Goodbye, Pat

Ground Zero: The Untold Stories

(Originally printed December 23, 2001)
I really don’t talk about September 11th much.

I remember the grueling 12-hour day I put in checking the latest AP wires and keeping live coverage on the website, amid rumors that NY and NJ may have no way of communicating with the outside world… way before some of the events even made it on TV. Walking into work that morning, never suspecting for a second that this would lead to the devastation and unspeakable horror that we’ve all stared in a state of shock over the past few months.
I can’t think about it.
I won’t think about it.

I did a pretty damn good job at avoiding it, until this morning.

Joe Flounders lived only a few miles from me. His wife Pat begged him to flee his World Trade Center office after the first plane the other tower… He stayed behind to help a co-worker, suffering shock; trying to get him out also…

Moments later, the second plane crashed and exploded right through his office…
Continue reading “Goodbye, Pat”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestYouTube

The face of no hope

Ground Zero: The Untold Stories

September 11th, 2001 8:45 AM – It was a sunny Tuesday morning in Jersey City, New Jersey. Business as usual in the steel mill, overlooking the majestic skyline of New York City.

High above the workers, Larry operated his crane, moving large piles of steel across the yard.

Its not unusual to see and hear a commercial jet fly above him. However, an oncoming plane was particularly loud. It was louder than most, because it was flying at a far lower altitude than the rest of the planes that pass by.

So low that Larry can actually see the faces of the passengers.

The encounter took less than a nanosecond, but it seemed so much longer. Larry made eye contact with one passenger. A very sad man with a grim countenance.

It was the face of a man who knew he was about to die.

They were the passengers of American Airlines Flight 11, and it was just seconds before that jet crossed the water, and exploded on impact into One World Trade Center.

That man’s face will haunt Larry for the rest of his life.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestYouTube

My name is Maria

Ground Zero: The Untold Stories

PREFACE: This was part of a series of stories I compiled last year called “GROUND ZERO: THE UNTOLD STORIES“.

It’s not about the act. It’s not about politics. It’s about the people affected by it. The events as seen through their eyes.

It’s still merely a .txt file in my hard drive. After the media basically ran September 11th to the ground (as I suspect they’ll do again in the next few weeks…) I felt people didn’t need this.

I also worried about how people would take this particular story as there is more than enough real-life tragedy of the attacks in N.Y.C. and D.C. to fill a thousand lifetimes.

The following story is grim and horrific. Those easily upset may want to skip it.

It’s the “fictional” story of a woman buried alive when the towers collapsed. The sights, the sounds… the terror.

I put “fictional” in quotes… because I sometimes wonder, given my connection with the other side. I wrote this in Mid-October 2001… when the screams of the long-dead still haunted my dreams. I was possessed. My fingers couldn’t stop writing.

When I finished, a woman’s voice whispered “thank you” behind me.
I didn’t bother to turn around. I knew I wouldn’t see anyone.

I feel it’s time for her story to be told….


Continue reading “My name is Maria”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestYouTube

The Crossroads

Ground Zero: The Untold Stories

It’s not about the act. It’s not about the politics. It’s about the people affected by it. The events as seen through their eyes.

***** T h e * C r o s s r o a d s ********

Many of the stories you are about to hear came from actual conversations in a gas station/convenience store in Stroudsburg, PA.

A mere 60 miles from New York City, across Interstate 80, it was a place where many stopped to fill up their cars with gas, and get their morning coffee and newspapers, before starting their long commute to work.

In the summer of 2001, it was a happy place. With happy people. Many were New Yorkers who fled the crime and the cold steel for a better way of life in the Poconos years ago. Their jobs paid well, and their personalities were indelibly “New Yorkers”.. no matter where they chose to live. Full of life, sarcasm, humor, the “New Yawk” accent, and everything that goes with it.

They were in before the sun began to rise, to be greeted by cheerful workers who had fresh coffee, rolls, bagels and biscuits prepared for the “morning rush” beginning at 4AM.

A few regulars never returned after 9/11.
One can only speculate.

Those who did return were traumatized and messed up beyond description. Trying to put the unimaginable into words brought only tears from the strongest and burliest of them. Their spirit was broken, and a part of them will remain forever entombed in the rubble of the World Trade Center, or splattered on the sidewalks from a 100-story fall.

Across from the parking lot was a motel where a group of generous truckers from Indiana took a final rest stop before their trek into N.Y.C. It was also one of many places in the area where the stranded were forced to stay for the night…

Adjacent to both buildings was The Pocono Record. Amid rumors of further attacks nationwide, and the possibility that at least four states will soon be without power or communication… it began to set up as a command center to communicate to the rest of the world what was going on.

But it was in that 24 hour convenience store that the stories of triumph and tragedy were being told. It was the place where those across the nation stopped for coffee, braced themselves to enter a war zone, then returned to share their stories.

For a brief while, that place was to be known as “The Crossroads”.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestYouTube

America needs to laugh again

Seriously. It’s part of the healing process.

You’d have to understand my origins to understand me. I’m from Brooklyn… we are world-reknowned for our sick humor at the darkest times.

Growing up in dilapidated house, no male role models to fix things as they broke… (My friends have been calling the house “1313 Mockingbird Lane” since Junior High School). You had to laugh at it. When I built a recording studio in my basement, to watch the toughest “gangstas” in Brooklyn haul ass, as sewer rats the size of chihuauhas came out to hear their lyrics…

That was funny as hell!

There were a lot of hard times there, it was overcrowded, it was hostile and dangerous to be a white person in that neighborhood after a while…

Humor got us through.

Early attempts to make us laugh after the tragedy was pretty bad. Poking fun at the WTC is like making fun of a rape victim (which is never funny, and when you think about it… that’s what happened to America on 9/11).

However….

  • Al Qaeda announced Thursday that it would lay off 5,000 or more holy warriors. – Fucking hilarious!
  • The Onion shows us how it’s done with its Special Report: “Holy Fucking Shit! Attack on America” – American satire at its best…. CHECK IT OUT!
  • All links via MetaFilter… which brings me to today’s Newz & Gossip:

    • The end of MetaFilter? – Former “A-Lister” and Webby loser Jason Kottke and MetaFilter mastermind (and former “A-lister”)Matthew Haughey discuss (as we’re all apparently ignored) how MetaFilter is a “hassle”, “may be scrapped”, and “turned into something it wasn’t meant to be”…

    Uhm… that would be total domination and worship of the “A-List”, wasn’t it?

    Matt, boobalah, do you realize what a juggernaut you have created?

    It’s valuable property… and if you play your cards right (ie: stop complaining about what a hassle it is to maintain.) You can make a small fortune selling it off with all your hard work and brilliant coding.

    Me? I’m all for the worship of the A-List…

    why?

    Because there is a new “A-List”. Run by the Axis of Jon Sullivan and Matthew Rossi (as confirmed here…).

    We MUST worship them! Compelling content and good discussion is what the people want… Besides, I know these guys. If I suck up to them enough,
    ***I can become an “A-Lister”.*** :0)

    • I will now proudly resume my role and bring you the finest in Newz, Gossip, and Pro-American Propaganda…

    Well, maybe…

    Tomorrow I face a judge on various charges for what happened over the summer… you all know what happened after that, and obviously this “Police State” isn’t done punishing us.

    For what? For being stranded, and doing the best you can to stay afloat.

    Will I do jail time? Will I face a stiff fine? Or will this Magistrate decide we’ve been punished enough?

    Sentencing is tomorrow morning in Dingman’s Ferry if you all have nothing better to do.

    I’m sure the same people who had a field day cracking “Trailer Jokes” as the Sheriffs locked us out of our home last February are going to have a field day with this one…

    Oh well, at least they’ll be laughing again. Laughter is good.

    Eric Brooks

    Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

    More Posts - Website

    Follow Me:
    TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestYouTube

    Terror in the U.S.

    Photo: Associated Press/NBC
    Dramatic footage captured by NBC’s “Chopper4”

    Photo: Associated Press/NBC

    Well, you can pretty much imagine what I did all day…

    First was Attack on America, where I was given approximately 35 minutes to whip up a database script and pages to report ongoing events in New York City as it happened… and the newsroom wanted us going live by 10 AM.

    Hey. You know me. Piece of cake.

    Then, around 1PM, Our publisher announced on tv about our web coverage, and the paper is printing a special edition at 5PM. entitled: “Terror in the U.S.

    Talk about a mob scene. This paper is already a collector’s item.

    Then they wanted a “web version”…

    That’s okay. I didn’t mind throwing myself into my work today… even seeing pictures of places I hung out, worked, had lunch… now covered in 6 inches of debris. Or AP pictures that was deemed “sickening”, even by my standards.

    As long as I don’t have to think about all of the friends and family I have, that work in the financial district.

    That I may never hear from again….

    I throw myself into my work, and I don’t have to think about this very surrealistic day… which I know, things will never be the same no matter what.

    Eric Brooks

    Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

    More Posts - Website

    Follow Me:
    TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestYouTube

    Proudly powered by WordPress
    Creative Commons License
    EricBrooks.Com® is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are solely those of Eric Brooks. They do not necessarily reflect those of his employers, friends, contacts, family, or even his pets (though my cat, Puddy, seems to agree with me on many key issues.). In accordance to my terms of use, you hereby acknowledge my right to psychoanalyze you, practice accupuncture, and mock you incessantly with every visit. As the user, you also acknowledge that the author has been legally declared a "Problem Adult" by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is therefore not responsible for any of his actions.


    Connect