Where were you?

Kes, Was nice enough to tag Bre. So like the playground games from many moons ago I get to tell my stories and then pass the tag on to others. Fun, yes? Well be careful what you ask for, getting hit with repeated walls of text has caused cancer in laboratory animals (the workers in this case, reading off-color jokes on their computers while they were supposed to be working).

I don’t know where this one started or where it will end, but I do know it was modified by Game Dame and is now here to give you a peek into the lives of the writers who reply. So grab some popcorn and a soda and we will take a short trip through my mind.

September 11 Attacks

September 11, 2001: At the time this happened I was home. I worked an odd schedule at the time and was actually off for the day already, having worked through the previous night. My wife was at work and the kids were in school. Other than myself and a friend who was staying with us at the time the house was quiet. Even the dogs were sleeping on the floor, oblivious.

My friend and I were watching a bit of television that morning. Actually Rick was watching Good Morning America while I was in the kitchen whipping us up a couple of omelets. Odd what you remember. That day almost 7 years ago I can tell you for a fact that I was making two ham and cheese omelets and english muffins for breakfast, but I can’t tell you for sure which sub I got at Cousins for lunch yesterday.

Rick called me into the room telling me that there had just been a horrible accident. A jet liner crashed into a building in New York. After a quick look at the screen I went back to cooking. I was sad for the folks on the plane, but like most people I still did not truly get what was happening. I finished cooking breakfast and came into the living room (yes I was being a slob and eating at the coffee table, sue me).

I remember just taking the first bite of my breakfast when the second plane came into view, slamming into the second tower in a ball of flame.

I remember looking at Rick as he sat there speechless.

I remember my first words. “We’re going to war”

For once I was not wrong, Oh how I wish I had been.


Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

January 28, 1986: When I was 16 years old I was fascinated with space. Actually I still am. I lived in Titusville, Fl at the time. For those who know (or care to google up a map) I lived about 5 or 6 blocks west of US1, perhaps a quarter mile from the shore of the Indian River that separates the mainland from the cape. The parks and road sides people jam when they come to watch launches were close enough that my friends and I used to walk over later in the day looking for returnable bottles left by the visitors.

I was home from school that day not feeling well, my dad was there as well. He was ready for work, but had not gone in yet. We were watching the news on TV, oddly I think we were watching Good Morning America that time as well. They were talking about it being a bit cold for a launch and how the freezing temperatures were effecting the citrus trees. I remember being more concerned with the trees than the launch. I thought everything would be fine in cold weather with the shuttle, after all its really cold in space right?

When the timer got down to just a minute or two before launch we headed out to the driveway to watch. On a good clear day you can actually see the solid rocket boosters separating from the main craft. It was a beautiful clear crisp day, you could see for miles.

We watched as Challenger clawed her way up through the atmosphere. Felt the rumble in the air as she roared towards the heavens at the top of a pillar of smoke and flame. Then our laughter died and silence took it’s place. We watched in horror as she came apart and started her long scattered journey back to earth. My dad went in the house to check the TV for updates. I stayed outside staring at the Y shaped column of smoke that marked what had started as a grand adventure and ended as a funeral pyre. I stood there, silent, until the cloud had faded from view.

I am still fascinated with space. If I had the chance I would go in a heartbeat, but that is the day the reality of its dangers were carved deep into me.


Hurricane Katrina

August 29, 2005: I did a good chunk of my growing up in Florida, I did another chunk in New Orleans, and a bit more in the Carolinas. I have been through hurricanes in all three places. Just because I had seen them before did not mean I was ready to see the level of devastation that occurred with this one though.

What I remember most is the feeling of helplessness I had as I sat warm and safe watching it all unfold in my living room. That and the feeling of rage at how long it took the government to lend assistance. They said it took them by surprise, the news saw it coming for days in advance. They said there was no plan in place then *&%&$* improvise, adapt, use what you have… that’s what we pay you for. No excuses, make it happen.

Saying they had no plan for a large hurricane hitting is different than saying we have no plan for say getting hit by an asteroid. Hurricanes happen every year, they hit land every year, we should have resources in place for when the eventual really bad storm hits. 


Reagan Assassination Attempt


March 30, 1981: At 12 years old when it happened I have very vague memories of this. I remember the principle coming over the PA system at the school and informing us all of the events. I remember watching clips of it happening that evening on the news and learning a few new words from my dad as he described physically impossible things that the shooter should do to himself.

John Lennon’s Death

December 8, 1980: My biggest impression of this one is just a vague memory of my mom being sad. I always hated to see her sad. I could handle angry (I once made her so mad that her dentures launched while she was yelling at me, but that is a story for another day). I think the lesson I learned here is that being a decent person in and of itself is not protection from bad things. In short, bad things happen to good people, sometimes without rime or reason.

Kurt Cobain’s Death

ca. April 5, 1994: This one, although sad never really made the kind of impact on me that it did on many of my friends. Sad to see him go but I could say that about many celebrity types that melt down and either kill themselves outright or through an accident brought on by their excessive lifestyles. John Belushi comes to mind, River Phoenix, Chris Farley, and lots of others.

Apparently Kes added one of the ones above, and Bre added this one.:


Brandon Lee’s Death

March 13, 1993. A tragic accident but yet again not one that really stayed with me. I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing. I do notice an odd parallel between The Crow with Brandon Lee in it and the latest Batman movie with Heath Ledger. Nothing really in common between the two other than the vibe I get watching them.




Well I suppose since Bre was kind enough to pass this my way I should return the favor by passing it along myself. I think it would be nice to see other peoples take on some of these things, so I will say “Tag, Your it!” and see what happens.

Altaholic Mom


Temrity Jane


One Response

  1. Damn! I only just noticed this, sorry Dech!

    I’ll pop this one onto my main blog sometime this week for ya – thankies for the blog fodder! 😀

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