Thursday November 29. 2001
a guest entry by John
Monday I got my New York Times, and there was a small, glossy
insert, like a little magazine tucked into the folds of the
paper. I almost threw it away, thinking it was advertising, but
then I looked at it more closely.
It was the Spectator. My high school newspaper. A much fancier
one than we used to have, that's for sure, with color
It was a special issue, all about 9/11.
Stuyvesant High School is now on the north end of the landfill
which holds Battery Park City and the World Financial Center.
When I went there, back around 1970, Stuyvesant was somewhere
else and its current location was part of the Hudson River. But
it's now only a couple of blocks from where I work, and only
about three blocks from the site of the World Trade Center.
The Spectator had articles and photographs by both students and
staff. It was intense to read it. It brought back a lot of
what that day was really like. I had been standing less than a
block from Stuyvesant when the first tower had started to fall.
The students had been kept in the building, for their safety,
since the rescue workers had assured the Principal that there was
no chance the towers would fall. They were evacuated after the
first tower collapsed, and walked north as I did, but somewhat
later. Some of the students reported seeing panic and people
running, which I didn't see. I guess it was because it was a few
I certainly don't blame anybody for panicking. For the freshmen,
they had only been going to that school for a couple of days, and
most of them probably had no idea where they were or how to get
home with the subways not working.
The newspapers reported that Stuyvesant was closed, but in fact
the building maintenance and custodial staff were working.
24-hour shifts at first, then 12-hour shifts. They were coming
home with burning eyes and bleeding noses, and they were being
told that it was psychosomatic.
A friend of mine (who wasn't there, though it did result in his
losing his job and he remains unemployed) reports that he's very
angry. He wants revenge. He wants the U.S. to go and punish
whoever was responsible. It's kind of surprising, really. I
mean, his favorite musician is Arlo Guthrie, for goodness sake.
But he's really angry, and apparently his wife is at least as
surprised by this reaction as I am. She's having trouble dealing
with it, and I can understand why. But different people react
differently, and there's no way to guarantee how somebody will
react when nothing like this has ever happened before.
I haven't felt angry about this yet. I'm pretty sure I never
John's Second Guest Entry, 1 August 2000
John's First Guest Entry, 16 March 2000