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Monday, September 11, 2006

Where Was I

Unlike some of my friends, I didn’t start blogging until quite some time after the September 11 attacks. When I did start, more than a year had passed and so, too, had the impression to write anything about it.

Fast forward to today, and everyone’s talking about where they were when they got the news. Ergo, here’s my tale.

My nephew was born September 6, 2001. My brother and his wife live in Washington State, and my parents and I had flown out there that following weekend to see the new baby and finally enjoy a visit to the state that wasn’t all tied up with wedding obligations.

Tuesday morning came. Right about 7 a.m., I was understandably very much still asleep in the hotel room when my cell phone rang, waking up me and my parents. It was the secretary at my office home who knew I was out on the west coast and had decided if I wasn’t already awake to watch the news, I’d want to be awakened to know. I remember thinking (but not saying) “this better be pretty damned important.” Little did I know how important it was.

As I said, it was about 7 a.m. or 10 a.m. eastern time. I don’t remember exactly when we got the TV on, but as I think now, the secretary probably called just after the south tower collapsed, so I didn’t see that, nor the second plane crash—at least not live.

Well, I don’t remember for absolute certain, but I believe we were supposed to have returned around the weekend of the 16th. But what I do remember is that with our originally scheduled flight completely cancelled, the only flight we had any chance of making came with two problems. 1) we could obtain no solid guarantee that we wouldn’t have to endure being forcibly bumped from that flight or that it wouldn’t also be cancelled. 2) none of us were sure we even wanted to fly back anyway.

Even if we had taken this substitute flight, it would have put us back home about the same time as if we’d simply rented a one-way car and drove back. So drive, we did. And we got home…I think on the 20th.

Though it was a horribly long time to spend in a little Oldsmobile Alero, a couple of good things came out of the trip. For one, I was able to cross several more states off my list of having been visited. All I have left is North Dakota, Alaska, and Hawaii. We also arrived in Rapid City at a reasonable enough time to spend a little while at Mount Rushmore—though I want to someday go back when the light is better-suited for photographs. I also convinced my parents to stop for the night in Nebraska City early- to mid-afternoon and to let me use the rental car to trek over to Lincoln where my friend, Andy, was living at the time. It was the only time I ever got to visit him at that location.

That’s about it. While Tuesday itself was pretty much entirely spent firstly watching TV in the hotel room with my parents, then, if memory serves, going to my brother’s for a late lunch and continuing to watch the news there. We hadn’t planned much touristy stuff since the trip was all about seeing the new baby. I did, however, stick to my plan to drive down to Portland to meet up with a friend I’d known online. We went to the zoo and to Pittock Mansion.

Maybe being in Washington State—so distant from New York—possibly dulled the intense reality of what happened. Sure I was upset and emotional to see it all, but I can’t honestly say that I was anywhere close to the debilitating anger and emotion that I’d seen in others.

Where were you?

» Posted by ALBj at 04:25 PM (ET)
Category: Journal


This is what I wrote last year:

» Posted by chris
September 11, 2006 05:44 PM

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