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Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word

My Sweet Lord - George Harrison is Dead — (November 29, 2001) Moments. At its most basic, that's what life truly is. Moments. We move from one moment to the next, never really thinking of them as such except when something happens. Everyone has special moments in their lives which they will always remember. Sadly, we also have unhappy moments we'll never forget.

Moments: being a teenager and spending Xmas eve at my cousin Carlo's apartment listening to, and making dubs of, Beatles albums. While everyone else was downstairs at my other cousin Fernando's apartment, I was alone upstairs, in the dark, grooving to some amazing music.

Moments: at a Roller Disco-tech with my Junior High class, going around and around, having a ball, when the DJ announced that John Lennon was shot and killed. "Starting Over" begins to come through the speakers as numerous girls break down crying in the middle of the rink.

Moments: Watching my friends, dressed as the Beatles, in a lip-synch contest on television… Listening to a special radio program every Saturday morning as they played all the Beatles hits week after week... Watching "Help!" for the first time and then rushing to the store to buy it; my first Beatles album... Drooling over the Beatles chords book my cousin Carlo practiced… Singing Beatles songs at our "annual" SongFests in the Park... Being thoroughly excited about the release of the Beatles Anthology I videos and CD... Singing "In My Life" to Chantale…

Moments: driving James and Melyssa to school on Friday November 30, 2001 and deciding to turn on the radio for the first time since the Plane crash in Queens earlier in the month. Settling on a station I knew would play the news and hearing the top story of the day: George Harrison dead at 58. Trying to explain to the kids who George was without losing composure and keeping my eyes on the road.

Of course I knew he was sick. And I still remember his being stabbed last year. But I just didn't expect this. That almost seems to be a mantra lately. "I didn't expect it".

As with so many other people in this world, I grew up on the Beatles. They and Elvis were the biggest musical influences in my life. As often as I may have imitated Elvis, I sang Beatles songs. I was even beginning to pass their music on to my kids. It's so hard to accept that my musical idols are taking their final curtain calls. Their music and stories will live on forever, of course, but the fact that their contributions to the world have been cut short, is tragic.

I'll always have my Moments. And each day I create new ones to store in my heart. The Beatles may be mostly relegated to the past, but the Moments I'll create and share in which their influence will be felt, will go on forever. Rest in Peace, George. Thanks for the memories. You will not be forgotten.

"There are places I'll remember, all my life…"

(The Last Word (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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