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Where were you when you heard about Princess Diana’s death?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 1, 2007

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Photo of Serena Williams

“I think I was in school. They brought TVs into the classrooms, and we all talked about it and took a moment of silence.”

Photo of Mike Brunsky

“I was on South Padre Island with two other couples from our church. We had come in from a walk on the beach and the news reports came on. We were all just shocked.”

Photo of Adina Scanland

“At Auntie Mae’s Parlor in Manhattan with some friends. I felt stunned. I guess I just wasn’t aware that celebrities could die.”

Photo of David Gaumer

“I think I was at home in Kingman, Kansas, when the news broke on the television, and my wife told me she had been seriously injured.”

Comments

spywell 6 years, 7 months ago

Two birds flew away to another shore, peace has not fallen since. I wonder when they'll let them rest. A quest as yet bequest.

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moveforward 6 years, 7 months ago

I think I was driving down 6th street reading people magazine while talking to tina on my cell... oh and I was having a no fat vanilla latte... 'cept I spilled some on the seat of my beamer when a stupid cyclist got in the way. I think I was no the way back to the mall - uhm, to get my nails done - for sure.

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sourpuss 6 years, 7 months ago

No memory of that particular piece of news, though I was probably watching CNN or something. I do remember John Lennon's death, and the Reagan assassination attempt... but honestly, while Princess Di was an international figure, I'm an American and I'm not a subject of the Windsor family, so I wasn't really that emotionally involved in the whole thing. I'm sorry she died, but she should have worn her seatbelt. The only person wearing their seatbelt (her bodyguard, in the front seat I might add) survived.

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cynical 6 years, 7 months ago

who the f**k cares when Di died? Average normal human being doesn't. Only the nutcases with no life do.

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

I think I had just put on a new piece of aluminum foil on my ball. Back then it was small compared to now.

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tadair 6 years, 7 months ago

I think someone didn't get Adina's joke. I spit my coffee, Adina... see you Tuesday!

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squishypoet 6 years, 7 months ago

I think i just saw a blurb in the newspaper about it. I remember it being very close to when Mother Teresa died. I think It was the combination of the two that made it seem so significant. Two very special people died within a very short period of time.

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Bladerunner 6 years, 7 months ago

I was in the car chasing her. It was all my fault. Actually...It was soooooooo insignifcant...I have no idea and Im not really sure why anyone cares.

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

I think I was out playin bingo.

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

I think I was out back searchin for night crawlers tor the next day's fishin trip.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 7 months ago

I just got the whole Serena Williams being a "server" thing. Great humor!

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PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock 6 years, 7 months ago

I was at work on the all night shift. The lady working with me was older and got very upset at the news - I thought I was going to have to call her in a replacement she was so worked up.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't remember when Di died, but I do remember when John Lennon died. He contributed far more to society than Di ever did.

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

Actually, as I remember it, my grass was not growing at the time (due to the dry weather). Oh geeze, I think I was really trying to balance my checkbook. I was worrying if my kids would come home on time. Didn't really think that I would need to worry about British royalty.

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JJE007 6 years, 7 months ago

I was blowing out a candle.

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

Actually, I was mowing my grass.

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akbigdog 6 years, 7 months ago

I think I was at home. I had actually never heard of Princess Diana before she died, so it didn't have any impact on me whatsoever. I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about other than that it was a tragic death.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 7 months ago

I kind of think I was driving home from my mom's house. It didn't make that much of an impression on me that I would know for a certainty.

The whole marriage to Charles was gross. It was like picking out a brood mare. Gross! Creepy, creepy, gross!

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

Come to think of it, I was washing my dishes.

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Crossfire 6 years, 7 months ago

I think I was out on Thunder Road... There was moonshine, moonshine to quench the Devil's thirst The law they swore they'd get him, but the Devil got him first.

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

These pinheaded responses may be due to the fact that Americans have enough US tabloids to keep us occupied at present. The market is saturated. I also get the feeling that all of this media attention (on a tragic accident that occured ten years ago) is about network ratings. If the media is going to throw this nonsense at us, a little sarcasm back at em is a good thing.

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faceit 6 years, 7 months ago

She didn't do anything heroic. She didn't have anything else to do. The rest of the world has to EARN a living. If you think she was all that, YOU'RE the pinhead. The thing that made her popular was the "cute" factor. Get real.

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ms_canada 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree with bennyoats. This lady was a ready target for everything rotten in the press. There was a lot more to her than was portrayed by the press. I doubt whether there are many women in this world who could have put up with for very long, what was thrown at her. Imagine being married to a jerk like Charles. She did a lot of good while in an impossible position. Where was I? Sitting around a back yard fire at my cottage. Went inside at 11pm to get the news and was stunned. After that no one returned to the fire. My daughter Diane was a big Di fan.

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

Bennyoates. I did not insult anyone. That was really what I was doing.

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rodentgirl16 6 years, 7 months ago

We were all standing in the kitchen at my mom's house, watching Saturday Night Live when the news broke in out of nowhere. We just thought it was a really morbid skit (think, "Gerald Ford died today after being eaten by wombats"). After a few moments we realized that it was real. Not terribly significant in the course of my life, but as a trivia and history buff, it is notable.

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BABBOY 6 years, 7 months ago

I do not remember.

I remember where I was when the shuttle went down (the first time), when Regan got shot, and when 911 happened. Never got into the whole British monarchy soap operh thing.

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bennyoates 6 years, 7 months ago

In contrast to the pinheads dominating this board, I'll say that Princess Diana exemplified how some people who are born with incredible privileges decide to give back to the society that has given them so much.

A lot of Americans could learn a lot from her.

Her efforts to ban landmines and to help people with AIDS were more than admirable, they were invaluable. She left a legacy that others would do well to use as an example--or, at the least, not to insult.

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camper 6 years, 7 months ago

I had just gotten done trimming my nose hair. Think I might have also been in the middle of a game of solitaire.

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milkman_dan 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd just driven home and I was pretty drunk...well, it wasn't just the alcohol, the pills had me pretty fuzzy too. My girlfriend asked if they were going to change her name from Di to Died. We almost died laughing. We made love, then passed out right there where we were...in the neighbor's yard.

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Pywacket 6 years, 7 months ago

Serena! You rocked yesterday at the US Open!! Hang in there--I know you can go all the way.

Ha! I remember I heard it on the BBC News on NPR as I was driving home from a night of carousing in downtown Lawrence. (Hadn't met husband 2 yet.) My first thought was that my English grandma would be sad, since (sweet but daft woman) she did cling to her royals.

Reality_Check~ I interpreted that answer a little differently. These questions don't permit the chance to expand on one's first statement, and without expansion, some of the statements do sound dumb or bizarre.

To give her a shot at credibility--I doubt she literally thought that celebs couldn't die; rather, she was young and unworldly and maybe it was hard to wrap her head around the thought of someone so prominent suddenly not being there. In her lifetime, this was maybe the first uber-prominent person who had died suddenly. It may have seemed that this rich, beautiful woman had always been there--in the news every few days--and would continue to be there forever.

And the extension of this thought might be, "If someone like that can die, without first growing old and living out her life, and the money, fame, worldwide adoration couldn't prevent it, then it could happen to anyone--even me." A scary concept for a young person who maybe hadn't had to give much thought to death yet.

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Bassetlover 6 years, 7 months ago

Sorry Serena, but you weren't in school b/c it happened on a Saturday night. But we'll give you a pass b/c you must have just been in grade school!

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yourworstnightmare 6 years, 7 months ago

I was in the back seat of a Mercedes going 100+ miles an hour with my boyfriend, fleeing from paparazzi...

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Sigmund 6 years, 7 months ago

Can't we let Princess Di just die?

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Reality_Check 6 years, 7 months ago

Probably in front the t.v. like everyone else!

Note the person above who wrote: "I guess I just wasn't aware that celebrities could die." Today's "Dumbest Person In The World"!

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't remember, and I don't really care. Bo Schembechler's death mattered far more to me than Diana's did, and I think he was probably far more relevant to my life than she ever was.

Speaking of which, I am on my way out the door to the first Michigan game of the year, so I'm happy.

Oh, and I got a good chuckle out of the third answer.

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canyon_wren 6 years, 7 months ago

This seems like another stupid question. Although I could see why folks admired Princess Diana, she did not hold the same status, in my opinion, that, say, a US President does, and to me it was just news, but not something I would associate with being in a certain place, as with the death of President Kennedy. But I suppose this question is a little more relevant than some of the OTS questions!

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trinity 6 years, 7 months ago

i hate to say so, but princess di's passing-while tragic&very sad-just didn't have that big an impact on me, that i remember what i was doing or where i was when i heard the news.

now, john lennon's death-that's a whole 'nother story. but that wasn't the question eh?

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thofts 6 years, 7 months ago

When Di died I was making tie die T shirts.

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jimjones 6 years, 7 months ago

Who cares. Her death was insignificant.

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Crossfire 6 years, 7 months ago

Princess Diana is dead/ Oh my God! What will we do? This is tragic. What will we do? I am shocked.

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BrianR 6 years, 7 months ago

I have no idea where I was when this news broke.

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