|From my sketchbook, a drawing I made of Lennon just a few years after his death. |
© O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
The crowd's initial shocked silence gave way to murmurs of disbelief and grief. The student who had broken the news, and whom (I'm embarrassed to admit) I thought was enjoying being the center of attention, led us all in singing Lennon's song "Imagine". I seem to remember that we shat "So This is Christmas" as well.
The gathering went on after that. I have flashes of visual memories of the room and my fellow students from that evening. John Lennon was not a particularly popular figure among many Christian groups at the time since he had flippantly remarked that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus at some point. And he expressed sympathy for socialist ideas, according to what I had been told. So that our Christian group was lead to sing songs in his honor at his passing has always stuck in my mind.
I don't remember the student's name who led the Lennon songs. Nor do I ever remember seeing him at other gatherings after that.