John Lennon -- Long Time Gone

Today's the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death. Some of you out there are too young to remember what a huge cultural icon he and the Beatles were/are. Trust me, this guy, whether you loved him or hated him, had an impact upon the American pop culture and elsewhere around the globe. And not just as a Beatle, but as his own self, stepping out of the shadow of the Beatles and deciding to act upon his humanitarian impulses.

I have a strange tie in with the man, although I never met him or even came close to being in the same area as him. Okay, it's a degree of separation thing that's the tie in. The above photo was taken by my older cousin, Chris, who found the original Washington Post newspaper clipping that featured his photo among his scrap books. He scanned and sent it to me. After graduating from college, Chris got a job as a photo-journalist intern with the Washington Post.

This photograph was taken in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. Lennon and Yono Oko were there at this political rally and my cousin was one of the few people around to initially recognize them sitting quietly on a park bench. In fact, this is the only photo of the couple at the rally. The photo was later picked up by other news magazines and organizations. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Chris told me that eventually more and more people recognized them and Lennon and Oko politely got up to leave before too big of a crowd started to gather. It's funny; Chris and I were just talking about this photo several months ago after I read an article on the couple in the New York Times. That article made me think of this photo he took and of the day he encountered a musical legend and genius and a huge cultural icon.

Chris has been a successful freelance camera man for all kinds of documentary type films for the last 30 years since his encounter with John Lennon.

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