September 11, 2020: Anniversary

It doesn't feel like it, but next year will be the 20th. When I was in college I was studying things that happened before I was born. We've come to that time for these kids.

54 thoughts on “September 11, 2020: Anniversary”

  1. September 11th, 2001. I was living in Hartford, SD and working in Sioux Falls. My wife left early that morning for her work. My boy was 2 years old and my baby girl was 7 months old. As I type this I can smell that "baby" smell as I got the kids ready for daycare. My daycare lady had a house on the north side of Sioux Falls. I was about halfway there when I thought to turn on the radio. That was maybe a few minutes after the first plane hit. The reporters on the radio at that time were not sure what caused the explosion. Right before I walked into day care someone mentioned their were some witnesses describing a plane crashing. As I walk down the stairs into the daycare basement I immediately see the juxtaposition of a handful of toddlers crawling around, making noise and playing with toys while my daycare provider sat quietly on the floor riveted to the television. I walked up next to her and asked her what was going on. I have no clue what she said but the video on the TV of the North tower burning shook my world. I started to say something but then saw a second plane enter the picture and watched as it crashed into the South tower. I literally fell to my knees with my daughter in my arms. I was devastated. Soon my parental instincts kicked in. "Should I take by kids back home and bunker down?" I ended up leaving them at daycare and went into work.

    When I got to Granite City Food and Brewery in Sioux Falls, none of my cooks or chefs had heard what happened. I turned the TVs on and a few of us watched the coverage as we set up the bar and dining room. I remember talking to a lot of staff and guests about the tragedy that day, but I can't tell you remotely what we all said. It is all a fog at this point. One thing I do remember in the days and weeks that followed was that we all set our political affiliations aside for a while. Everyone pulled together in the rescue effort. Everyone pulled together to become Americans first. We comforted each other and donated our money and time to help in any way we could. Both sides of the aisle denounced the senseless killing and as a nation we all mourned those lost. Today, more than any "anniversary" day since, I was brought back to 2001. It sure was a different time wasn't it? I remember this past March when the whole pandemic thing started to really go pear shaped. I remember thinking that maybe, just maybe, the one positive of the pandemic would be that as Americans we would come together once more. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.

    My Mom, bless her soul, always said I was an optimist when it came to America and my views on patriotism. I found myself crying as I had these thoughts on my way into work today. My kids are driving their own vehicles to work. One is very progressive and one very conservative and the bickering is so representative of the divide in our country today. How could we have changed as society so much in 19 short years. I cried not for those lost in 9/11, as I have no more tears left in me for that tragedy. No, I cried for those who have been lost since.

    1. I can see the UMD art department hallway, and smell AB Anderson hall when thinking about 9/11. I had an appointment with my mentor to discuss graduate school applications. I sat in his office listening to the radio coverage, and still remember him saying that it wasn’t possible for a plane to strike the towers (I hadn’t been to nyc yet and had no frame of reference). We both wept when the reporting of the second plane started pouring in.

      I went home and watched the coverage for hours and hours and hours. I can still hear a roommate of ours saying that we’d forget about this in short order. That kid wasn’t very bright, but he paid rent on time.

      I too had the hopes that 911 would result in a greater unification of the country, but alas I was not so bright.

    2. FZ-ish SelectShow
      1. Fair enough. I should have probably stated something to the affect that a good chunk of Americans came together including leaders from both parties. You are correct. "Everyone" is extreme at the least.

    3. I have some thoughts drawn from long observation and contemplation on why we've become so divided as a country, but they are not kind and they not for this forum. I remember running late the morning of 9/11. Got parked at the Lawson building, got my coffee, booted up my laptop and was answering emails when the woman in the next cube told me a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My first thought was it had to be an accident, a small plane, probably, maybe the pilot had a medical condition and passed out. Then we heard it was a commercial jet that and I had the same reaction, it had to be an accident. At that point a few of us went down to the cafe to watch, and as we were watching the second plane hit. I don't know if I can describe that moment, but it was like the world slipped on its axis and was suddenly taking a new and uncertain trajectory. We were still watching the coverage when my cell phone rang and I had to run upstairs to meet with my boss. After that things were a blur. We had about 200 people in the air that morning and our first job was tracking them all down. Eventually the local media started calling because our long anticipated IPO was scheduled for the following week and I spend the rest of the day dealing with them. Our underwriter was Lehman Brothers. Their building was destroyed when the towers fell. Our CEO and CFO were supposed to be in that building that morning, but they had postponed their meeting by a day so our CFO could watch his middle-school son play a football game. The IPO went off three months later, but by then the tech market had already started a pretty steep slide and would never be the same again.

      1. States ranked in order of how long I lived there:
        Minnesota
        Wisconsin (When I was 4 and 24)
        Florida (When I was 10 and 22)
        South Dakota (When I was 34,35)
        California (When I was 0 to 0.75)

        1. California (grad school in SD, NorCal since 2000)
          Minnesota (2-college graduation)
          Illinois
          Nebraska (0-2)
          Maryland/Va (each ~1 year, between college and grad school)
          DC (a summer before I moved to Maryland)

          Not counting the summer before 10th grade we spent in Colorado while my dad went to a summer school program.

          1. California (since 2001)
            Minnesota (0.5-18)
            Wisconsin (4 years of college)
            Iowa (0-0.5)

            I also spent a year where my wife (and newborn son...that was quite a year) lived in Georgia full time, while I stayed in Cali and traveled to visit them about every other weekend. So I didn't live there full time, but was close enough to residing there that I still get phone calls trying to get me to vote for local Georgia candidates.

  2. Runner daughter surprised me with a gift certificate to the LCS* and a few Twins cards (including a Garver autograph) in my birthday card. She said there were a few people in the shop when she bought them, and when the owner said they were "for the Twins guy" they all nodded and "oh, him!" It's not exactly Cheers, but we do have a few regulars.

    *local card shop

      1. I'm glad I have access to "loose cards" and don't have to try buy boxes on the aftermarket -- the prices are ridiculous. I can still collect as a hobby. I have a nice set of folks on The Bench website that I trade with, but so many there (and everywhere, actually) are only trading for hot prospects.

        1. I have a friend who's gotten into the hobby sets and whatnot over the past year or so. It is truly crazy.

          On the other hand, he ends up with a lot of common trash cards, which he donates to Newbish. I still like getting Newbish the occasional pack, but it's nice that he's got a fairly nice collection now. We organized them the other night and had a blast.

          1. One of my pet peeves is that some sets include short print variations (different photos or color differences, etc) and don't identify them on the cards themselves; God knows how many of these are sitting lost within a box of commons

  3. Mrs. Twayn and I flew a Minneapolis-based value airline when we went to Washington last week, and it was okay on the way out, everyone wore masks (we had some N95s for the flights) and complied with the rules and there were a lot of empty seats. When we checked in for the return flight the passenger load looked about the same, but when we got to the airport we found out that they had cancelled a 4:30 flight and were filling up our 6:20 flight, so we were packed in like Vienna sausages. A few seats ahead of us was an allegedly blonde woman who wore a mask made out of mesh that let her technically comply with the face covering rule but had zero prophylactic effect in containing her airborne spittle. I asked a few people who got bumped from the earlier flight why it was cancelled and they told me the the airline wouldn't say, just that the airplane was not available. But hey, risking your life is always exciting, even when it's just to optimize shareholder value.

    1. As weird as it may sound, an airplane is one of the safest enclosed spaces to be right now because of the low amount time for total air exchange. This dates back to a flight where 70% of people got the flu from one other passenger due to turning off ventilation while waiting on the tarmac. Now, having a full flight and people embracing the death part of the death cult negates some of that.

      1. They do tout the HEPA filter ventilation systems in their marketing materials and we took all the common sense precautions so I'm not really worried. We did notice in Seattle that everyone wears masks indoors and outdoors, but they were hit real hard by the virus early on so all the people there got the wake-up call.

  4. I've got a fairly sizable number of ghost peppers (about twenty or so). I was not expecting so many of them.

    So now....what do I do with these nearly inedible things? I'm going to make a curry this weekend that I will hopefully be able to eat. I was thinking about infusing some vodka with a couple (hat tip to Pepper!), but....that leaves me with about fifteen left. I've already made more than enough salsa for the year. Maybe hot sauce? Does anyone have a tried and true recipe for that or something else that would work well with that kind of heat?

    I love habaneros (and have probably forty or so of those -- it was a very good year for peppers in the nibbish garden), but I find the sheer potency of the Bhut Jolokia a little intimidating (while also not wanting to waste something that I planted, tended, and harvested).

        1. Yeah, I never did any of that in the past but lately I have been sourcing eggs, Bison, Elk, foraged mushrooms, and various produce from local farmers. With our volume, I would never be able to go too heavy on farm to table, but I do when I can. In terms of Nibbish and his peppers I am thinking for home. I make a mean enchilada sauce that I use when I make Mexican Lasagna (which is basically an enchilada in lasagna form). I am also thinking adding some into my homemade BBQ sauce.

            1. If you can spare a few of both I would take them. I will remember next time I have excess of the following next summer:

              Rhubarb, Raspberries, Concord Grapes, Jalapenos and whichever herbs grow well next year.

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