Welcome to the planet. Your mother and father are two of the best people I know and you are so fortunate to have them as parents. Remind me to tell you the story about your father and salsa in the garden apartments circa 2001. Just whatever you do never watch my speech at their wedding.
Francis and I walked into the Reilly Center Cafe at just after 8:30am to get some coffee before class started, on the big screen television just ten feet from the cash registers was a picture of the World Trade Center smoking. It was just a peripheral glance, I wasn’t really paying attention, and I moved onto my first class of the day. I think it was Native American Literature when the teacher said something about the tragedy in New York and how horrible it is, but looking around the room I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what she was talking about.
After class, people were running around the halls talking about what happened and I had my article writing class. While in transit to that class I found out what happened. We spent the class in the auditorium watching the coverage. Mesmerized, horrified, all of the feelings washed over me while watching this and then I realized: I think my Dad is supposed to be in the city today.
I had one more class, a quiz in my Catholic and Franciscan Heritage class. (That was part of our core curriculum at St. Bonaventure—a whole lot of religious classes that were utterly worthless). I walked into the class and asked the teacher, a sister, if I could take the quiz and then leave to call my Dad to make sure that he was all right.
In a classroom full of thirty students she said no. Later that day my future thesis advisor, a staunch, short, and proud preacher of all things E.B. White said, “Please tell me you walked out.”
I told him I should have but I did not because I didn’t want to get a bad grade, because the kind of person who says no to something like that will sure as hell hold a grudge if I did and I didn’t want a bad grade. I’m pretty sure I got a C+ in the class.
I ran to the radio station after class and called home to Connecticut. My Dad answered and I asked if he was supposed to be in the city today, his appointments usually are in the Garment Center thirty something blocks away from the the WTC, and he said: “No, my appointments are on Thursday.”