Where were you when...
1. When John F. Kennedy was shot? (11/22/1963)
My parents hadn’t met yet.
2. When Mt. St. Helens blew? (5/18/1980)
3. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded? (1/28/1986)
Asleep in my dorm room at MIT. Got the news as I was walking toward the shower in my bathrobe. Spent the day in dorm lounge watching the TV replay the explosion. Didn’t realize for a few years afterwards that my planned career goal of chief engineer on a lunar base was now shit.
4. When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco? (10/7/1989)
In my ninth semester at MIT, about when I realized when I wasn’t going to finish my thesis and get a second degree in history after all.
5. When the Berlin Wall fell? (11/7/1989)
At MIT. Following the news closely, as I was coming up on my commissioning as an Air Force officer. Realizing “wow, this war we’ve been training for may not happen after all!” Not yet realizing “Well, LT, with the reduced threat environment we’ve got less demand for new officers and a real need to reduce headcount. So we’ll start paying you sometime in the next twelve months, we’ll decide when later.”
5.5. When the Gulf War ACTUALLY began? (August 1990—not in original meme)
I was getting ready to escort my grandmother and 9-year-old cousin on a trip to Ireland. Being unemployed, I was the obvious candidate to carry the bags. Once I had them settled in Ballyshannon, Donegal I could do some wandering on my own. Lots of opportunities to pontificate to curious Europeans about America’s war capability.
6. When the Gulf War began? (1/16/1991)
Lowry AFB, attending Undergraduate Space Training. Along with everyone else there felt pretty useless taking basic overview classes while other troops were getting shot at. I did get to my active duty unit soon enough to qualify as having served there during the war.
7. When OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco? (6/17/1994)
Sharkey’s Brewery in Omaha, Nebraska. Out for a Hammerhead Stout with another LT from my unit.
8. When the building in Oklahoma City was bombed? (4/19/1995)
Settling into civilian life as an aerospace contractor in Los Angeles.
9. When Princess Di was killed (8/31/1997)
celticdragonfly had been living with me for a couple of weeks. She and my former roommate (who was staying with us again after running out of other friends she could crash with) watched all the coverage intently in the living room. I was playing Civ on my Mac.
10. When Bush was first announced President (11/7/2000)
Wonder who wrote this meme originally? That didn’t get sorted out for weeks after 11/7. Don’t remember where I was, probably in my office at TRW. Basic reaction “Whew. I’m glad THAT’S over.”
11. When the 6.8 earthquake hit Nisqually, WA (2/28/2001)
Don’t remember that.
12. When terrorists knocked over the World Trade Center (9/11/2001)
In bed with celticdragonfly, woken up by a call from bkseiver with the news. Doctor appointment before work, talking with a nurse whose cousin worked at the WTC. Then to work, watching video feed. And digging up Yamamoto’s line about waking a sleeping giant.
13. When OIF began (take your pick- the presidential announcement of the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum was at 10:15 PM EST on 3/19/03, the ground war commenced at 8 PM EST on 3/20/03).
At home with family, alternating with work, updating web pages compulsively.