Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2001.

It was a Tuesday.  Most people are forgetting it was election day here in NYC.  It would be easy to forget even if it were not canceled  It was a primary that everyone knew was gonna result in a runoff for Mayor.  Giuliani (thank God) had reached his term limit so Bloomberg and Wiener were fighting it out.  Isn't it funny to look back.....  Bloomberg won and proceeded to crown himself King and extend his term, a thing Giuliani would have liked in 2001.  And where is Wiener now?  Hiding somewhere because he showed his wiener on twitter.  I have just been informed that the 2001 Democratic Primary for the Mayor of NYC was a fight between Mark Green and Fernando Ferrer.   Wiener ran for Mayor in 2005.  Bloomberg was a Repubican in 2001.  So I got everything totally effed up.

But I digress.....

My polling place was (as usual) chaotic. I did not know it then but it was the second of three places I would be assigned to vote without actually changing my address.  I think they divided up the neighborhood into voting sectors before they put two large apartment building on my block ....  in 1916. That year they assigned me to vote in PS 321.  It didn't even occur to me in 2001 that from 2005 to 2011 that would be my kids school...  That I would go on to teach an after school class in that gym.   My kids were babies,  I was not even thinking about kindergarten.

So voting always meant long lines and friendly interactions with my neighbors.  I remember starting up some friendly banter with the man next to me on line.  A well dressed, really tall African-American who said "You think you got a problem, I am a Republican.  I'll bet they don't even have my ballot up there."  A Republican primary in NYC?  Who ever heard of such a thing??

So I cast my vote and randomly chose a direction to get to the subway to work.

I will not talk about the rest of September 11, 2001.  I am sure that millions of people are ready to share their stories with the world.  I am not even ready to share that day with my children.  I will just say that I was not a hero nor did I attend any funerals.  But still my hands are trembling now.

So, about 9  years later I am chaperoning a class trip to Plymouth Church. Sitting next to me is my friend Ino.  He is one of the other Dads in the neighborhood who has the luxury of getting to go on his children's class trips.

When our tour ends our wonderful guide took questions.  After all the kids got their questions answered Ino raises his hand and asks (Is this really a question?,) "Wasn't Lincoln a Republican, how come everyone forgets that it was a Republican who freed the slaves?"

I punched him in the ribs and told him to shut up.

Then I realized that I have know him since before our children started kindergarten together.

Sometimes, just sometimes I like to think of September 11, 2001 as the day I made a Republican friend.

I hope I am not being selfish.




P.S.: This is a story that starts like mine

9 comments:

  1. It was great reading your blog,
    thanks for sharing...

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  2. Fabulous post. I loved it. Something good happened in your life on 9/11, and I'm very happy for you.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was in my first semester of graduate school, in a philosophy of language class. I made a new friend that day, too.

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  4. It was a scary day, I agree. Ugh.

    We watched part of the service on TV but then it became overwhelming. Too much.

    Happy weekend.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this.

    There are still too many memories of those days that I'm trying to forget and won't be able to. There are also some that I'm trying to never forget.

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  6. Thank you for sharing memories from that day. Knowing that you have a Republican friend makes me feel a little better about having a Republican fiancee.

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  7. Michael, I loved the story that was great. I could not stop laughing. But the actual question was, “Wow, slavery was terrible and evil. But I have a question that I have never gotten an answer ever since I came from Cuba. Maybe, you can finally answer it for me. Why are there so many Black Americans and good people in this Country support the Democratic Party. When this is the Party that was Proslavery, instituted Jim Crow Laws, started Lynchings, it started the Ku Klux Klan, it fought tooth and nail not to pass the Civil Rights Act, it will not let Black Americans into Public Schools. This is when you punched me in the rib. Then the lady answered, well your right but the Parties have changed. Then I asked her, when did they changed and she said, during the FDR era. So I said, I don’t understand because FDR will not let Jesse Owen in the White House because he was black and he will not allow Marian Anderson to sing at Constitutianol Hall because she was also black. Then the lady was getting upset and then you punched me again in the ribs. Hey Michael, I think she noticed when you punched me in the ribs. See you at practice, Ino

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You do not have to be nice!

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