For the first time in my blogging life I have been tagged in a blog-meme, which apparently is a kind of bloggers chain e mail. My tagger is Malc in the burgh so he's the one to blame for this!
Where was I when...
Death of Diana, 31st August 97
I awoke to listen to an interview I had done for Radio Forths Sunday Morning programme "view from earth". I was the interviewer and was quite proud of the interview but now cannot recall the details. Instead of my interview there was some safe music and so I first thought that the station was down only to switch on the TV to find the true story.
It was Sunday and I had to think about what changes I would have to make to the service. Bizarrely, I had written a sermon about the dangers of the cult of celebrity in which I had used Diana as one of the main examples and so had to make virtually no changes to it. I had to re work the prayers and think about the words for the opening of the service but I used to always do that on the Sunday morning anyway to make sure that they were fresh and informed by the events of the day.
A group of teenagers turned up for the service looking for some kind of memorial. They stayed for the service and said it was what they wanted. My big struggle was that, being a republican I did not want to be giving support to making royalty significant and most of my fears of the cult of celebrity were played out in subsequent days but yet I had to find ways of helping folk deal with how they were feeling, not ow I wanted them to feel.
Thatchers resignation 22 November 1990
I was living in Buffalo New York at the time where I was pastor of a little inner city church called West Avenue Presbyterian Church. That day was American thanksgiving day. Members of my congregation who helped with the food pantry we ran for folk on food stamps broke the news to me as we opened up. I was delighted and said that it gave a whole new meaning to the idea of Thanksgiving day,,, but they didn't get it as for some reason they all liked her, even those whose politics were every different. They love a strong leader and she was seen by them as being such a leader.
Attack on the Twin Towers 11 September 2001
I was in the city chambers and had rung an official who seemed to be very distracted when we spoke which was unusual for her. Eventually I asked her if she was ok and she said quite angrily "have you not heard?". I said "heard what?" She told me and then blurted out that she had a close family member who was due in the trade centre that day. She was very distressed in telling me and so ended the conversation by encouraging her to go to her boss and ask for time off.
I made my way to the Councillors lounge and watch events unfold . The student minister who was on placement in my parish rang to say his brother was working near-by and there seemed so little I could say that wouldn't sound trite or platitudes.
England's World Cup semi-final v Germany 4th July 1990
I watched this at home and on my own. I just remember Gazza's tears and Gary Linaker trying to indicate to the England Bench that they should sub him with little success at least initially. It did set up a brief debate amongst the broadsheet columnists about male tears with the general conclusion that they do indicate a wuss but were probably a good thing despite that.
JFK's assassination 22nd Nov 1963
I was living in Nairobi at the time and was aged around 18 months so was more concerned about wet nappies and my next feed that the death of the American President, significant as that was for the world.
Now I need to nominate apparently...
Leith and North
Adam Smith was a socialist
Canon Kenyon Wright
14 hours ago