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By beanerywriters(11,675)

Posted Saturday, September 15, 2007
View All Blog Posts submitted by beanerywriters

LMB resident John was working in one of the twin towers in New York City the morning of September 11, 2001. During the next few days his story will be posted in the LMBoroLMPark Newsletter. Below is Part 5, the conclusion. Click on LMB RESIDENT SHARES HIS SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 EXPERIENCE Part 1

Click on LMB RESIDENT SHARES HIS SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 EXPERIENCE Part 1 to read Part 1 and  LMB RESIDENT SHARES HIS SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 EXPERIENCE Part 2  to read Part 2 and LMB RESIDENT SHARES HIS SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 EXPERIENCE Part 3 to read part 3. To read Part 4 try clicking on www.ProBlogs.com

or www.ProBlogs.com/beanerywriters

Although John was in the South Tower when it was hit by the airplane, he "walked away without even a flake of dust on my black shirt. And you know there was more death there than there was at Pearl Harbor."

He said during the first few days after September 11 he was supercharged, "like an adrenalin rush." He awoke at 7 a.m. the next morning, and each day for at least a month the event was right in face from arising to bedtime, and "you had to look through it to do your daily work."

"I know for at least another month my jaw would ache from clenching teeth at night," John said. "That slowly went away. I also had a sensitivity to percussive sounds. I remember I was driving to Johnstown on that first day, thinking folks would like to see me, and I got a message from a friend of mine who had witnessed the Merrill Lynch bombing. He said you just feel kind of bad about getting out. Its that survivors guilt."

Being a survivor is hard, according to John. All the theories---like the theory that the Trade Center was an inside job--- all these theories make me mad.

He said a he "almost feels funny talking about it, but talking was my defense mechanism."

The first few months I probably told the story to all who would listen, he said. "Yet what happened to me was comparatively nothing."

He said that you think you know how you will react to something if it happens, how you will deal with it, how it will affect you, but somehow it comes out differently, and you don't know how to deal with it.

In the last two years he hasn't told his story very often.

"When I do talk about it---and I pretty much have it memorized ---I told the story about two weeks ago, but after I do talk about it I'm really tired. Its not a good tired. Its a drain. I'm still trying to convince myself its real."

He wonders how his experience could be real in light of the fact that his black shirt didnt have a speck of dust on it.

"My initial reaction to this thing, and for the next few years, was that I am not going to let these people change the way I do my thing."

Three weeks later he accepted a twelve-day job in Seattle, "a long job for me. I wasn't too keen about being away for twelve days, but I was doing it for spite. I flew in a 767."

He said he slept on that flight, and "I generally don't sleep on flights."

While he was in Seattle he managed to contact the parking garage in New York and learned he could pick up his car. When he arrived home from Seattle he took a bus to New York City, carrying a portable battery charger and a magnetic American flag to put on his car door. A cab took him as close to the garage as it could. John paused to take some photographs before heading to the garage (click on www.flickr.com/photos/lmborolmpark and http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaneryonlineliterarymagazine to view John's photographs)

Forty days after the event, October 19, John finally picked up his vehicle, a blue Cherokee. It had been parked there 40 some days, and he didn't care, he said, commenting that he "was glad they didnt charge me for the 40 days" and that he had another vehicle.

John had to go towards the parking garage from the south side to get to the entrance. When he arrived a bunch of guys were sitting at a table.

I had to be escorted to the car, and show identification to make sure I was getting the right car, John said. The car battery was dead and the charger he'd taken wasnt quite powerful enough to turn the engine over.

While waiting to have someone jump the battery the guys warned him not to use the air conditioner, fan or do anything else to circulate the air, lest the car was contaminated with asbestos. They advised John to call his insurance company when he arrived home.

He finally got the battery jumped and drove out onto street, after sticking his magnetic flag on his Cherokee.

"There was no way I was going to drive out of there without a flag on my car," he stated.

There was dust all over the car, on the dashboard, everywhere. When he arrived home he called his insurance company. They said he had to prove it was asbestos.

They were not helpful, John said. "I didn't care. I was alive. Whats the difference?"

He took it to a place that could do an asbestos test, and they did air and dust samples. The dust was all synthetics, there was no asbestos.

Six years later his car occasionally has an odor that smells like the odor of metal being cut. This is especially true if the car sits for a few days or there is damp weather.


Twenty-five years previously he and his brother, in a discussion of where they would like to live, agreed that their favorite was the western slope of Laurel Hill (Laurel Mountain). Two years ago John moved to Laurel Mountain Borough in Pennsylvania, near his Johnstown home.

"I knew I'd made the decision to move to Ligonier when I spoke it. I was in Beijing when that happened," John said. "It was before 911 I was getting saturated with work, even though I had a great business with travel and money."

I want to thank John for sharing his story on both the Laurel Mountain Borough Newsletter and the Beanery Online Literary Magazine. Carolyn

Hopefully the ProBlogs sites will become completely operational soon. Please bear with the new owners as they try to upgrade it.

This Blog Post has been read 158 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Saturday, September 15, 2007
View other posts by beanerywriters

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