I was supposed to go to a stupid Unix training class – week long – in one of the WTC buildings. 5 I think? I dunno. Anyway, it was for between Sept 10-15, 2001.
The week before, I got my boss to go to bat for me (since it was assigned from higher up) and got me out of it. I had too much work to do (I worked for Schering-Plough at the time.. when it existed).
Now Kenilworth NJ where Schering is (was) is like 15-20 miles by sight
I was on top of the 7th story of the parking garage when one building was just a pile of smoke, and the other was still standing.
NEVER expected the 2nd to go down. Then again, never expected that day at all.
Didn’t see the first footage ’til a few hours later at a Radio Shack (when THEY still existed).
The next day and the day after, I smelled the burned concrete.. and something else I smelled only once before.
Blue haze over the campus, very faint.
The only time I ever smelled that smell before was at Amherst MA at Hampshire College in 1991, when a guy burnt himself up “to protest war in Iraq” or something like that.
The blueish haze and the smell, from miles away, was unique.
It confirmed all the stuff I heard as a kid about spontaneous combustion and the ‘blue haze’ and the sweet smell. Not that I believe in spontaneous combustion as a ‘thing’ but rather, that burnt people give off a unique odor and a blue haze.
Very strange stuff indeed.
I’m lucky as heck. I gave my boss, who convinced the higher up to get me out of Unix training (which I didn’t want because it had nothing to do with my job), a dozen Roses that Friday.
[she was a woman ]
and thanked her.
She looked confused but accepted them. I had to do something.