Sunday, July 8, 2007

News Events

Three major news events of significance come to mind when I think back on my childhood.

One of our neighbours, Janet Simpson was a runner who had qualified for the 1964 Olympics. I remember getting up at the crack of dawn to watch live coverage of the events from Tokyo and we were thrilled to receive a postcard from Janet who came seventh in the final and won a bronze medal in the relay.

Nearer home, I also recall the death of Winston Churchill in 1965. I remember hearing the news early in the morning and lying next to my mother in my parents’ bed as the story unfolded on the radio. Although because of his young age my father had a relatively minor involvement in the second world war, his brother was killed in the conflict and the war years played a major part in my parents lives. Their sadness at the death of Churchill made me realize how important a national figure he had been.

Finally I remember my whole family sitting in the lounge gripped to coverage of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon in 1969. As momentous as that moment was, I think I actually remember the event for something much more humdrum: just as mankind’s giant steps were being taken, our golden retriever swished his tale and spilt my mum’s cup of coffee over a chess board that my brother had just finished making for a school project!

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