I was around six years old when my mother made The Announcement. Nowadays she claims I must have imagined the whole affair, but I don't see how. My older siblings have similar memories, though not exact. I don't need their corroboration; I remember the incident as one of those crystalline moments of childhood, a revelation that continues to thrill decades later.
I'm guessing it was 1969 or so. The family was sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner. I suppose we were talking about popular music. We kids were lucky that both of our parents loved music. They endeavored to share this passion with their children, indulging us with piano lessons and singing and as many records as we could afford. This made my mother's announcement all the more surreal.
Mom declared, in no uncertain terms, that she would never allow a Beatles album in her house. Ever.
A heretofore open door was suddenly, violently slammed shut, and we kids sat in open-mouthed silence. Then the keening began, the mourning of young lives irreparably ruined. I was too young to care (my brief infatuation with Bobby Sherman would come later), but my older siblings were heartbroken. Wails of anguish, followed by tear-choked sobs: "Why, Mommy? Why?"