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Sep 12, 2018 01:29AM
A little boy for whom I was a jr. counselor at day camp--he was a guitar prodigy who taught me some barre chords, and I helped him with reading--grew up to work in one of the towers, and was killed on 9/11. I found this out a year later, when they were reciting the names at what was still Ground Zero, and I recognized his instantly--it's not a common surname. The NYTimes had a section of tributes to each of the victims--and when I saw the photo, even with the receding hairline & mustache, I knew it was him. When his fiancee described how much he loved playing reggae & blues guitar, that clinched it.
On the morning of 9/11:
We had been using our first HDTV as a giant alarm clock. The Today show was on, and they were discussing Michael Jordan's return to basketball, so I pulled out my earplugs and sat up to watch. Suddenly, they cut to a woman in the street saying "I think it was a small plane..." Then a sickening shot of the North tower in flames, and then every reporter on the network came on. As the coverage went on, I saw the second plane appear, cross the screen, and hit the South tower. I called my boss and told him I wasn't going to the status call we had scheduled at court at the Daley Center--I said I was pretty sure that court would be cancelled that morning. Turns out they evacuated the building and even the CTA elevated trains stopped running.
I called my sister in Arlington, VA--we'd grown up in Brooklyn and watched the WTC's foundations being dug. We'd gathered in NYC each year and had family holiday brunches at Windows on the World. We were talking when there was this rumbling noise in the background. "Hold on," she said, "there's a plane flying really low and I can't hear you." Less than a couple minutes later, NBC cut to the DC feed and reported an explosion at the Pentagon. My sister said she had to go retrieve my niece from kindergarten--she had several classmates whose parents worked at the Pentagon. (Miraculously, none of them were there that day). Her house is in a direct line between Dulles & Reagan.
My friend who worked at a suburban weekly paper called--their newsroom had only a B&W antenna TV; could I fill her in on what was happening? I described what I was seeing--and it looked like the South tower was bending. The commentators noted that and said it must be an optical illusion. Just then, the tower collapsed.
The school sec'y at Gordy's school called to say that classes were being dismissed early--could I pick some of Gordy's friends up and take them home until their folks got home from work? We all piled into our Taurus and I turned on the radio to the rock station we always listened to (WXRT). All the DJs were on the air, not playing music but instead discussing the day's events and taking live calls from anyone who wanted to talk.
Four days later I had a show scheduled in Madison, WI. UW had cancelled all events for the weekend. I called the coffeehouse and asked if the show was still on. "We need music more than ever," came the reply. I drove up I-90, underneath a blue sky empty of anything but a few birds--we were so used to no air traffic by then that every bird at first looked ominous till we realized they were alive.
Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters....
9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
9/23/2015 Lumpectomy: Right
11/2/2015 3DCRT: Breast
12/31/2015 Femara (letrozole)