Sunday, February 26, 2006

Touched by Terror

Today is the anniversary of the first bombing of the World Trade Centers. Back in 1993 I was in Newark, NJ walking through the bar at the Ramada when I saw the images of smoke coming out of the tower. I was there as part of a meeting and was about to head back north to New Paltz. I quickly found a pay phone and called my Mom to find out where my Dad was. My dad worked in Tower 1 on the 69th floor.

Rewind... my Dad got a job with the Port Authority back in 1966, I forget where he worked in the first years, but when they began to build the World Trade Centers his office was moved there. I know he was working there in the unfinished building, because family legend says that it was my mom's fear of going up in the unfinished upper floors that helped induce labor for my birth. So I have had a personal connection with the towers right from the start. Growing up we used concrete cylinders that came from the construction trash of the towers to hold open doors in the summer.

I went and visited my dad at least once on every school vacation up until high school, and even when I was in college I would sometimes take the bus down to NYC and meet up with him. Trips to the observation deck were a must and he always had tickets to the observation deck in his desk drawer so we could jump the line and get right to the elevator. I even had the opportunity to sleep on the observation deck as part of a special Boy Scout "camping" experience. After the bombing in 1993 it became a little harder to just pop in and see my dad, however us sharing the same name, did have its advantages.

I met my wife in college and whenever we saw the towers as we were driving, on a plane or train, we would always joke and wave to my dad. My dad retired from the Port Authority in January of 2001, and one of my last memories of the inside of the towers was that snowy night as my wife and I made our way through the lobby carrying a six foot ladder wrapped in fabric. It wasn't some sort of Christo project, we gave him a ladder for his retirement.

The towers were always a landmark and coming out of the subway I always looked for the towers I knew they we southeast on the island and depending where I was going I knew to walk towards or away from them. The last time I saw them was about a month before they fell as I was in NYC for a gift show. Banned Song List

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