...I was a senior at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and I heard about it around 3:00 PM, while walking through Hinkle Hall and passing the office of John Getz, professor of American literature and one of my favorites!, who was intently listening to the radio. I popped my head into his office, made a crack approximating "Is this what faculty do all day, sit around listening to the radio?" to which he replied "Reagan's been shot." (In the picture, he's the one on the right...and, nota bene, the picture was taken several years later.)
More personally (and significantly), this was shortly after returning from Spring Break in Estero Island off the western coast of Florida, where a group of us lived for the better part of a week -- at the family summer cottage of our friends Cathy and Mary -- on a steady diet of Product 19 cereal (in single-serving boxes) and Pabst Blue Ribbon (on a really good sale at the local Winn Dixie).
It was also here and then that I first set eyes on the woman who would become my wife. Yay!!!!!
is a professor of English at Central Connecticut State University and the host of "Frank, Gil, and Friends" on Tuesday mornings on WFCS 107.7 FM New Britain/Hartford and www.wfcsradio1077.com. Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, he earned his H.A.B. and M.A. degrees at Xavier University and his Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. His books on Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra belie his academic interests in American Puritans (like Cotton Mather and Edward Taylor) and the late 18th-century writers The Connecticut Wits. He has been married for 25+ years, has two daughters.