I remember about a year ago I was at a local lighting and sound place, picking up the mixer/power amp and speakers for the sound system for the reception at our wedding. The guy was very nice, even giving me a deal on the rental ("call it a wedding present"), but very frantic.. he said he had to hustle to pack up a bunch of equipment in a truck because he and his crew were driving to Pekin that night to set up the sound stage for a performance.
"Lee Greenwood, you know who that is?"
"No, don't think so."
"Heh. Most people don't, but everyone's heard that corny song of his. (singing) 'Proud to be an American...'"
"Ohhhh, yeah, that one. Ha! I can see he'd be performing in Pekin!"
How little any of us knew just how popular that dumb song was about to become. The thing that makes me the most bitter, the most affected, by all those events was the suddenness, the unpredictability of it. How everything changed, just like that, in an instant. And I bet all of us can look back on clear memories of things they said or did Before, that seem so ironic, or pathetic, After.