What follows is a post for a blog that I wrote September 11 2007.
I had one of those “Twilight Zone” moments yesterday morning. After I had dropped my girls off at school, my plan was to head straight into the office. I had a ton of work piled up, and I thought that I would skip breakfast and just get these tasks knocked out.
But, the growling in my stomach and a quick check of the time convinced me that it would be a better idea to go ahead and grab some breakfast. Besides, nothing helps to alleviate stress like bacon and a chance to read the entire newspaper.
So I pulled into Lucy’s Diner, and I grabbed some quarters out of my ashtray. On my way in, I put my change into the USA Today box. There was one newspaper left. And I looked at the date. September 11. Up until that moment, I had not even thought about what day it was.
That’s when I realized that this was the exact same routine I had followed on the morning of the 9/11 attack.
In 2001, Lucy’s was called Ron’s Country Boy. (Same place, same food, though.) And I had just dropped my girls, who were both in elementary school, off for the day. And I remember feeling pressured about the amount of work needing to be done. And I remember reacting to the feeling by deciding to head out for breakfast.
As I walked into Ron’s on 09/11/01, everyone was gathered around the counter. The radio was blasting the local talk radio station (KFRU) louder than normal. So I grabbed a booth and started to look at my USA Today.
I don’t remember if someone asked me, or if I asked someone else what was going on with the radio. But I do remember learning that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. I wondered if it was a small commuter plane, or a larger commercial plane. I wondered what kind of mechanical malfunction could cause such a catastrophic loss of control over a plane.
Then the news came about the second plane. The second hit. And reports of an attack in Washington D.C.
My brain and my heart wanted to reject what I was hearing. I thought about the incident in the 1930’s when H.G. Wells War of the Worlds was broadcast over the radio. People panicked because they thought that the radio play was actually happening.
But – this really was happening. And nothing would ever be the same.
So as I went into Lucy’s to get my breakfast yesterday morning, I made sure not to sit in the same booth.
Come to think of it, I never have sat in that booth again…