On my way out of Madison yesterday there was a show on the local NPR station with Tom McBride, a professor from Beloit College, reviewing the touchstone concepts of each of the generations. It was a fascinating show. People my age know what an "icebox" is, not because we've ever used one, rather because the previous generations did. Kids today talk about cc'ing someone, but they don't know where the term came from. And people my age don't really understand why DJs are considered musicians. And some of us know the tech stuff cold, despite what the kiddies think.
One concept they talked about is what does The Day The Music Died mean to you. They talked about Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley and Kurt Cobain, none of which are meaningful to me (though I remember where I was when Elvis died, on East Johnson St in Madison). They left out the most meaningful music death of my generation -- John Lennon, and yes of course I remember where I was when I heard that.
And today Neil Armstrong died. And yes, I remember where I was the day he landed on the moon. I was at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. Thousands of us were watching the landing from a small portable TV on top of a VW minibus. I couldn't really see what was happening, but I remember the moment, very emotional, a moment of pride and amazement at what we could do. It was one of those "pinch me" moments. I still feel the emotional charge now, 43 years later.