Where Were You When...?

[Remember...I'm someplace warm and sunny and won't be around to comment.  In the meantime, enjoy!]

The other day, the Pea blurted out a new word, one I'm sure every toddler mama dreads hearing.  "Elmo."  This only struck me as unusual as he's never watched an actual episode of Sesame Street.  He picked it up from a few Elmo books we own. (I feel I should clarify...I'm not one of those "no child of mine will watch television" moms...he just hasn't seen any Sesame Street yet.)  I promptly went to YouTube and searched for an Elmo song.  Found the duck one.  I warn you it's catchy and addictive but worth the watch if just for the fat little duck at the end.

Every life has those defining "where were you when...?" moments.  The Twin Towers fell?  The Challenger exploded?  You heard about Princess Diana?  JFK was killed?

I realized the other day that mine has a rather unusual one.  I remember where I was when I found out that Jim Henson died.  I was sitting in front of the TV, watching a PBS special about the composer Joe Raposo (who wrote many of the early Sesame Street hit songs, including the theme song).  At the end of the special, a screen came up that said, "Dedicated to the memory of Jim Henson September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990".  It was May 16, 1990.

There was no internet, of course.  No CNN.com.  The evening news had already aired.  In my heart, I knew it was true, but I thought, "Maybe another Jim Henson."  The morning paper confirmed it was my beloved Jim Henson, though.

Now, I feel I should explain something.  You may have grown up watching Sesame Street, the Muppet Show and Muppet movies...they were revered in my family (and the creativity they represented).  Jim Henson probably had the single greatest impact on the development of my sense of humor of any one man.  Teeny Little Super Guy.  The pig Vikings' "In The Navy".  And, of course, ABDCEF...Cookie Monster!  I could go on for hours.

His ideas still inspire my writing today.  Twenty years later.

So I'm curious...what are the "Where were you when..." moments that color your writing (or other pursuits)?

Also, bonus point in my follower contest to the first person who can tell me the original color of Oscar the Grouch's fur!


  1. How sad is it that if you had asked me if Jim Henson was alive I would not have been able to answer till now. I would have probably guess correctly, but not known for sure. So needless to say I have no idea where I was when he died.

    So that being said. Wasn't oscars fur brown?

  2. He was an orangish color. I grew up on Seseme Street. My son now watches it. I was only 8 when he died and I can say I didn't much read the news at 8. Yet I remember my mom talking about it.

  3. I remember feeling very sad when I heard he died. We loved the Muppets at my house.

    Regarding Oscar's fur, the question implies he wasn't always green. I was going to guess blue, but Cleverly Inked sounds pretty confident. Therefore, I guess he was an orangish color. Ha! Okay, that's totally cheating (and lame since it goes to the first person who says it), but how can I guess blue now? ;)

    I love SESAME STREET. I love it because it's an awesome show, but I also love it because it reminds me of watching with my kids when they were little. Don't get me wrong--the kids are just as awesome now as they were then. Now it's NCIS and PHINEAS AND FERB. :)

  4. Aww, Jim Henson. Yes, his work is magical. I think it was also shaping for my sense of humor.

    This is going to date me terribly, but I remember the Three Mile Island nuclear accident (everyone under 35 will have to google it) as world-shaking. Here was the threat of nuclear annihilation in my home state, just a two-hours drive away.

  5. ahhh, Karen we truly are soul mates, :) When I was three I had a huge Miss Piggy cake and got a Miss Piggy purse from my Grandma Jenny...I adore me some Miss Piggy and Kermie. I have all the seasons on DVD and I even have the porcelian Miss Piggy and Kermit. So heartbroken when Jim Henson died. Grover...Cookie Monster...strange bit of Mandy trivia, in kindergarten I read Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree outloud and still have my original Monster at the End of this Book.

    I'm certain you had no idea what delight this post would bring me.

    Moving right along...da da dum da da dum...footloose and fancy free, getting there is half the fun, come join in with me.

  6. I want whatever skin products Sonia Manzano uses. Maria has never seemed to age, and she's been on my entire life.

    PS - I've tried to get my boys to watch Fraggle Rock over break.

  7. Am in a warm, sunny spot, but just wanted to quickly say that Cleverly Inked is correct...Oscar was orange!! You should go to YouTube and type in "original i love trash". It's great (and a little disconcerting).

    Out of pocket for next few days. Take care, everyone!

    P.S. I think you'll enjoy tomorrow's post. :)