The Saturday Six are just six observations, wisecracks or comments on an issue which comes to mind.
Today’s Saturday Six is about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 which were commemorated yesterday:
1. On the morning of September 11 I was driving a silver rental Cavalier since my grand old 1984 Buick Park Avenue (called Eleanor) had kicked the bucket days before. That morning I saw my new future car, Edie, at Golden Mile in Scarborough.
2. I watched the day’s events unfold, as the two towers first smoked and then crumbled, on a small black and white television in the “bullpen” of my old newsroom at Etobicoke Life.
3. When the final tower crumbled I was seated on the edge of my desk, the bullpen full with all the employees of our independent paper, watching it all. We were mesmerized, astounded, scared and in disbelief.
4. After the final tower crumbled, silence filled the room and then I remember our columnist Ray Panavas saying, “jesus, what about the firefighters and the cops?” Our eyes locked as the final syllable left his mouth. Then silence as that realization kicked in.
5. The phone call in the afternoon from a local councillor, there were people from Etobicoke in the towers, one man was Ken Basnicki – covering his and his family’s storyline in the subsequent days, especially walking up the small path to his home and my first the talk with his wife Maureen would change me forever. She handed me a framed photo of her husband in which he proudly sits on top of his beloved Harley, smiling…proud. She was wearing a blue dress and her blue eyes and face told a story I struggled to capture in words. I remember her telling me that her daughter Erica was going to study to be a journalist, she sat quietly on the couch, far away in the moment and justifiably so.
6. The night of Sept. 11, before I headed home I met up with a friend in the area and we just sat quietly in the parking lot of Etobiocoke city hall. We listened to the radio quietly and when we did talk, it was about the work we did that day among the chaos and the sense that everything had changed. A sense of comfort filled the car, we needed to reach out and just be with someone before our long, lonely rides home to be with our families. I listened to Nirvana Unplugged on that drive home because I just could not listen to the news anymore.