Gut Rumbles

February 23, 2006


If you're kinda bored, or screwing off at work, go here and see how much you remember. I plugged in MY birthday and learned:

*I am about 5 years 7 months younger than George W. Bush (He still LOOKS younger than I do. The Presidency has aged him, but in comparison I look like I've been President for about 20 years.)

*3 years 8 months older than Bill Gates (I'm better looking, even if I AM an old fart.)

*I was 49 years old at the time of the 9-11 attack on America (I remember that day VERY well. I was back home with Mama after the BC dropped her bomb on me and banned me from my home. I was drinking coffee on the back porch when my grandmother called, all excited, telling me to check the news on television. I did. The towers were smoking and I watched them fall, one by one. I remember thinking at the time that the death toll must be in the tens of thousands. I also suspected that our military may have shot down Flight 93. I'm glad that I was wrong on both of those counts.)

*38 years old when Operation Desert Storm began (I watched it on CNN with Dora, shortly after I separated from my first wife. I kept waiting for Bernard Shaw to get blown up.)

*33 years old when the space shuttle Challenger exploded (I was at work, on a day shift in the chemical plant. I don't remember how I heard the news, but I DO remember being unable to find a television to watch.)

*22 years old when President Nixon left office (I still remember watching him give his dorky double-V salute as he boarded the helicopter that hauled him off in disgrace. I thought, "You dumb bastard." Until that moment, I didn't really believe that a pissant affair such as Watergate could cost a US President his job.)

*17 years old at the time the first man stepped on the moon (I stayed up all night watching it on television with my father. I thought I was seeing the beginning of all my science-fiction-induced fantasies come true. Of course, that was back when I still believed that Walter Cronkite could be trusted, too.)

*11 years old at the time President Kennedy was assassinated (I was in the sixth grade and I got out of school early that day when the news was announced. I remember EXACTLY what I thought: "Oh, boy! This gives me a head-start on the weekend!" That was the most important thing about the assassination to me at the time. I didn't realize what a big deal it all was until I came home and saw my mama. She was watching the news on television (Walter Cronkite, of course) while she ironed clothes. She was crying.)

*5 years old when the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1 was launched (I remember that. I also remember standing outside at night and trying to find the sputnik in the sky. I never did see it, but I didn't have much sky to work with at the time. I was still a hillbilly boy in a Harlan County coal mining camp. The mountains blocked out a lot of the sky.)

I don't remember the Korean War ending when I was one year old, but the rest is pretty clear in my memory.

Try it yourself.


Good god. Now I DO feel old. THe stupid thing reminded me that when I was born, the flag only had 48 stars- Alaska and Hawaii had yet to be admitted to the union.

Posted by: og on February 23, 2006 09:12 AM

This thing didn't go back for enough to get my birth date but I thing they were playing "Rock On Rock Of Ages" at the last supper where I was pulling KP

Posted by: GUYK on February 23, 2006 09:53 AM

I got the same reading as you of course even though I am five weeks older. I was in the 7th grade when I heard Kennedy had been shot. I was late at school, probably had detention for passing notes or something and I recall it like it was yesterday. Somebody told me about it when I was on my way down to the girl's locker room. I sat in the stairwell and cried my eyes out. I was political even then having grown up watching the news with my Dad every night.
I recall staying up all night long with my day to watch the returns when he got elected. I remember the tally boards looked kind of like old pinball machine scores, with numbers that flipped.

I saw Challenger blow up in real time. I got up early to see it launch. The first footage, before they sanitized it was just sickening. I'll never forget the horror in the newscaster's voice.

Posted by: Libby on February 23, 2006 11:05 AM

I remember when the towers fell... I normally am NEVER up early, yet I was, watching the news. They were chattering excitedly over the first plane, and I was watching live when the second plane slammed in. It didn't seem real. I hoped it wasn't real, but it was. I'm sort of grateful that the immediacy of all that suffering and fear didn't permeate my half asleep brain, or I probably would have thrown up.

Too bad our resolve wasn't what it was in 1945, or else we would have seen a pretty shroom cloud.

Posted by: Cythen on February 23, 2006 11:50 AM

Crap, now I feel really old, time for a nap..

Posted by: jamesoldguy on February 23, 2006 02:25 PM

I was 2 or 3 when Challanger exploded. I more so remember my mom being terribly upset than the actual news. As for 9/11 I was in college nursing myself from a hangover when our RA told us classes were cancelled. I went back to bed and didn't even know what was going on untill 7 or 8 that night.

Posted by: Steph on February 23, 2006 02:37 PM

Rob: "I didn't realize what a big deal it all was until I came home and saw my mama. She was watching the news on television (Walter Cronkite, of course) while she ironed clothes. She was crying."

We do take out cues from our parents, don't we?

I was one day shy of being six months old. Mom was feeding me a bottle as she watched a soap opera. Dad came home from work.

I don't remember it, of course. I've just heard the story many times.

You know that phrase "I couldn't believe my eyes?"

That is literally my response to 9-11. slept in that morning and awoke to the DJ on the radio telling people to turn on the television. Something about plane crashes all over the country.

I turned on NBC and there was this huge pillar of smoke and ash rising from NYC. The announcer was saying the World Trade Center had fallen. "What an idiot," I thought. "The smoke is just keeing up from seeing it." I still thought they were wrong until they replayed the second plane hitting the tower and then the towers actually collapsing.

I spent the next month shaking in anger and wanting to go out and enlist and not being able to because I was 40, fat, half blind, and with high blood pressure.

I am still frustrated over that.

Posted by: Bill Dennis on February 23, 2006 03:06 PM

How old were you when you cowardly avoided the Vietnam war like your ole buddy Dubya did? Y'all both believe in fighting a war now though right? As long as someone else is doing the fighting and dying?

Posted by: Txsnative on February 24, 2006 02:28 AM

Why is the volcanic eruption of Mt. St. Helens listed?

That was a big event. If the wind had been blowing the other way, the city of Portland, Oregon would have been smothered in ash. Hundreds of thousands would have died.

(Steve denBeste mentioned it here.)

That eruption happened the day after I was born.

So I was on my way to kindergarten when I heard about the Challenger, I can remember the Wall coming down in Berlin, I can remember the Gulf War, and of course I can remember 9/11.

Posted by: karrde on February 24, 2006 12:27 PM
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