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Letters From the Editor

You Know I Believe and How

There were three crowds today at Strawberry Fields, Central Park: one around the dial that was built for Lennon’s memorial, another around a group of four guitar players, and a third, disparate, sadder crowd on a grassy hill. There were hundreds of people, of all types and ages, carrying various things – cameras, notebooks, a man with a silver bowling ball, one woman with a sign that read ‘George’ with a pot leaf in the place of the ‘o,’ – walking around the crowds that were singing along to whatever the musicians chose.

The most rousing song was Twist and Shout, with the large crowd shouting the AHHHHHHH sections as if they were paid extras in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Less memorable was Another Girl, which no one could remember the words to. One guy kept sticking his hand up in the air with his index and pinkie fingers raised while shouting ‘Yeah!’ It was a perfect fall afternoon: warm, light, cold in the shadows.

After ‘Taxman’ was sung:

Tall, stout balding man: That’s one the Republicans can love! Short, graying woman, with English accent: Oh yes! Ha! The Republicans. Tall, stout balding man: Oh, you’re European – they have big taxes over there. Short, graying woman, with English accent: Sometimes sixty percent. (shakes her head disapprovingly) Tall, stout balding man: That’s a lot!
Walking to the subway, O. and I saw a van parked on 72nd advertising with a large sign: ‘Nixon, Reagan, Stephen King Linked to John Lennon’s Murder New Evidence Reveals.’ Also, a smaller sign in the window: ‘Stephen King Killed Lennon!’

I had to transfer at 14th St. to the L train which means walking through a long, underground passage where there is always a musician or two, usually the older Asian men that play shrieking stringed instruments shaped like tulips, but today there was a tall black man I’ve seen before playing Beatles songs, half of his head shaved, the other closely cut, singing ‘Let It Be’ without any sense of rhythm. He was happy as all hell; another man, an older black man in a trenchcoat and suit, watched for a while, then saluted and left.

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. His latest book is Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles. More information can be found at More by Rosecrans Baldwin

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