[If you don’t like my 9/11 remembrance, I don’t care. I didn’t write it for you.]
Guys, today as I dove into work down a long flat West Texas highway, I listened to Dennis and Callahan streaming online from WEEI in Boston. My pickup doesn’t even have bluetooth or a way to connect my phone. It sat on my shirt collar. It was hard to hear but I needed to get some Patriots news from a sympathetic source. I had to keep last night’s win rolling.
All the Patriots haters around here can really harsh my vibe. Stupid Cowboys fans.
Anyways, they were doing some 9/11 remembrances. And what can I say? It hit me.
Radio can do that. Only radio. When they played clips of of their candid reactions to the plane crashes and the burning buildings, I went back to Boston when I was 21. Even out here in Texas, there was something familiar about the blue sky and sparse white clouds that harkened back to September 11, 2001 in Boston.
The emotions of John Dennis and Gerry Callahan from that day reminded me of my own emotions.
I started this day 14 years ago with radio. I’d like to say it was Dennis and Callahan, but it was Nik Carter on WBCN. Back then, I hit the gym in the morning. I was a student at Boston University, where I lifted at the Case Center. The work study kids controlled the radio. Those work study kids liked alternative rock music. That’s what WBCN played back then.
Anyways, Nik Carter came on after a song to say a plane had hit a skyscraper in New York. It was probly a Creed song. That was all WBCN played back then. Then he went to the next song. Probly Nine Inch Nails.
Oh, okay. A plane hit a building. That blurb wasn’t really informative. I immediately thought of a trivia fact that back in the day a plane got lost in a cloud and hit the Empire State building. That was back in the 30’s or 40’s or something. You probly didn’t know that factoid because they repaired the Empire State Building.
So that’s what I thought happened here. But, boy, was I wrong.
As I student at Boston University, I had to read “The Clash of Civilizations” by Samuel P. Huntington. He predicted that the Muslim world would clash with the Western World.
“Pshh. That’s stupid,” I though,”those backwards, barbaric idiots are incapable doing anything substantial against us.”
You know, looking back, I wish the work study kids had played Dennis and Callahan on the radio at the gym. It’s a sports show, you know. The problem is that the work study kids at the gym hated sports. They liked alternative music.
Nik Carter didn’t offer a lot of information in between those two songs. (One of which was most likely Creed.) I’m not angry at Nik Carter or blame him or anything. WBCN probly kept him on a tight leash to the station’s format which only allowed him 8 seconds between songs in the morning. And you know, nobody knew how bad 9/11 was at first. (WBCN went out of business.)
Meanwhile Dennis and Callahan, as it turned out, offered live commentary about the situation as it unfolded. (They’re still on the air and have been for years. ) Today they played the more poignant clips and like I said, it brought me back. I wasn’t expecting it. I knew it was 9/11 and everything, but radio can do that.
So I sat in my pickup for a few extra minutes before I punched in.
I looked up at the white clouds on the blue sky and some of the shock came back.
Some of the shame came back too. When I was 21, I worried about stupid things. Today, I’m 35 and something as monumental and deadly as 9/11 made what I worry about day to day seem stupid.
I read Psalm 11 in my Bible and I thanked God for like my life, my family, our nation’s armed forces, and that he protects us.
And I hope you don’t mind me saying, but I thanked God for radio. This isn’t a commercial or anything. As I’ve driven all over this country the radio has been a big part of my life.
Oh, and thank you guys for reading www.feedingjimmy.com.
[So I don’t know how this ranks among 9/11 remembrances. If you think it’s good, maybe next year I’ll write a how-to guide on writing your own 9/11 remembrance. ]