Jimmie Boyd's television set blared news of the war Wednesday night. But Boyd, consumed with tragedy at home, was numb to the violence abroad.
Boyd's youngest child was being buried Thursday.Jimmie Luke Boyd Jr. was one of three teens fatally crushed by a crowd smitten with the music of AC/DC during a concert in the Salt Palace last week.
Each was pinned at the bottom of a pile of fans who fell on top of one another when they rushed the stage as the band launched into the song "Thunder Struck."
The three - Boyd of Salt Lake City, Curtis Child of Logan and Elizabeth Glausi, a Brigham Young University student from Eugene, Ore. - became part of many parents' worst nightmares.
"He was such an innocent kid. Never caused any problems - no drugs, nothing," a distraught Boyd said of his namesake, whom he affectionately calls "Junior" or "J.J."
A typical playful teen who loved sports, wrestling, television and music is how Boyd described his son - who, like other youths, was struggling to grow up. Afflicted by meningitis as a child, Junior was behind academically. Hours spent locating a proper school for the husky teen in need of elementary instruction had proven fruitless.
But Junior was content to stay home during the search, cleaning the house and working side-by-side with his mother, Betty, in the family's kitchen. He loved to eat. Pizza and barbecued food were his favorites.
And he loved his family.
Eight members of the family, including Boyds' daughter, son-in-law and their two children, shared Boyds' humble inner-city apartment. Each was looking forward to celebrating Junior's 14th birthday.
J.J. had attended Salt Palace concerts before. But never alone. Siblings and cousins took him to see a Metallica concert several months ago. But family funds had been tight lately, and Boyd, an auto mechanic, could spring for only one ticket this time.
He had done so reluctantly.
"At the last minute he asked for money to go. I told him `no,' but he got upset and changed my mind," Boyd said. Part of Junior's birthday money went for a general-admission ticket to the rock concert.
The rest was to be used to buy a guitar.
"Jimmie never asked for the guitar. I never told him (about it) either. We were going to surprise him on Saturday."
But the guitar was never purchased; the birthday party never held.
Within hours after Boyd frantically circled the Salt Palace in search of his son, two policemen arrived at his home.
Early Saturday morning, Jimmie and Betty Boyd identified the body of their deceased son at the University of Utah Hospital.
Like families of the other youths killed, he plans to get legal counsel.
"Something has got to be done. I'm not just going to let this happen. I am not the type of guy who just lets things go."