Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Deja You!

Funny thing, I have been working on a draft post called "Date Yourself", I was trying to find some questions I would answer, and in turn ask my visitors to on their blogs that would show a little something about our age, tastes, upbringing. For example, "First R Rated Movie, First Album You Bought, First TV show (non-cartoon) you had to watch, MASH....First run episodes or syndication". Anyway I was working on that when Joe at The Internet Ate My Homework did something similar but much more serious. So without further ado I answer Joe's questions and suggest you copy and do the same, and thank Joe for a great pondering!!!!

Where were you when the space shuttle Challenger exploded? January 28, 1986.

I was in High School at the time, Sophomore. It was a snow day and I was at my friend Kevin Brown's house. We were both Shuttle 'geeks' and he had a Home Computer (rare at the time) and we were playing The Art of War on it. When we saw the time we turned on the TV to see if they were going to televise the launch when we saw the explosion. We stared for a moment thinking that the Solid Rocker Boosters had exploded and the shuttle had broke free but it was not to be. I can't remember how long we sat there but soon it was dark out and the nation in mourning. I bought many papers that next day, I had several scrap books of every shuttle launch from the first sub-orbital test flight to this one and looking back on those books the Challenger was the last Shuttle I ever documented. I still watched the shuttle launches till last year and even stopped the remote on the NASA channel and listened to the neverending beeps and chatter as our Shuttle fleet orbited the earth. I even did a link up with the shuttle several years ago when a local man became an astronaut and got his first flight. But Challenger hit me like nothing ever did, till September 11th, 2001.

Where were you when the Oklahoma City Federal Building was bombed? April 19, 1995.

This one was difficult. I was working for CBS in Rochester on the night shift, I remember puttin my 2 year old down for a nap and then flipping on the TV to take a break. It was already all over the news and I flipped up and down the channels for complete coverage. Two things stick out during the whole thing. First was that all the networks blamed Islamic extremists at first, something the apologized for when the truth was revealed but something I think lead to the ease with which some of the 9/11 terrorists took advantage of (Authority's fear of "racial profiling" backlash). The second was more personal and can touch me even today. The picture of the Firefighter holding the limp dead body of the young girl. As a Director I saw that picture every day, 2,3, hell as much as five or six times a day and in the end I just couldn't look at it. At one time a co-worker walked in to Sub-control while I had it punched up in a monitor and couldn't ake my eyes off of it. She called my name (thankfully) and brought me out of my haze. Thank God for her, 2 more minutes and I would have been a blubbering wreak.

Where were you when the world trade centers were attacked? September 11, 2001.

I was directing the morning newscast for the NBC affiliate in Rochester, NY. It was time for the local newsbreak at the top of the hour when the Today Show cut to the Twin Towers, one ablaze. With little warning we did a quick 2 minute local newsbreak and I made the call to go back to the Today Show even though we were supposed to air Live with Regis and Kelly. Little did I know that we were to stay with the network for several days. Much of that day is a blur, I remember calling my father, who knew several people who were killed that day, and asking about his company's office in the Towers, calling my brother who lived in the shadow of the Sears Tower in Chicago, calling my aunt and asking about my cousin who was an EMT in NYC and my uncle who worked for Amtrak in Mid-Town Manhattan, my grandmother who had worked there and lived within site of the skyline since she came here from Italy, calling my wife to tell her to turn on the TV and see the accident at the Towers, then calling her again to tell her about the 2nd aircraft, then the 3rd time when she yelled at me for scaring the shit out of her when I told her about the Pentagon attack. Trying to explain to my son what evil really is and what the Towers ment to America, New York and me. Talking to my mother-in-law as they fled downtown Manhattan after getting rained out of Yankee stadium the night before. They awoke early and thought about sight-seeing and hitting the Towers and the Statue of Liberty before heading home to upstate New York when they decided to just beat the northbound traffic and leave. No one was crossing the bridge into Manhattan when they left and traffic was non-existent as they were one of the last to make it over the bridge before it was closed to automobiles..........random thoughts, jumbled conversations, mixed emotions, running at full steam and just so tired you could sleep standing up; how I wrote this was how I still see it in my head, and will forever.


This has been sitting in my draft bin for several days as I tried to reorganize this last event and came to the conclusion that it is as organized as I think I will ever get it. Please copy and paste these 3 events and comment on them on your blog. I would love it if you comment here so I can read your version and make your you hit Joe with a thanks for the idea.......


At 7:53 PM, Blogger Brent said...

For whatever reason I put off reading this until tonight. At first glance I knew what it was about, but just didn't want to read about it. So now I have, and just reading your words brings back all the shock of the shuttle disaster and 9/11. For some reason, the bombing in Oklahoma never really hit me hard. But the other two I remember with brilliant clarity, and will til the day I die.

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Julie said...

Thanks, very interesting...I've talked about them plenty but I don't think I have ever writen about these before. Here are my answers.


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