Heroes : the one man I would have loved to have dinner with died 30 years ago

John Lennon

I grew up to the Beatles soundtrack. Starting with walking to school, in the snow, singing “I wanna hold your hand” at the top of our voices, and continuing through working in a battery egg shed singing “Across the Universe”.

More than that though, John Lennon would have changed the  world had he lived now. His uncompromising directness would have gone down so well in the age of open source, wikileaks and freedom of information.

I would have loved to have an hour with him. Yes, I’d probably stumble and stall in the conversation, but that wouldn’t have mattered.

I heard the news that he had been shot when I was relieved from my night shift, trying to fix an IBM mainframe. Darn. I had only just been trained on the 370/158, and had not run the EARS diagnostic disk. Richard Bubien came in ( it was his account ) told me the news and ran EARS. Machine fixed : life changed.

As I drove home, every other tune on the radio was either a Lennon solo or a Beatles song. I cried most of the way home.  Maybe it was that I hadn’t slept for more than 30 hours. Maybe it was because I went into mourning. Maybe I had lost a friend I never knew.

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