Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you on Sept. 11, 9 years ago?

Where were you on September 11, nine years ago today?

I was in Myrtle Beach on vacation. The night before we had all watched the 11 p.m. news out of Florence, S. C. because the anchorwoman there was the step-daughter of a South Carolina knifemaker.

I had met her earlier at the New York Custom Knife Show. Among the drab, dressed-down, dark-clad New Yorkers here came this vivacious cute Southern girl in a bright red dress. It was a striking comparison.

Dave Culpepper was guiding a group of friends, makers and their families around New York, through the South Street Seaport, and some other sites, and as we were seated the cute girl in the red dress was across the table from me. I discovered she was studying communications at Clemson, and as was my field, we enjoyed a nice conversation, and continued chatting as we followed Dave around New York that evening.

After that night I would usually ask the knifemaker’s wife how her daughter was doing, and from her I learned her daughter had graduated, gotten a job, and advanced her career until she was an anchorwoman in Florence, S. C.

So on Sept. 10 I was able to watch her on the 11 p.m. news.

It was still on that station the next morning. I walked into the room a few moments after the newsfeed started showing the smoke coming from the first tower.

I remember remarking, “That’s no accident, I’ve read too many Tom Clancy books to not know that this is some kind of attack.”

I was still watching when the second plane hit the building—and never left that room except to be sure we all topped off our auto gas tanks, just in case.

And as I sat there I recalled to everyone in the room about that long ago night in New York. I recalled about a night when after the close of the New York Custom Knife Show, how Ronnie Gaston, Russell Easler, Tom Clark, Joe Prince and his family, including his stepdaughter Nichole, and I has followed Dave to a place he knew would impress us.

And it did. As I watched those burning buildings on TV I recalled the night Dave had led us—to the observation deck—of the World Trade Center.