Thursday, July 3, 2014

Personal History Trumps American History

Funny how some dates just stick in your head. Besides the ones that everyone knows, like JFK's assassination and the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, I still remember my parents' birthdays and wedding anniversary, and when they each died. Those are understandable, but another one I always recall is the day my grandfather died, which was 45 years ago today.


I was alone with him at the time, so I guess it was what you might call a traumatic experience. Besides, it completely ruined our 4th of July festivities that year, making this somewhat dubious holiday one I tend to ignore. Still, here it comes, complete with flags, fireworks, parades and all the rest. But try as I might, whenever I see any reference to our nation's Independence Day, like in those desperate supermarket flyers hawking hot dogs and watermelon, those last few minutes with my grandfather flash before my eyes.

FYI, it was February 9, 1964.
Despite what we do or where we live, our personal histories define us more than anything else. By the way, I was just kidding about the Beatles, although I do recall "the day the music died," and it was all about Buddy Holly.

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