Thursday, July 13, 2006

News Stories From The Archives of K-PAT FM

I love news stories and the facts regarding history and the events leading up to what made something, in fact 'History' - Traumatic or Otherwise. . .

But there are particular stories (besides the obvious - 09/11, etc) that I remember. The unfolding and the events after it. Some of which become embedded in our hearts and minds that last forever. It could be a personal story, or a national story, ripped from the headlines, or just some basic drama, which I personally LOVE.

Just so you know: Most of these stories (sans two) are pre-internet/email/cell phone boom. So they were particularly riveting because you had to wait on information, and when you did get it, it was heavy in weight because there was so much to say. So, without further adieu, there are a few in particular that stick out in my mind. Shout out to That Girl for telling me about Photobucket)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Atlanta Child Murders - Man, oh, man, oh man. Atlanta, Lynwood, no difference to me. I stayed in the house for most of that summer (living IN CALIFORNICATION) over that sheeat. I was scared-ded, TRUSS! All I knew was that somebody was killing little black children and that was enough for me to play with my easy-bake oven, colorforms, etc right on the inside of my house. And the porch was a STRETCH. And when they found that (insert little girl voice) "bad, bad man" was put in jail. (Needless to say, we know the REAL Deal regarding Wayne Williams and how janky that investigation went).

1989 San Francisco Earthquake. I remember I was on my way to Junior College then, getting ready for school. And they showed the picture of a freeway. Initially, when looking at the freeway, I wondered what the big deal was, it looked only as if the freeway collapsed. Upon further inspection, I found that yes, the freeway, did INDEED collapse, but that it was a double decker freeway, and one had fallen on top of the other, killing everyone under there in a vehicle. Even now, looking at the freeway, because it was smashed so closely together, it's a painful site to look at. I remember all day I couldn't get my mind off of it, because I couldn't believe something so devastating had happened so close to my home. For those of you who have never seen this, look closely. What looks like one freeway is really one smashed on top of the other. I remember the only fortunate (for lack of a better word) thing that occured regarding this was that it was a Monday, some holiday, I forgot which one, and the freeways were less crowded than they normally would have been.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
McMartin Abuse Scandal. I wasn't but about ten years old when off of this started going down. Everyone was terrified. All kinds of ritualistic allegations were brought to the attention of the courts. It ripped apart a nation, tore down innumerable pre-schools, and took a a family (McMartin), down a long and shadowy road. It was one of the first modern day examples of what Mass Hysteria can do, even in the interest of protecting beloved children. There was an HBO special not too long ago that chronicled this story. The case went on for YEARS, no one was ever convicted, and all charges were dropped in 1990.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Whitney and Crack. Crack and Whitney. From the illustrious singing career on the path to legendary status, to being reduced to "Hell to the Naw" on Bravo's Being Bobby Brown, the decline of Whitney Houston before our very eyes is equally painful and amusing (in a sick kind of way) to watch. We went from believing that she was MAYBE smoking some sticky-icky, to us thinking "Is this girl really smoking?", to "Crack is Whack", to "What the Eff?" Ah, the perils of Whitney Houston.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Loving and Losing Aaliyah. I don't believe I realized how very much an Aaliyah fan was until she passed. Thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. The video, Rock the Boat is especially haunting for the obvious reasons. Somehow looking at the video, it's beautifully haunting, particularly at the end. I'm not trying to glamourize her death; but I can't help but look at that video and think of so many things while watching it. I couldn't watch it the whole way through for over a year and even now I don't particularly like watching it. I can imagine how her family must feel. She wasn't a songwriter, but she had a particularly pure voice that I loved, and love to this day.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
April 29th Brought Power to the People - And You Might See A Sequel. Don't know about you, but everyone OUT here remembers where they were when the verdict was read, and the Los Angeles Rebellion began. I personally was at home that day, didn't have to go to work, or to school. My mother was at the funeral of one of her best friends. And to hear that verdict - It was surreal, it was painful, and prolly my first full twang of recognizing that my life had no value with the LAPD, particularly to the residents of Simi Valley. Then, the news came on. Even though I did not physically live in LA, I was once a resident of Los Angeles, and My college was right in the heart of Los Angeles, and they shut down for the remainder of the week. It was mass hysteria out here. And the newscasters didn't understand that it wasn't a riot. Yes, there was foolishness, and there was terror, but there was pain. Probably not manifested and carried out properly, but I understood. I understood that they put the national guards in areas that they didn't want touched, like Brentwood and Beverly Hills, but what we did, well, that was a different story.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion

I was in the tenth grade, and my Algebra I teacher brought the TV in so all of us could see the launch and liftoff. We all knew that a teacher, Christa McAuliffe, was going to be on flight. He was especially excited about that. So we watched, and we saw the liftoff. And we just watched.

And then it happened.

But it was like 'it' didn't happen. Anyone who has seen images of this remembers how we felt. This, too, was surreal, and as a 15 year old child, in a class with other students waiting for the other shoe to drop, the other punchline, waiting for the teacher to tell us that everything was okay, that something had just happened, but it will be okay, was an experience that remains embedded in my mind forever. It was tragic all the way around. The world was riveted.

Are any of these near and dear to you? What news-making stories Do YOU remember the most?


Delaleuverses said...

Back in the 80's I was in Southern California so I remember when the earthquake affected time just flies.
I get sad every summer in August when BET shows Aaliyah's Rock the Boat video,she was a beautiful person inside and out. There will never be another one like her in the entertainment world. Great post!

Nexgrl said...

I live in San Francisco and I was at work on October 17, 1989. I worked a building on the corner of Bluxome and 6th Streets. The brick wall on the 6th Street side of the buidling collasped. One co-worker died and several were injured.
My car was parked on 6th Street. The earthquake caused my car to rise from the ground, so much so that bricks from the building landed under and around my car. My car was shown on a news clip for the next few days, it even made it to NBC's Today Show. What was truly amazing is that the car only had a broken rear axle and extensive dents on the driver's side.

Some of my co-worker's cars resembled suitcase from the impact of the bricks.

Cocoa Girl said...

I'm with you on Aaliyah. I didn't realize how much I was into her as an artist. Probably because she seemingly was not that into herself like so.

I remember a space shuttle blowing when I was in the 3rd grade...might have been the one with Christie. We were listening on the radio and Mr. Shelton, the teacher next door, rain in to shut it off.

However, the worst thing for me ever was hands down 9/11 and NYC in the aftermath. I remember everywhere I was at every point in time. I remember the charring smell that reached 145th Street, all the way down from where the streets don't yet have numbers. I remember thinking every Puerto Rican, darker-skinned Jew, "exotic-looking" negro was a potential terroist. I cannot recall the exact number of times that I hopped off a train when a Arabquestionable got on to ride.

I even remember standing on Fifth Avenue and looking through the big hole in the tower over one mile away.

Truly the most shattering time of my life.

Sorry to be so morbid, but you brought me back!

P said...

@ Cocoa:

I didn't bring up 09/11 because I knew someone would.

We all hurt when that happened. Hurt that never goes away.

For you, though, It's how many who have experienced Vietnam, the Holocaust, the Bombing of Hiroshima, must feel to those who truly witnessed it. All those planes, all those lives.

All our lives.

Isha said...

WOW! The hard times for me were the Los Angeles Earthquake and the Riots. I was away at Morris Brown and EVERYTHING I loved was here and it was hard to get information. I could not concentrate on school because my family was in the midst of madness. Another "I knew what I was doing when..." moment was the April 1st Marvin Gaye died. I can see it like it was yesterday. My dad and I were in the back yard when it came over the radio. At first we thought it was a STUPID April Fool's, but when the story unfolded, it really hurt. Even at that young age, I knew what he meant to music and what a loss it was.

Great post lady!

Miss Ahmad said...

ooh the 1989 quake was a doozy!

I was in college in Louisiana all they kept showing was the bay bridge collapsing and I figured if the bridge didn't make it neither would my parents house! We were all hysterical and wrought with fear that we had lost our families...

the pain was numbing. It took my dad 18 hours to get home and the whole time my mom was at home with the kids praying he wasn't dead!

I lost 4 people in knew in 9-11 and one survived although she suffered a severe nervous breakdown and hasn't been the same since...

The Rodney King riots were never punctuated more for me than when I got a chance to interview him and realized that his his whole mind was gone...

that was a sad sad day!

P said...

@ Miss Ahmad.

Punctuated is a great word. I'm proud of you, girl.

Msnhim said...

The Challenger Explosion- Ronald McNair's father lived in our area when we were little. He would always visit his father on the block so this was kind of personal

The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

P...we was watching in class too (about the space shuttle) we're watching and then...boom...we're like what the hell...the teacher frantically ran out of the room...people were in the hallway talking, that was something i'll never forget...i didn't know that a freeway collapsed...damn...

Honey-Libra said...

I can remember back at home in Hpt when a hurricane hit there was this guy running around killing people...just was scary and when I was in college Malvo and the other guy went on a rampage I lived near where they were killing people....I tell ya made me want to pump gas in my car.

chele said...

When they read the verdict I was in Sam's Club. Everyone in the store was in Electronics and gathered around the televisions. When they read it, there was an uproar that you wouldn't believe. I got the hell outta there because I didn't know what was about to jump off.

Whitney is tragic. Michael J is also tragic.

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

Wow...a stroll down memory lane. I remember the quake and I was in SF about 3 weeks AFTERWARDS. I SAW the wreckage...I saw what was left of the collapsed freeways. That shit was a trip. I had never seen such a thing...of course until after that Northride Quake.

I remember all that shit really well. The riots were a bitch. I remember it was my 20th birthday and every year me and Erikka would go take pics on our birthdays. So we roll to this 1 Hour spot on Century and Crenshaw (right in front of Ralph's - or the Giant - or whatever they were callin it at the time). Took our pics, paid for the extras and blown up pics...I was supposed to pick them up the DAY BEFORE THE RIOTS - and decided that I didn't feel like driving to LA that day "I'll get them tomorrow" - well tomorrow never came because they burned that mutha fucka DOWN!!

When Aaliyah passed, I couldn't listen to her music or watch her videos for MONTHS. Everytime I heard her voice I started to cry...that shit was sad...

Hey...what about JFK Jr.?? Talk about sad...I was saddened over his death too...

P said...

@ The Phoenix:

I was very saddened over JFK Jr's Death. Very. As well as Princess Di's. JFK's just didn't seem REAL, so much had happened to their family it seems like a curse.

And for HER family. To lose two of three daughters (one being a twin) must have been especially traumatic as well.

@ the Phoenix: What you know bout taking pics at the one hour photo back in the day? Kids are used to it now, but this was some BIG WILLIE stuff back then, yo.

James Manning said...

The first story that comes to mind is John Wayne Gacy. This did was a madman and I remember watching the TV as they tore apart is home to find more than 30 bodies of young boys buried there.

He was the first real monster.

Jaimie said...

I remember all of these too. Aaliyah dying was for me so sad. I was in shock.

I don't remember the man killing black children though...

Miss Ahmad said...

i remember the first time i moved to LA with a pool shark when i was 20 (long story) he took me to South Central to show me the damage that had been done in the riots and he said that worst part was that many of those communities would never recover...

it was quite sobering!

and thanks P, i try to use my big words sometimes:-)

T. Cas said...

When the riots/rebellion (whatever you wanna call it)went down I was a senior in high school. I remember my ultra liberal sociology teacher wanted me to denounce what was going down, like I was the spokesperson for all Black people. She cried when I said compared it to the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution. I was branded an angry Black man for the rest of the year.

And when Challenger exploded, we were watching in the 5th grade. That was the illest thing I had seen in my life.

When Biggie died, I was messed up too. I remember my sister called me and told me and I didnt beleive her until I saw it on the news.

What about the OJ slow speed car chase? That was surreal to me. I was glued to the TV.

P said...

@ TCas:

Big UP's for standing up to your teacher. That took a lot of guts. . .That lays credence to how you say your personality style is. .

As for the OJ Simpson Bronco Chase.


I didn't see it live.

You heard me, ladies and gentleman, I.DID-ENT.SEE.IT.LIVE. (But it DID pass through my neighborhood, yo). Can you believe it? That's some must see TV for ya, and I did-ent even see it!

See, "what had happened was" I was working the swing shift at this real janky place, right. And the TV was one of those old school black and white 13 inch TV's with rabbit ears that wouldn't come in.

So, I heard the broadcast on the radio. Friends kept calling me with updates. One person told me he committed suicide. Man, it was almost as exciting. I was working as an operator at an answering service, and the good news was that the phone was NOT ringing (no doubt because everybody was glued to the TV like T-Cas, so I could listen to the radio.

Still sucks that I missed a live part of infamous LA culture.

bunny said...

The LA riots are memorable because my mom and I were on a flight to Hawaii and we had to change planes in Houston, Tx and the airlines told us that we couldn't continue on because they were shooting at planes but they did let us go on and we were re-routed to San Franciso and they told us we had to spend the night there and we were like hell naw we ain't staying here (you know the media had us all scared) so my mom pretty much threatned the poor ticket agent and said if she didn't get us on a plane out of there she was going to do bodily harm to her. Of course this was pre-911 and we flew out that night to Hawaii and that is something I will never forget.

Now with the Challenger that one also sticks in my mind because my neighbor was giving birth to her first child and she was so upset because she said that that day would be forever known as the day the Challenger exploded and she wanted her childs birth to be rememered as joyous occasion. Her daughter is now 20 and we call her the Angel Baby.

The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

UUUU...sheeee...whenever someone mentioned wayne williams in b'ham...cats got nervous, there was a curfew in my magic city 'round that time....i'll never forget that...

Rose said...

I am with you on all these stories. Aaliyah's story was so painful. I watched my neices and daughter trying to dance like her and then to hear that she died was troubling. Los Angeles and the beating of that Denny guy is another. Whitney story is just pitiful. Also the death of Left Eye. But don't forget about OJAy...

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

Ay yo...I didn't even notice (oversight on MY part) the dude from the ATL child murders...remember that movie about it??? In the movie, the first child that was murdered...the photograph they used in the movie was my uncle Reggie. He did small stints on ROMPER ROOM (what u know bout THAT??)

"Romper, bomper, stomper, boom! Tell me mirror, tell me WHO! I see Veronica, Billy, Michael, Tina..." I used to be mad at that come she couldn't see ME???

Phil said...

"White People Are Crazy Part 473..."

Remember in '97 when that bald White dude convinced about 100 of his followers to dress up like they were going to rob a bank, black Air Force Ones and everything?

Then, they all drank some suicide cocktail in order to hitch a ride on a damn comet back to their home galaxy... LOL!!!

Do not ask me why that stays in my mind to this day...

P said...

@ The Phoenix

Don't worry, you did-ent miss the ATL child murderer. I added him AFTER you left you comments.

As for the movie, girrrl, yes, I remember, and NOW I want to see the movie so I can see the pic of your uncle REG. . . Why my sister no working wanna be actor husband, before they were married, told her he was in that movie, (Atlanta Child Murderers). Girl, we ain't see him in that movie, or any other movie since.

As for Romper Room. If I know what I know, I KNOW you were HOT that she didn't see yo ass you prolly thought she was racist. :P

P said...

@ Phil: I forgot about the dude and the nikes, and how they were all covered up with blankets and the only thing you could see was their shoes.

Reminds you of Jim Jones (who I didn't put). Man, all I know was a bunch of black folks died from drinking some 'red' kool-aid and that was highly disturbing. As a child, I thought Powers Booth (who played Jim Jones in the movie) was REALLY him.

African girl, American world said...

The very first one was when Regan got shot..they played it over and over.
Back Home the 2 that will FOREVER stay with me were when the President of Mozambique died and we were all outside and they told us. I was in 4th or 5th grade.
Second one was the national soccer team dying in a plane crash...girl it was sereal. It was QUIET and I knew something was wrong. My Dad was supposed to be on the plane!!!

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

Hey what about David Koresh and the Waco, TX shit with the ATF? I'm sure Janet Reno hasn't forgotten!!

And remember the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989? All those students fighting for democracy were slaughtered...I used to have a copy of the Chinese Edition of the L.A. Times with clear color pictures of the whole thing. But it got lost in one of my MANY moves. :(

YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

I remembered being shocked as hell when I saw those highways laying on top of each other. Just like that earthquake in Reseda freaked me out. Didn't they try calling that the "King Quake"?

To this day, I think they pinned those murders on Wayne because he came across as a quirky loner. I still don't think he did it.

I remember sitting in the library, watching the Challenger, and wondering why did it look like the shuttle split in 2. Then all the faculty gathered around the TV like we weren't there.

The ending of Aliyah's video kinda got me too, just like Tupac's "I Ain't Mad Atcha". It was different because unlike Tupac, Aliyah never sang about death.

I still remember the awkward feeling that came over me an hour before the towers were attacked. I thought about how I just happened to make it a point to kiss my children good-bye once more that morning, and fearing for the Marines who normally fly in every Tuesday morning to continue their training.

I couldn't listen to "Tears in Heaven" after the Oklahoma City bombing. I kept seeing those babies in that daycare.

On Highway 80, between Selma and Montgomery..... Lawd that thing gives you goosebumps. That's where they killed Viola Liuzzo and the marchers she was transporting, in '65. We laugh about it now, but my girlfriend and I were arguing. I was hauling ass, trying to get the hell outta there, and she was telling me to slow the hell down, so we wouldn't get STOPPED by the Troopers.

P said...

@ Harpo:

I remember the Oklahoma bombing, too. Terrorist right in AmeriKKKa have always been here, that's why homeland security doesn't make ANY sense. These were well bred AmeriKKKan citizens that destroyed the Alfred Murrah Federal Building.

That was when we all felt like our security was yanked out from us. . .

Unfortunately, the terror surrounding that bombing has been buried under the 09/11 attacks.

NegroPino™ said...

I rmember the spaceship i was like 5/6 in 1st grade i think..........then the Night STalker remember him? The big earthquake in 94. I was there.....OJ.....WHen the riots hit, i was just coming back to Cali......but the most memorable of course is 9/11 Thme talibandits shut down and terrorized a nation, and 5 yrs later they still doing it with ppl scared to fly.