First time diary poster, but this meant so much to me that I hope others can appreciate it. And I hope those who were at Michigan during this date can relate. I would also love to hear others' accounts of what they were doing when they heard the news.
The day had an ominous feel to it. I woke up in my dorm in Mary Markley Hall, went and got ready in the community bathrooms, and walked to my "History of the 1960's" discussion in Mason Hall -all the while my mind was focused on one thing, and one thing only: #1 v.s. #2, my first Michigan - Ohio State game of my college career (little did I know how that whole thing would turn out). I was slightly hungover, but this was back in the day where I could play ten rounds of beer pong and wake up and still make it to my 8:30 classes. Before class started I picked up a copy of the Michigan Daily and read about the historical implications of the impending game that was approximately 26 hours away.
It was the peak of my life thusfar. I was living the only real dream I had ever had: getting in to the University of Michigan and going there. The friends I had made in 2nd Elliot Hall in Markley and I were inseperable. We drank about 4 times a week and had a blast exploring our new world - Ann Arbor. House parties were a new world to us. Girls were everywhere. I had no worries about finding a girl to settle down with, about finding a stable career, about any serious problems in my life, really. The tailgate scene down frat row seemed to be the heaven my 18 your old self had dreamed about for years. Better yet, we had yet no witness a Michigan loss during our college careers, as the Wolverines were a perfect 11-0 heading into the Game.
My GSI rambled on about the Black Panther Party, or Women's Rights, or Dylan... I don't know which, because all I could think about during that discussion section was what it might mean if Michigan would beat Ohio State the next day: my life would be perfect.
I walked out of class, through the diag, over the bridge and back to my dormitory, probably walking on airs with giddy anticipation for the weekend that would define my life thusfar. I walked into my hall and chatted with the guys who had just become my family away from home, my best friends. I stepped into my room, decorated with a unique combination of Michigan paraphenalia and alcohol posters that were cool when you were a freshman. And then it happened.
I don't really remember how I saw it. Maybe it was a website. Maybe it was that little ticker across the bottom of ESPN. But I saw it clearly. "Bo Schembechler has passed away".
I remember vaguely walking to the room next door to me, where the one person who I would consider rivaled me in Michigan fandom (a Rudy-esque type of guy who walked onto the football team but never saw the field - one of the best guys I've ever met), lived. I think we both kind of looked at eachother in disbelief. We didn't know whether to hug eachother or what. After that I walked around in a bit of a daze. I decided I needed some fresh air.
I went for a long walk that Friday afternoon. I decided to walk through the graveyard adjacent to Mary Markley Hall (little did I know that would be where Bo would be buried). I thought about home. I thought about my childhood. I started to cry, and I didn't really know why. I never knew Bo, never was a fan during his coaching tenure. But it was like a grandfather had passed away. I looked at the tombstones around me and just felt sad.
It would be too sentimental to say that was the moment my childhood truly ended, but things were certainly different after that - the easy-going world around me slowly started to disappear.