence and cried.

I also remember the day the news broke that George Harrison died. My students pasted his pictures on my classroom door and wrote well wishes.

Still, I feel bad that Jackson died in such a fashion and that the world has lost such a great voice and lyricist.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh yeah. Princess Diana. I heard on a Sunday morning and we were getting ready for church. Stunned. Just stunned. I was in my bedroom scurrying around and the news was on the television.

On Sept. 11, I was watching Good Morning America. Kids were dropped off at school and I was sitting in my big comfy chair in the bedroom with a cup of coffee. The screen was behind Diane Sawyers shoulder and she looked back and pondered if this was just some freak accident and then I saw the stunned look on her face when the second plane came in. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment. Tears poured, my hands shook. The unbelievable had happened.

Teri Thackston said...

I remember where I was when Elvis died (on my way home from work, hearing the news on the car radio), when Challenger exploded (at work, printing customer airbills), and when Princess Diana died (with the folks on the farm--learned about that one through a phone call from my sister in England since the farm had no working TV). All 3 events were stunning...unbelievable.

julia barrett said...

Great excerpt Anny! Way to go! When John Kennedy was shot, I was in school. Our teacher came in crying and sent us home. My father had come home from work and told us the president had been assassinated. We watched the funeral live. When the space shuttle blew up (with Krista McCauliff), I had just come home from grocery shopping and flipped on the TV in time to watch that horror live. When Princess Diana died, I was sitting in my car, waiting for my fifteen year old son to get off work when my daughter called me and told me. I didn't believe her - how could the most famous woman in the entire world die? When the Twin Towers were destroyed, my parents had called to tell me a plane had hit one of the towers. I turned on the TV and watched the second plane hit, live. I literally fell to the floor in shock. Michael Jackson? I was getting my hair cut.

Regina Carlysle said...

Yep. How could I have forgotten the Challenger? I was at work at a local college. Was walking down the hall to the print shop. I noticed all the workers gathered around looking at the television. Surreal.

MJFredrick said...

I was at home watching a soap opera and talking on the phone with my soon-to-be-dh when the Challenger exploded. We were both speechless.

I was teaching music to PreK the morning of 9-11. The nurse came in to watch my TV because one of the parents told her "something had happened in New York." She turned the TV away from the class and watched grimly. I couldn't see until after the class left, and by then the second plane had hit. I remember coming home that afternoon and watching. When I heard how many firefighters died, I just dropped to the floor. I'm crying just thinking about it.

Regina Carlysle said...

Yeah. Me, too MJ! Horrific. Everyone I knew just cried all day. Hell, we cried for weeks, didn't we?

Minx Malone said...

The events I remember the most are Princess Diana and 9-11. These two stick out in my mind more than anything else probably ever will.

I don't think MJ's death has really sunk in yet. I was convinced at first it was a hoax. Such a sad end for someone who was so talented.


Bronwyn Green said...

When I was in the eighth grade, I remember my mom waking me up for school and she was crying. When I asked her why, she pointed at the radio and the broadcaster (who was also in tears) was announcing the death of John Lennon.

I was curling my hair and getting ready for school when I heard about Challenger.

When I heard Princess Diana had died, I was up in the middle of the night, nursing my youngest. I remember sitting on my couch, in the dark, crying imagining how awful it would be for her kids to grow up without her.

On September 11th, my cousin and I were putting together a scrapbook for my Grandpa. We'd gotten to all the pictures taken during WWII and we were talking about about war and what drives people to do the things they do when the show our kids were watching was interrupted with news of the first plane hitting.

Ava Rose Johnson said...

Last week, I didn't hear about Michael Jackson's death until the day after it happened. I walked onto my bus at 7.20am and one of the other passengers was reading a newspaper. That headline read 'Jacko Dead'. It was crazy.

Thanks for the excerpt! It looks great!

Kelley Nyrae said...

I will remember the day that Michael died. So sad. He was such a talented man. I think its natural to remember events like that. Even though we know celebrities are just people, in some ways its like their invincible and its always a shock when you find out someone you idolize or respect passes.

Great post!

Anne Rainey said...

Great excerpt, Anny!

I don't remember all these things and exactly where I was and what I was doing. 911, now that I remember.

Either way, I'm sorry to see MJ and Farrah gone. Very sad!

Fran Lee Romance said...

Yay! Love Anny's books! As for the loss of the many fine people we learned to love and care about from a distance, the one I recall the most vividly was JFK. I was on my way to work on the bus when the driver simple stopped the bus at an intersection, stood up, and with tears running down his cheeks, announced that he'd just heard on his radio that the president has been shot in Dallas. It didn't matter who you were, or where you went, everyone was simply in shock that morning. I was just a kid out of high school. It shocked me and left me sick inside.

Anonymous said...

We had just gotten cable when the first Gulf War started. I will never forget the horror of watching bombs dropping as I held my two year old daughter in my arms.
I remember vividly every detail of what I was doing, wearing, feeling and hearing when John Lennon was shot. I was incredibly lucky to have met him when I was a starry eyed, young teenager and felt his loss as if it was a member of my family.
Princess Diana and the Exxon Valdise disaster evoke strong memories.
9/11 changed my life forever.
Tessie Bradford

Connie Northrop said...

I'm really bad with dates but I'm really good remembering where I was when things happen.

I was 15 when Elvis died and we were on vacation in CA. My mom locked herself in a room and cried. I was stunned.

I was working in dorm lobby in college when Lennon died.

I was at work when the Challenger blew up.

Getting dressed for work on 9/11.

I remember being stunned when Princess Di died (she was my generations dream), I was watching TV when I heard.

Regina Carlysle said...

Reading all of this memories makes me realize that we share history, don't we? Shared experiences really can link us all.

Wendy Williams said...

I remember that I was 8 when Elvis died, but don't remember where I was when I heard about it.

I remember getting up at dark-thirty to watch Charles and Diana's wedding live - a fairy tale come true.

I remember my Senior year of high school driving with a friend on lunch break and hearing the news about the Space Shuttle Challenger.

I was huddled in our hallway with my now husband when Hurricane Andrew hit 50 miles south of us. In the wee hours of the morning, the sound of the train roaring past our house was terrifying - and we were 50 miles away.

I was home glued to the tv with my husband during OJ's slow-speed chase, and at work with everyone gathered around a lobby tv when the OJ verdict was read.

I was working in Florida when I received a call from my dad in Oklahoma telling me he was okay. I had no idea what he was talking about when he told me about the OKC federal building bombing. His office was within a couple of miles, and his office door had blown in.

I was at home in the bathroom when my mother-in-law called and left a message to turn on the tv around 9 a.m. Sept 11, 2001. My husband was substitute teaching at a middle school, and I was sure there had been a school incident. For hours I was mesmorized and horrified as the first tower burned, the 2nd tower was hit, and finally both towers collapsed. I couldn't stop crying, and not wanting to terrify my then 3-year old daughter, I explained that there had been a terrible accident. My mother had often told of remembering exactly where she was when Kennedy was shot, and for the first time I could truly relate. No other event has shaken me so.

I was at home watching the news, my husband on the computer learning more about Farah's death, when the announcement came that Michael was taken to the hospital. By the end of that 30 minute news broadcast, we learned that he had died.

Of course we all remember our own personal milestones: births, weddings, funerals, and all sorts of firsts; but there is something about those national and international events - those "Where were you?" moments, that bond us.
Thanks for the post, Regina!

Connie Northrop said...

I have a cousin who remembers the twin towers too well. He was on the 26th floor of the second building when the first plane hit. They started evacuating his building immediately and he just made it out of the building when it collapsed.

If I had known he worked there I can't imagine what we would have done all day long.