Leaving home for classes at Hunter College, I stepped out the front door of my East 4th Street tenement walk-up, pausing on the top step to acclimate to the biting-cold December air.

Gloria, the black single mother from the first-floor-rear apartment, was smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk, chatting with a friend.

At the foot of the stairs, in a stroller, napped Gloria’s two-year old daughter Tamesha, bundled against the cold in a pink snow suit.

Resting on top of the sleeping child was the New York Post.

Walking down the stairs, I glanced down onto it, trying to comprehend the nonsensical headline: JOHN LENNON SHOT DEAD.

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photo: New York Daily News/Sands/AP/AP

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