January 08, 2006

Do you remember ....

...the 21st night of September?

OK, no, I'm not going to continue one of my favorite Earth, Wind and Fire songs (the wife got me a great DVD for Christmas of EWF performing their greatest hits, but I digress), but post on a cool idea I saw over at Jokers to the Right.

Do you remember (what you were doing, how you found about) ....

  • September 11th, 2001: I headed down to the school cafeteria for a coffee refill where I encountered a buddy shop teacher of mine. He asked, "Have you heard the news? A plane hit one of the World Trade Center buildings."

    Whoa, I thought. Still, I thought it was "just" a one-engine Cesna or something. But then the shop teacher said he had it on a TV in his room. I scooted over and saw that it was no Cesna that did that damage. I told him to call my room if any further developments arose. A few minutes later he called -- and told me another jet had slammed into the other WTC tower. Three hours later, our school district dismissed early (circa 12pm) based on the uncertainty of the whole [emergency] situation.

  • The start of the FIRST Gulf War - When we began combat operations: I was working at a bank in early '91 (I got hired as a teacher later that year) and was a member of the company basketball team. We had a game at Eisenberg Elementary School in New Castle (DE) (which we won handily, by the way!). After I got in my car following our lopsided victory, I turned on the radio and virtually every station was reporting that we had begun the attack on Iraq. When I got home, I watched the TV coverage into the wee hours of the night.

  • The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded: I was home sick from [University of Delaware] winter session classes. I headed downstairs with a cup of tea to watch some (lousy) daytime TV. As soon as the tube came on, there was Dan Rather frantically reporting on the Challenger explosion. I immediately called my roommates (at Park Place apts., where we lived off-campus) and told 'em to turn on the box. We were all aghast at what we were seeing.

  • The Space Shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry: I got back upstairs with my mug of coffee to sit down at the computer to do some 'net surfing. As soon as I turned on the tube, there were the reports.

  • Berlin Wall came down: I was a newlywed, and the wife and I were watching the events on that November evening in our small apartment.

  • President Clinton was acquitted of impeachment: I actually don't recall the actual event. At any rate, I didn't care much as I thought the whole spectacle was ridiculous.

  • Election night 2000: I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Earlier, I actually called a former teaching colleague of mine -- a devout leftist -- who was still waiting in line to vote at the moment of my call. We were (and are) very good friends who would always have friendly -- and feisty -- political discussions when we were at the same school (she is now a principal at a nearby Pennsylvania school). Little did we know what was about to transpire over the next few weeks! As the days dragged on, I informed my students (even though I teach Spanish, my students know I am also certified in social studies and of my interest in history and politics) that they were "living through history" -- an event that won't soon be forgotten in the annals of American elections.

Thanks, Ryan, for a great idea!

Posted by Hube at January 8, 2006 09:40 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Just out of curiousity, what are you attempting to achieve with this little exercise? I'm not being snide, here. I'm genuinely curious.

Posted by: Jaime Anne Earnest at January 8, 2006 03:23 PM

No you're not, Jaime. You're probably just looking for some reason to be mean, nasty and crude. That act gets old, real fast. Normal folk don't like it much, and hence, don't like you much.

Now blow.

Posted by: Hube at January 8, 2006 03:31 PM

sept. 11th.....teaching......came to the office on planning....secretaries told me......didn't believe them.....thought it was a joke they were playing......saw the tv...still didn't believe it....then saw the second plane hit live and was utter shock!
start of the first gulf war.....at home after teaching and working late into the night grading papers watching cnn (this was pre fox mind you, so no other options!)
space shuttle challenger explodes....at winter session.....came back from class and saw it...

Posted by: schmitt at January 8, 2006 09:12 PM

September 11th - At a Microsoft conference. Driving there I was listening to CDs, got in, saw a bunch of people watching TV. Went in, wondering why they weren't heading in to the conference room. In the room, they had MSNBC on the video monitors, Wondered why we weren't beginning. Finally peiced it together.

First Gulf War - Doing homework and a friend called me to let me know.

Challenger - Teacher told us after recess.

Columbia - Friend called me

Berlin - No memory of it

Acquitted - No real memory of it since that's what I expected to happen

Election Night 2000 - No real memory. Had only gotten an hour of sleep the night before between campaign work and nervous excitement. Went to sleep before any real controversy had erupted. Major memory of the whole thing was wondering why the Democrats were acting so immature. I always knew Bush had won.

Posted by: Paul Smith at January 9, 2006 09:13 AM

The day Challenger exploded, I was at lunch break studying with a co-worker when someone came in and told us.

Combat Operations started Jan 15, 1991 the day we toured the hospital in anticipation of the birth of our first. All the monitors were on showing maps with pictures of bursts showing where the allies were targeting.

Sept 11, 2001 we had a week old baby. It was a beautiful day and about 9 AM I got a hysterical call from my wife that the WTC was on fire and she didn't know if her brother was OK. (He escaped.) I still think of the irony of the situation; I came home early to the scene of my wife and baby sitting in the sunny front lawn; but the reason I was home was far from idyllic. I would have been sent home early anyway because I work for the government in the DC area.

Columbia blew up the day before our oldest daughter's Bat Mitzvah.

See how things change. Not too long ago the defining moment of soneone's life was the answer to: Where were you when Kennedy was shot?

Posted by: David Gerstman at January 9, 2006 11:26 AM

I'm going to post my own version of this, Hube. Good idea...

Posted by: dan at January 9, 2006 05:09 PM

I keep singing that September song....thanks..
I used to watch c-span every AM but went to pay an electric bill that AM instead. The Newark desk clerk was on the phone. What's up? Trying to find out if a loved one in NYC was ok, completely useless attempt that AM with the whole world calling in at once.
Took the next day off to go to Rehoboth with a few friends and get drunk.

Posted by: Nancy Willing at January 10, 2006 01:23 PM

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