Consider this the first Tri-Weekly Havok episode. Now, we had a 9/11 episode planned as part of our regularly scheduled programming. But I did this solo recording for two reasons: I really wanted to post something that would go out on 9/11 itself especially on a 9/11 as significant as this one and I didn’t want to detract from our roundtable by diving too deeply into my personal 9/11 experiences. Thanks for indulging me in both the excruciatingly specific details and the vague recollections.
Have a listen here.
I really dropped the ball on some parts of my 9/11 story, so I’ll try to make amends here. It’s a damn shame since both are positive notes.
First, I mentioned that, on September 10th, I was supposed to work the graveyard shift at a law firm – Brown and Wood – which was located on the upper floors of one of the Towers. I also mentioned that I thought of the folks there as the towers were coming down. What I failed to mention was that, days later, I found out that every single employee of Brown and Wood survived the collapse – except one secretary who ran back up the stairs to retrieve her purse. As I say, I never enjoyed working at Brown and Wood, but I was relieved that they were alive and I was free to remember that I never much cared for the work environment there.
Second, I talked about scooping up cellphones that people dropped in their panic to escape down West Broadway. I should mention that I returned the cellphones to a local store a few days later and they were able to track down the owners – if I remember right, this was something a lot of cellphone stores were doing at the time to help out in the wake of 9/11. The store even called me to report back their gratitude that someone had retrieved their phone.
This leads me to the last point that I really should have made on the show. In the days and weeks following 9/11, New York City was different than it has ever been before or since. It was like small town America. To ride the subway in the days following, everyone made eye contact, everyone smiled and said hellos and how are yous to each other. We all had a shared experience and it was a close bond. One that did not hold, obviously. But it was special and we all knew it was special, I think. The moments of Rudy Giuliani touring Ground Zero, President Bush speaking at Ground Zero, and throwing out the first pitch of the World Series, were special moments for New Yorkers. I remember seeing the first NFL game on TV and watching Ricky Watters of the Seattle Seahawks run onto the field waving an American flag with tears running down his face. We have come a long way since then. For better or worse. Maybe more of the latter than the former.
Not mentioned on the show, but crucially important right now: