We parked at the base of the World Trade Center, I told Wren & Joel
“…get out and look up, you may never have this chance again”
September 7, 2001
I can’t tell you exactly when it all began, but the END will forever be etched in my mind and millions of others.
If you are regular listener, the names Joel & Wren (‘J&W”) should be quite familiar to you. Joel and Wren are our neighbors in Mint Hill and charter members of the “lounge”. They helped transform our garage into a den of debauchery and fun, loud times. Much to the chagrin of our Home Owners association. But that’s another story.
During the early summer months of 2001 J&W, Ms. Wiz, Jonathan and yours truly were deciding on our family vacation. We’ve been to Cancun, the mountains and other places so we wanted to do something different.
I suggested why don’t we go to New York and see a Yankee game? Everyone seemed to think this a great idea. I immediately looked at the schedule and it was obvious. New York against Boston September 8th. What made it even more perfect was that the New York Jets were opening their season the very next day against the Indianapolis Colts. I have season tickets for the Jets and Joel grew up in Indiana. What could be better?
The plans were made, tickets were purchased and we were all stoked.
We arrived in New Jersey on Thursday the 6th of September (we couldn't afford to stay in the city). Dinner that night was on the west side of Central Park – a little place called “Tavern on the Green”. Have you heard of it?
On Saturday we headed to Yankee Stadium (the old one now) and enjoyed a perfect afternoon of baseball. A little disappointed that Jeter was not in the line-up, but we were thrilled to be part of the 55,316 to witness the 9-2 thrashing of the hated Red Sox. An extra added benefit was that after attending hundreds of games I finally caught a foul ball. It was off the bat of Jorge Posada in the bottom of the sixth inning!
Sunday, up early and tailgating at Giants Stadium for the Jets and Colts!!! (yes, it was called Giants’ Stadium). After having a huge time in the parking lot, it didn’t take long for the buzz to wear off as my beloved J-E-T-S got thoroughly spanked by Peyton and the Colts to the tune of 45-24.
Things were going real well….oh, I forgot to tell you about Friday. After our dinner Thursday in NYC and some bar-hopping….we were all pretty groggy on Friday. We weren’t real sure we were going to do anything. We were all pretty much fine with just hanging at the hotel. Finally we, almost in unison, said…this is BS here we are outside of NYC and we are gonna hang at the hotel? NFW.
We packed up the van and headed for Liberty State Park (Bayonne) and took some great pictures of the Statue of Liberty, The Twin Towers and the New York Sky-line. We then decided to hit the city.
We drove around the Wall St area, dodging cabs, pedestrians, stock brokers and bums. Then after taking a wrong turn we arrived at the base of the World Trade Center. I parked. I asked J&W if they wanted to get out and look. They said “no”. I insisted.
“You may NEVER have this chance again” That was Friday, September 7th.
I didn’t know at that time just how profound a statement that would be. For the life of me, all I meant was…maybe they wouldn’t come back to NY, and if they did – would they visit the Twin Towers.
I didn’t know that within 5 days the World Trade Center would not be there……….