This five-post article was originally posted on Dean’s World.
I work in New York City. That morning I was late on the way into the office. I had to stop off at what was then called the “AT & T Phone Store” to replace my cell phone. I chose the one just off Sixth Avenue in Midtown, near the subway stop before the one I usually got off at. This was around 53rd Street — a good two and a half miles north of the financial district, if you don’t know New York.
It was a very bright, pretty day — I remember noticing this as I got out of the subway. I went into the store and found a clerk, and he was showing me the different models. And then his own cell phone, clipped onto his belt at the hip, rang. He asked me to pardon him, and took the call. Then he hung up and came back to the counter.
“My wife. A plane crashed into the World Trade Center!”
“Oh, gosh,” I said. I thought of the time during World War II when a bomber returning from Europe slammed into the Empire State Building. “What a disaster.” I had taken my family to the observatory at the Twin Towers just a couple of weeks earlier, to look at the whole world from the top of a building. The salesman and I shared a “tsk” and chose a phone, and completed our transaction.
I decided to walk over the Fifth Avenue, where my office was at the time. Two “avenue” blocks, about ten minutes of a walk, into the Rolex Building on 53rd and Fifth.
I went into the entrance on 53rd, through the cool marble lobby, up to the 12th floor, where my office was at the time. The elevator opened into our library, and the receptionist looked up.
“Did you hear?” she asked?
“About the accident at the World Trade Center?” I asked.
“Both buildings — another plane!”
This was not an accident.
I walked past her to my office overlooking 53rd Street and switched on the radio.
This was something altogether different.
Part two here.