John Lennon-Unrequited

John Lennon-Unrequited

I was recently walking down a favorite street in London. To get there I I took the Holburn tube stop to Nodding Hill Gate and emerge close to Portobello Road.

It is a street that is shut down on weekends and is only open to foot traffic.

It is known for having lots of antique dealers and the last time I was here I bought a prized door knocker from the Edwardian Period.

It is a brass casting of a beautiful women, she now overlooks a prairie lake in the midwest of the U.S.

Today the Portobello market seems to be getting more commercial, the vendors are more souvenir peddlers. The street has been “found out” by tourists and the food vendors cater to the walkers and lookers.

The crowds are tight and we walk along with a purposefully empty backpack that curiously gets unzipped every few blocks by a pickpocket that we never see.

We have just enough street savvy to walk comfortably along the two mile stretch.

I am so pleased with my purchase a few years ago that I’m back looking for another door knocker for a present.

Alas, the antique dealers have too many reproductions and I have no interest in them.

I am left with a haunting encounter at one of the album seller booths.

It is a photo of John Lennon and I admire it. It is a photo that I hadn’t seen before and I inquire about it.

My accent gives me away and the seller asks if I’m from Canada and I say the U.S.

His demeanor goes dark and I don’t quite understand the change in attitude.
Most all U.K. citizens fervently dislike our president, is this his game?

Why was he happy to visit with a Canadian and not a U.S. citizen?

I’m expressing my appreciation for the hallowed U.K. icon – John Lennon why should he dismiss me?

I’ve been to NYC, I’ve been to Hyde Park, I’m a fan, I’ve been to the Strawberry fields memorial, I’ve been to the Dakota and then it seems to dawn on me.

Perhaps I’m from the country that kills too many people. I’m from the nation that killed John Lennon, I’m from the nation that killed Martin Luther King Jr., I’m from the nation that killed John Kennedy, on and on, an on.

The conversation didn’t go any further and I uncomfortably moved on.

Toward the end of Portobello I witness three or four ruffians engaged in a rather brutal street fight and even that didn’t seem to hold much interest.

Those sorts of fights have gone on for centuries.

I’m back in the U.S. recalling my visit and review my childhood and sub adult fascination with John Lennon. I recently gave my Beatle cards to my daughter-in-law, a Beatle fan with family connections to the U.K.

He meant something to me in my formative years that carries on to this day.

Was it his distain for authority? Was it his ability to encapsulate the emotions of the youth of the day?

Was it his musical artistry?

Long ago, as a Christmas present from an employee of mine, I received his latest newly released album.

It was on the day he was gunned down and murdered in the U.S.A.

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