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Today in My History

2000:  A Critic is Born
2001:  In Transit
2002:  Nine Eleven
2003:  Alfred, Is That You?
2004:  The Albatross
2005:  Pepper
2006:  
I'm the Dominatrix, That's Why
2007: Musically Handicapped

2008: When Pigs Fly (Or Not)
2009:
Mad Men
2010:  Thanks, Everyone


Bitter Hack
Updated: 8/24
"Miss Saigon"


Books Read in 2011
 
Updated: 9/2
"Stolen Life"
(Jaycee Dugard)


VIDEO OF THE DAY/WEEK


The Big 9-2 from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

On You Tube


Most Recent on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

Butterflies Alive!
Jocelyn's Shower


Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

My Compassion Kids

Postcrossing Postcards

The Pen Pal Project

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Click above to help sponsor Walt in an ALS walk.  He is a "designated walker" for someone who had signed up and then can't participate, but Walt's good friend Bill Cunningham died of ALS and he was more than happy to do the walk.  Let me show him that my readers are stsanding behind him!  (The name on the account is Lion-Carlos Carvajal and the team is the Yolo Sunset Lions Club).  Thanks!!!

"DID YOU HEAR?"

11 September, 2011

We were in transit and arrived in London on 9/11/01.   This is what I wrote the morning of 9/12...

It's a weird feeling being in a foreign country when tragedy strikes at home.
We had a lovely (if bumpy) flight over to Heathrow, arriving at noon, taking the bus in to our hotel. We met the manager of the hotel, who apologized for our bad experiences last time, told us he had left chocolates and a teddy bear for us in our room, gave us his name and told us where we could find him if we had problems. And we just had to wait till the room was ready.

While we were sitting there, some Americans came in and I overheard them saying something about a problem at the World Trade Center. But I wasn't sure what had happened.

When we got to our room, we turned on the TV and began to watch the horror unfolding. It just didn't seem possible. We watched the panic in the streets.

We heard the British news reports, which eventually became local. Tony Blair was coming back from a conference early to meet with his advisors. They had shut down the government buildings.

We needed American news. We found CNN.

Where did Ron work? Didn't remember. Did he work near the World Trade Center?

We watched for 2 hrs until time to meet Ellen and Rob for dinner.

We came downstairs and gave the key to the desk clerk. He smiled. In the background I could hear news reports.

We walked out onto the street, still in a daze. But this was London. People were going on about their business. I remember leaving my office after JFK was shot...the hush in the streets, everyone talking about it. None of that here.

We passed a news stand with two signs, one atop the other. The first said "Hundreds feared dead in NY Terror Attack" and the other said "Thousands feared dead in NY Terror Attack."

It was rush hour and the people passed by without noticing. Blaring headlines are nothing new in this country.

All around us were British accents. I strained desperately for an American. "Did you hear?" I had to ask.

Where were the Americans?

We rode the tube and an announcement came over the loudspeaker "If you are flying to the US or Canada, you must call your airline before you leave."

It was very warm in the tube and I remembered how hot this country keeps its indoors. I remembered the man who talked about helping someone whose skin had been burned off.

Brits carried newspapers, but nobody seemed to be reading them.

Where were the Americans? I needed to ask "Did you hear?"

We walked along the corridors and the heat made it difficult to breathe easily. What was it like to breathe in all that black smoke?

We finally met Ellen and Rob. Rob had a newspaper and we compared notes. They had heard when they were touring the Tower of London. We shared information.

A couple of older British women sat at the table next to us. One opened a paper. "Oh my goodness!" she exclaimed. She heard our accents.

"Did you hear...?" they asked.

We talked about the horror, the tragedy, and our fears. Ellen and Rob reported their problems in the tube because of an "incident" at the Embankment station which closed the tube temporarily.

We left dinner and made our way to a bus stop. By now there were more locals looking at headlines in horror and asking "Did you hear?"

We came to the cybercafe so I could let people know we were OK and so I could find out if Ron was OK (he is). All around me are Americans sending notes home to loved homes. "We're OK--are you?" the messages say.

Suddenly I don't want to be here. I want to be home. But there are no flights going to the US, so we will stay here and look for Americans and ask, "Did you hear...?"

It's a surreal day.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

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Walt's sister's stepdaughter with husband and new baby, Charlotte ("Charlie")
Congratulations to all!

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