My 9/11/2001 story

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.

Burnt people.

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 :P ]

and thanked her.

She looked confused but accepted them.  I had to do something.

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