Like everyone else, I remember exactly where I was

It was deadline day for the two weekly newspapers I worked for. There was a special election going on to replace the late Joe Moakley in Congress. I was already behind in my stories.

I had a full day of interviews, election coverage, and writing ahead of me. The day began earlier than most for me.

I had an 8:30 meeting with a man I had never met before and knew going in I would never see again.This is typical in the news business. It was for a story on the recovery process for contaminated groundwater in a residential neighborhood. We met in the dining room of a Cape-style house that the contaminating company had bought from the owners. Coincidentally we joked about that house being “ground zero” for the clean-up effort.

Towards the end of the discussion, the guy’s phone rang. He spoke a few sentences of surprise. Hung up the phone and said, “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center.” We were both stunned.

I got into my car and tuned into WBZ radio, and listened. The first images I saw came when I went to another stranger’s house. Her son had died a few days earlier in a motorcycle accident. She had it on her TV, and the second tower hadn’t been hit yet.

My next stop was home to let the dog out. That’s where I had the chance to turn on the TV and get a look at what was going on. By then the second tower was hit an all air traffic had been ordered grounded. I watched both towers fall live.

The rest of the day was a blur. I remember saying to a local high school principal that the towers collapsed. He was incredulous. Of course he was also trying to manage the information stream coming to his 14-18-year-olds.

We finished the day with election results and a never-before-felt sense of vulnerability.

In the weeks and months that passed, I came to know many people who were affected. I met a woman whose fourth child was born a month after her husband perished on one the planes. I had friend whose aunt was in the South Tower and she escaped.

I have visited Ground Zero a few times in the years since, and I have to say I’ve always been stunned at the feeling around it. There’s a bustling city around it, and an active construction site, but it still maintains a sense of quiet and peace. If only we could achieve the same as a nation.


So, this is my new blog. Snazzy, right? Stay tuned for good stuff.

I’ve had other blogs before, including one that had quite a following when I lived in Boston. It probably would’ve been one of those that turned into a book at some point if I kept at it, but it became irrelevant after I moved away in 2006.

Then, of course, are the false starts. The blogs I’ve spent a lot of time making look nice, but failing on content.

So, after a 4-year hiatus, I’m back to blogging with the added bonus of writing posts from my Blackberry and my iPad.

For anyone who is wondering, this blog is powered by WordPress, and the first install is version 3.0. The theme is a free one called Chocotheme. I like how it kind of looks like either a Moleskine or a Franklin Planner.

Well, that is all for now. The dinner I’m cooking while writing this post on my phone is almost done. Pork chops, corn and mashed potatoes. Yum.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.