From my diary
9-11-2001
Click photo to enlarge
     

This is a true story, it really happened, and it happened to me on 9-11-2001.

Today was a disaster for America and the worst of all possible days for the relatives and friends of those killed, seriously injured, traumatized and particularly those still missing.

PART I - Chaos and fear

My day started off watching live the second plane crash into the World Trade Center and shortly thereafter receiving a call from my sister that her daughter in-law Anne-Marie Kim was on a train destined for the scene (later in the day I hear she's OK as her subway driver was alerted to by-pass the WTC after the first plane hit. After walking most of the length of Manhattan and across the George Washington Bridge, she is, thank goodness, OK and reunited with Theodore and Jackson).
See the heart-warming   picture of their reunion  on that day. The flag was provided by their neighbors.

PART II - A random act of kindness, comic relief

I then took Ursula to Seton Medical Center for a blood transfusion and while that was taking place, went to CompUSA to buy some software so I could copy photos on my computer. I noticed a car passing me in the parking lot with a Quebec license place with four people in it. They probably had come through some road construction several days ago for the windows of their car were clouded with dirt except for the windshield wiper area. My next stop was Albertsons to pick up a couple of chickens. I saw the foursome (a man and three women) in the dirty car disembark and go into the store, after which, I cleaned their windows with Simoniz Window Cleaner and a bath towel. Then I saw them in the store and told the man that we did not allow automobiles with dirty windows in this country. He didn't speak English, only French, so I had to repeat my condemnation to him through one of the ladies. "Further", I said, "I've washed your windows and will be sending you the bill". Meeting a co-worker of some five years ago as I came out of the store, I told him the story and turned the rest of the project over to him since I had to get home and wait for Ursula's call.

PART III - Taking care of local security matters

When I pulled into the passenger pick up and drop off zone, their was that Praxair 2 1/2 ton truck dropping off oxygen bottles and taking up all the space. I had called Praxair two weeks ago and told them that the driver of Truck 106 must be ill because he had left his truck unattended and blocking traffic in the passenger drop off zone. This time I took matters in my own hands and accosted the driver who was sitting eight feet up in the cab of the truck and told him to move his truck now. He told me to call the police if I wanted, and he would wait. I called 911 (after all, the day was 9-11) and they gave me hell. I called the local police and they said they would check it out, but the truck was gone when I got back to the curb. Thank God, Ursula who should have been waiting for me at the curb, wasn't down there quite yet when I yelled at this driver. At home, I called the hospital administrator and reported the problem. (It should be noted that almost a year later to the day of this incident, Homeland Security is in 2002, announcing that there was a possible threat to hospitals in the United States).

PART IV - Bill Swank counsels me

In the afternoon I met Bill and Geri Swank in their motel room at the SFO Travel Lodge. They were visiting San Francisco from San Diego and had just called me as I was settling down for my afternoon nap. I told them Parts I and II. Bill said he thought I should "let it be" regarding the truck, the 911 call, and the dirty-windowed car as well. We then went outside, lowered the flag at the motel to half-staff, and had this picture taken by Geri (Bill's wife) in memory of the day.

Click photo to enlarge

PART V- At supper time, I am visited by the Fuller Brush Man.

At supper time, I got busy doing the chores that Ursula had wanted me to do since early morning, replanting a large plant, pulling up some carpeting and cleaning the underlying linoleum, and as the sun was starting to set, I was at the sink with knife in hand cutting up one of the chickens. With chicken slime on my hands, I answered the door bell at the garage entrance. It was none other than the friendly Fuller Brush man! Was I kind and considerate? Yes. Thanks to Bill for telling me to "let it be".

From my diary of that infamous day and a photo courtesy of Bill and Geri Swank - Alan Lubke


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