ĎI will light
candles Ö and pray.í
D. Valesey, Ketchum
morning of Sept. 11, I was working at my sisterís house high on a hill
in upstate New York. At night, you could see the red blinking light on
the mast of the Twin Towers. On a clear day (as it was) you could see
I went to
New York early in August to take care of my Mom, who was recovering from
breast cancer surgeries. She lost her left breast.
found out she had cancer, I told the Grabhers, my bosses at Grabher
Construction, about it. They told me to go, and take are of her, and not
worry about my job. I took seven weeks leave of absence. I am forever
grateful to them.
ago, when I lived in New York, I worked the winters in a NYC nightclub,
bartending. We used off-duty cops and firemen as bouncers.
was, working on a retainer wall at my sisterís house. My Mom, half a
mile away, resting at home.
ran outside and told us that a plane hit the World Trade Center. Her
husband and I ran to her living room where the TV was on. Her living
room has a southern exposure that I described earlier.
have seen the video of those towers as the second plane hit. I saw a
very small fireball just crest the horizon to the south as well. I could
tell you of the panic surrounding us as my family got gasoline, diesel
and kerosene. I could tell you of friends and acquaintances lost and
some whose remains were never found. I could tell you how eerily quiet
it was without any air traffic except for the occasional fighter jet. I
could tell you of tears brought to my eyes then, as it still does. Space
doesnít allow my telling.
finally drove back to Idaho in late September, the first thing I did was
clean and load my pistol. As always, I will never lie on my back and
I am a
martial arts instructor, and was teaching some youngsters from the
neighborhood when I discovered Momís cancer and went to New York. When
I came back, I rented a hall, and taught for free. I had quite a few
students initially. I still teach, although I canít afford to do it
year, I have lived my life well. I refuse to allow some bully terrorist
coward stop me from teaching, working, laughing, playing "Black
Bart," nor give up my ideals of life, liberty, nor pursue my own
happiness as I, a human being, see fit.
spent two weeks this past August on the East Coast. Mom seems to have
recovered nicely. Oh yeah, by the way, so had New York.
spotlights that are blue and go to the heavens. There is a huge rubble
pile in Long Island filled with ghosts. There are people in touch and on
the streets that are in recovery, and doing well. We Americans are
Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002, I will work, I will learn with Arek and
Shannon. I will remember, and I will light candles and place them
outside like we did in upstate New York a year ago that night, and pray
in the candlelight.