I noticed that I didn’t have a “blog” back in 2001, that didn’t appear until almost a year later. I made my first official blog post on Friday August 16, 2002 shortly after returning from a vacation in Rapid City South Dakota.
I never told my “Where Was I” story, because frankly it wasn’t very interesting; and honestly it still isn’t. Back then I worked as the HBC/GM manager at a little shitty store. It was a job I hated very much, although there are certain aspects I did enjoy very much (that is for a different entry sometime in the future). I worked 8am to 5pm most days at this job, Tuesday was no different. I got up at 6:30 am, turned on KSTP to watch the news while I did my morning rituals getting ready for work. I started at 8am back then and I had about a 20 minute drive so I would have to be out of the house at 7:30 to make it. I still had the TV on and Good Morning America was on and they said they would be talking to Michael Jordon when they got back, and that was the point I shut off the TV and headed out the door for my lovely job. I never listened to the radio back then, I had no reason to. I had a sweet 6 deck CD player in my trunk and that was my entertainment while driving. My task for the day once I got to work; set up Halloween.
By the time I got to work at 7:50, the first plane had already hit the first tower, but I wouldn’t even know that for another half hour or so. If you’ve ever worked in a store or with the public you know that information comes into you incomplete and somewhat distorted. It’s like playing the game grapevine back in school. We had no radio in the store, just piped in music so there was no news coverage. Once all the stories started coming in and I soon realized that I was not going to put 100% into my Halloween set that day, I went to the shelf and pulled one of my radios off and went to the backroom. By the time I did that the Pentagon had also been hit. It was an absolutely crazy day there because it really sucks not knowing what is truly going on. I unfortunately couldn’t stay in the back all day and listen to the radio, I had to go out on the floor and try to look like I was attempting to do some work (let’s face it, after 6 years I had gotten pretty good at that).
A large portion of my product was up near the pharmacy and I would hang out behind the counter sometimes, usually just to escape the floor. They had a radio in there, and I was drawn to it much like anyone that day. The towers collapsed while I was in there and we were listening. I remember the looks of disbelief on some people’s faces that worked there and customers. These weren’t young people either; these were people in the late 50’s and early 60’s. These people were alive when Kennedy was killed; they were around for Vietnam… I had a reason to be freaked; I was only 27 and had never experienced anything like that before.
I actually drove 20 miles home for lunch that day so I could see some television coverage because I wanted to get a better grip on what was happening. Watching the news really didn’t help either because no one really knew what was going on. We knew what happened, but didn’t know what was really going on.
I don’t remember much about the remainder of the day at work. I think I spent over 90% of it in the back room. I had a lot of phone calls that day from friends who wanted to discuss the day’s events. The one thing that did stick in my mind was when I came home that night and saw the lines of cars at the gas station. I had only seen that in hurricane coverage on television.
The next morning when I got to the town I worked in, I saw the gas stations had no amounts on their signs. When I got into work I heard from the people that lived in the town that the stations changed their prices multiple times during the day and night and took the numbers down after they went over $5 a gallon… and that is my boring 9/11 story; although I’m sure people with frontline stories would be more than willing to trade stories anyday.