Fab Four#039;s arrival part of flashbulb memory

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2004

Few events in one's lifetime offer flashbulb memory.

I would certainly remember having Mrs. Smith for a second-grade teacher, however I will always remember her wearing a blue dress with small white poca-dots on one particular day. She was called to the office, blasted back into the room with an urgency of panic and instructed us all to "lay our heads on our desks … the President has just been shot." She again left, only to reemerge and dismiss class.

"Go home immediately" she said, but it is the vision of a dark blue dress with small white poca-dots that is as clear as a rich man's swimming pool that, along with the terrors a 7-year-old could feel, I remember.

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I seem to recall a few events that swirled in and around a couple of youngsters on one particular day in 1964 that is also greeted with vivid memory. This was unlike the striking of suddenness, but rather a much anticipated event. The Ed Sullivan show was airing on this night, and with it the introduction of some chaps from Liverpool that had chimed upon the chord of imagination of an entire nation.

With this ringing of spirit came a wide-eyed, bedazzlement of two other lads, one that would last far longer than the two three-minute songs of their performance.

I remember a green sculptured carpet in a living room in New Castle Pa., and the trusty Zenith "color" TV that Dad had once elevated our status among our peers with its purchase. I recall the ecru fabric that was Mom's chair and "the 'ole man" perched in the green chair that was part of the furniture suit we had gotten only the year before. I can only look to my own two daughters to now appreciate the magic and enthusiasm that filled the room.

"Ladies and gentlemen … THE BEATLES!"… screamed Ed Sullivan, and with it came a deafening roar from the audience. The acoustics were horrible, the music not of any justice, the magnificence unparalleled. Mom's was the first account "Look at that hair!" And second, "Look at those boots!" Dad never really interjected, only scowling with the oh-so-ever slightest twinge of grinning. It was eager anticipation that had also brought them both to the forum. They had to see what all the fuss was about. It was sometime later in life that I realized they were both so supportive and excited, only because of the excitement of us.

The two youngsters were mesmerized. A captivation of both mind and more importantly spirit had blocked most visual aspects of surroundings. For two young boys watching such an event is one of the most magical and memorable experiences in life.

With these events hold a gripping account of the most subtle and seemingly unimportant aspects of surroundings. One of my most terrific moments in life occurred on that night - flashbulb memory of my mother, my father, my brother and The Beatles - 40 years ago.

Ralph E. Ison is a resident of Franklin Furnace.