September 11th 2001

We were on our way to work. We were running late that day and I had just dropped Ami off at her office. I was going around the Medical Center when a report came over the radio saying that a plane had hit the North Tower at the World Trade Center in New York City. I called Ami and she had just heard about it as well from one of the doctors she worked with on the elevator up to the office. I told her that it must have been an accident like when that plane hit the Empire State Building in 1945. I imagined the plane to be something small, a general aviation type plane.

I was coming into the office and my boss at the time had gotten a TV and had it showing live coverage. Then the second plane hit and we knew it wasn't an accident. My boss was crying and was getting hysterical because she had a friend that worked in one of the Towers and she didn't know if she was alright. She called her repeatedly and couldn't get her.

All of us gathered around the TV and just couldn't believe what we were seeing. I called Ami and by that time they had a TV going with coverage, too. We were all stunned and just couldn't say anything. This is the first time war had come to mainland American soil in over 100 years. All I remember thinking was "Why?"

Rumors were flying that there were many hijacked planes but no one knew how many. We wondered if our hospital was going to be hit that day since it was a big building. Everyone was jumpy wondering what was next. The next few days and weeks turned into a blur of fear, anxiety, and anger.

I had given my notice on 9/10/01 that I was leaving the Medical Center, again, and going to work for MedQuist. I found out that my new boss had flown one of the very few non-military flights that was allowed in the skies after the attacks. He was flying recovery dogs from Oklahoma City to NYC to try to help with recovering survivors and then the ones who didn't.

I will always remember that day. It's the touchstone of everyone that was old enough to remember it. That day the world changed for all of us, like it or not.

Great Weekend

This post is a bit late but it needs to be said. Saturday was the first time I met another ukulele player in person, other than the great Jake Shimabukuro and he's like meeting Superman, so it's different. I attended the 1st Annual South Eastern Uke-2-Gether at Sweetwater Creek State Park east of Atlanta. I met so many uke players and one thing really struck me about each and every talented individual that I met was how nice they all were. I'd never met anyone there but they all treated me like family. Everyone was not only willing, but eager for you to try out their uke. I don't think I've ever met another group of unrelated people that have been so nice. Here are some pictures that Ami took while we were there.

The event was put together by Uke Republic, the only ukulele focused music store that I know of in the south east. I wouldn't actually care to know about another one since Mike, the owner, is so nice. He and his wife Donna put on a great event. He has so many tempting ukuleles! I kinda fell in love with a couple, a Pono figured mango soprano that is gorgeous and a Mainland mahogany concert that played soooo well and was gorgeous. I had Ami take a pic of me with it. Concert size is probably my favorite size so that's where I'm leaning if I get a new one.

I can't wait until the next Uke-2-Gether and hopefully at the next one I will be able to jam with the rest of the guys!