Saturday, September 11, 2004


It seems a whole lot longer then 3 years ago. Closer to a life time ago.

11 Sept 01. Tuesday morning I had taken a 2-day job working on a golf course. I forget the technical term for what they were doing to the greens. Once a year they take a machine to the grass that takes plugs of grass out of the ground, then fill the holes with sand. This keeps the grass from getting too tight and allows water the flow through. Mine, and a friend of mine named Chris’s, job was to take snow shovels and scoop up the grass and dirt plugs and put them in the bucket of a bulldozer.

Not my usual type of work, but I need and wanted the distraction. That summer had been awful for me. Had my heartbroken twice over a two-month period by two different women. Ah memories! Was really feeling down on life. Figured a little physical labor job would do me good.
Chris was a good guy, early twenties; just starting to make his was in life. I hadn’t seen him for about 3 weeks, when I had walked out of a job with an HMO for ethical reasons. Chris’s big news was mixed, his girlfriend was pregnant.

We were catching up, scooping dirt on the 3rd hole when a golf cart drives up with water. The guy driving tells us that a plane hit one of the Twin Towers. What do you say to that? Was unbelievable really. He told us he would let us know if he hears more.

Hole 5, He comes out and tells us that a plane hit the second tower also.

Hole 6, The pentagon, and something about a plane crashing in Pennsylvania.

Ok, this is a joke. We are out on the course, no news, phones or radios. This must be the practical joke they play on us. Too outlandish to be true. I was in the navy. When we were out at sea, all the news came through our department. We once started the story that Madonna had died of a drug overdose. Come on! Nothing is funnier then that! Of course, then we notice that there are no airplanes flying over. Weird since the airport is only about 2 miles away…

We all know it was true now. I did not know anyone directly who died that day. Someone’s brother, someone’s friend, lawyer, uncle. I looked up some numbers, called some people from high school and the navy. Called a couple ex’s. I remember the feeling. I have had it before. When the shuttle blew-up. (Midterm exams, high school) When I heard about the Oklahoma bombing. (My brother called, just said turn on the TV) Those don’t compare to the World Trade Center though.

12 Sept 01 Wednesday. Life goes on. I was back on the golf course with Chris. Time to finish the bottom 9 holes. Still seemed really quiet. Chris was in shock. He told me he could not do this.

How he could be out there working, when all those people were dead.
"We don’t have a choice." I told him. "We are still alive."

I never saw Chris again. We talked on the phone a couple times after. I hope he is doing well. I assume he is still trudging through just like the rest of us. Still alive.

I couple weeks ago I was in New York City. I visited ground zero. What hit me most was just the size. The huge expanse. No, I didn’t take pictures. I had enough pictures in my mind of planes flying toward the towers. It easy to put it together.
The impression that bothered me was that people seemed to treat this as some natural disaster, not the location of a mass murder. If I ever go back to NYC I am sure I will visit there again, though. How can I not.


Blogger CarpeDM said...

Everytime I come back to your blog, I read this again. Beth and I were talking about her post about 9/11 and yours and how they both moved me.

This was beautifully written.

6:23 PM  

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Location: Lansing, Michigan, United States

Desert Shield/storm vet. I am the one at work who comes up with the ideas on filling up those non-work hours. (ok, who is up for canoeing this weekend?) After several wrong turns, have finally found the love of my life.

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