January 25th, 1981 is permanently embedded in my mind. When I watched the video linked above, everything about that day came roaring back.
I was 11 years old, and had been living in the same neighborhood, with the same kids for most of my life in South Arlington, Texas. One of those neighborhood friends was Heather. She was one of my first friends in Texas. My first dog was even the brother of her dog. I think they had been picked up as strays. Heather's family had recently moved out of the neighborhood, to a house on some land, with stables for their horses. There was a trail through their land that led back to our neighborhood.
On January 25th, 1981...it was the day of the Super Bowl (Eagles/Raiders), my dad took me out for a ride on his motorcycle. After about 15-20 minutes, we were down near that trail that led to Heather's house. It was Heather's birthday, and my dad asked if I wanted to ride down that trail to her house. We decided instead to go home and watch the Super Bowl.
Later that day, we heard of the tragedy. Heather's older brother Trey, and Kevin Curnutt (profiled in the video above), were riding their dirtbikes home from Rush Creek Christian Church, down that same trail, and the man that lived in the home next to the trail ambushed them with a shotgun from behind a shed. I never knew Kevin well, but I had known Trey for most of my life. Trey did not survive. For 29 years, I cannot even think of January 25th without thinking of Heather, and what emotion she must have every year on her birthday, what must cross her mind when she hears the words "happy birthday", every January 25th. I have wondered ever since what would have happened if my dad and I had decided to drive down that trail to wish Heather a happy birthday.