Home > Diary, Thoughts > A Decade Of 9/11’s

A Decade Of 9/11’s

September 12th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

nine eleven morning in the country

Vanessa and I were in Columbus, Ohio… in Westerville for a doctor’s appointment when I got a call from my old friend, Michael Falzarano. ‘A plane just hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center!’ he said tersely. I was thinking perhaps it was some light plane accident… something tragic on a more trivial level. ‘Let me call you back,’ I said. ‘I’m trying to park.’ Seconds later, the impact of what Michael had just told me broke through into my consciousness. I grabbed my phone and called him back almost immediately… the cell service was already gone. As the moment unfolded, the horror of what was transpiring was all too clear! The United States was under attack. The second plane hit… and then not too long afterwards, we saw the first Tower fall on a bank of TV’s in a Sam’s Club. An ironic place to be when to realize that in those instants, our lives would never be the same!

David Weiss

David Weiss

When I lived in Upstate New York back in the 80’s, I had a friend named David Weiss. He and his family were friends with me and mine and we both shared a love of motorcycles. Strangely enough, after I left Woodstock in 1990, I never saw David again. It was just one of those things… you know how it is. I felt that someday we would run into each other and go for a ride or some such nonsense. That of course never happened and now it never will. Indeed, that is life’s way… but our choice to take or not take that ride together was made for us and we had nothing to say about it. A friend sent me a picture of David. When I knew him he had more hair… and come to think of it, so did I. In any case, on this day of remembrance, it is nice to re-make his acquaintance.

Jerry, the flags and the bikes

My pal Jerry Bayha and I have made our David Weiss memorial Run each year since the Towers fell, but this one was special… being a decade since that dreadful day. The timeline is burned in our brains, those of us who were watching those events unfold that stunning September morning. On the morning or our ride, Jerry and I were in a little diner in Trimble, Ohio as the moments of those strikes on the Towers occurred. Jerry asked the breakfast patrons for a moment of reflective and respectful silence and they all obliged. It was a touching American moment!

Jerry and I rode through the Appalachian hills… a beautiful morning… so reminiscent. People honked and waved but underneath this surface of unity, was an abiding sorrow. I think of Bob Kelly, first responder, who lost his brother Tom… I think of Bels Belson… first responder and Hot Tuna fan… I think of families and friends and stories that ended on that day…

I still believe that as a nation, we still have many stories to tell. It is not the world that I grew up in as a child and like it or not, that it as it should be. I hope that some of my experiences may permeate my children to give them a broader perspective. (Yeah, I know… good luck with that)

final snap

I pray that our country stays strong and true and remains, as I believe it is, still the greatest country in the world and the best place to live.

far from New York, but close int the heart

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  1. neil
    September 12th, 2011 at 11:40 | #1

    Those of us who who were on the Hot Tuna “blues cruise” out in the NYC harbor weeks before 9/11 surely reflect back on how peaceful that night was and how much our lives and the world have changed since then…innocence lost for ourselves but most sadly for our children and theirs to come…blessings to all those who lost loved ones and to those who responded and helped in the recovery…

  2. Cyndy Consentino
    September 12th, 2011 at 12:07 | #2

    Jorma , thank you for your beautiful words. I was at Ground Zero yesterday to memorialize a friend that was lost who worked at Cantor( as your friend David did). The service was very moving and the memorial is lovely.
    God Bless Amerca, and RIP all who were liost on that awful day.

  3. Joe Moore
    September 12th, 2011 at 19:00 | #3

    Thank you , Jorma . On that day, I was in 2nd period Class beginning a 20th Century Popular Soc. course . The big “news” of that day at 8:15 AM was about Michael Jordan making a comeback . My comment – “If that is the big story , then September 11 would be a no news day!” ( going after the media !!) . Well , I ended the period putting on the TV News again . The kids (Seniors) saw the fire and then saw the second plane . I will always remember that day. So many firemen who were refs that I knew from Basketball died that day . Again , thank you for those words !

  4. joe in dc
    September 12th, 2011 at 20:01 | #4

    As for my 9 -11 story. I was at work in one of the true garden spots of the Russian Federation; Samara…. ever been?


    With the time zone changes it was actually 9/12 USA time before I even heard about the attack; the next day. What I saw was a news broadcast in Russian, scratchy TV pic. The folks I was with and I really did not know what the heck had happened. We thought from the images that there was some kind of ground war in USA… amazing what an image can do to your head…. Could not get thru to family in DC where I live on my cell, no reception. Some guy had a super duper cell and was able to connect with his friend in Rio, Brazil and from there we got the blow by blow info on what transpired yesterday. The Rio bud was able to patch us thru to Houston to BP (the oil company) emergency network and that got all our names and phone numbers and called home for us to check on families. That being done we got on an SAS flight from Samara to Frankfurt Main.. Spent 30 hours at airport; no hotels w/in 50 miles of frankfurt, German military w/ submachine guns all over, constant security scans. On 9/15 got out on the first United flight to National in DC. They served us chicken, yet if you rememeber flights back then, they had removed all metal sharp objects from plane…meaning no knives or forks.. hah..Chicken breast w/ a spoon. Towards Greenland United started passing out bottles of wine to all. Amazing experience. My ex and son who was 13 at the time were OK.whew..just passing it along…….

  5. Richard
    September 12th, 2011 at 20:47 | #5

    Touching..Let me remind you though when you say you lived in upstate n.y..you are calling the woodstock area..ulster county etc.upstate.Head west of albany and check out real upstate.From a living point of view,not touring. Upstate ny x press

  6. joe in dc
    September 12th, 2011 at 20:57 | #6

    so richard – what were u thinkin on ohio?

  7. Bob Kelly
    September 13th, 2011 at 09:47 | #7

    Jorma, thanks for the kind words. I Just checked into the blog. I try to remember the good that came out of that awful day. In the days and weeks that followed so many caring, concerned people stepped up and offered to help, or support in any way they could. Your words and music, and even a quick email.. helped more than I could put in words.Music truly has the power to help heal..My friend Brian reminded Saturday at the Service in Saint Patricks cathedral, about the special show Hot Tuna played that fall..helmet, boots, pd hat on stage.. a suttle yet powerful tribute..On Sunday, in the middle of all the services I spent a few minutes alone just thinking about all those good people who were just going to work that day, leaving there families..folks like your friend David, my old Buddy Charlie.from Cantor… so many others.. they all have a story and as you stated so well, we owe it to the next generation to share our experiences.. thanks again for your support over the years… stay well .. see you down the road…

  8. willy
    September 13th, 2011 at 14:22 | #8

    Thoughtful words Jorma…reading of Tom Kelly reminded me of Tuna’s Beacon show a little over two months later, the events of that day still very much on everyone’s mind. And made all the more poignant with gear of NYC’s bravest and finest onstage with you. I took a couple of pictures that night, and to my regret ever since, I lost the address of someone who was either a friend or relative of Tom’s and approached me afterward asking me to send them on if they were any good. Bob – maybe it was you? They’re not the best quality, but they capture and preserve the moment. Happy to share with either or both of you, Bob and Jorma.

  9. Bob Kelly
    September 14th, 2011 at 09:52 | #9

    @willy ,, Hey Willy thanks for reaching out.You may have bumped into me, or one of my family friends that came along..Id love to see the pictures if iis ok with you, i think technically they belong to Jorma.. but if you want to post or send my way..they would be a nice memory.. the fdny gear up there was my brothers back up boots and new helmet that he was going to start wearing, hard to belive its 10yrs..Jorma and his family reached out and offfered there help back than and I consider them true. friends.. thanks my email addy bkelly911@hotmail.com

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