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Date Submitted: 09/12/2013
Author Info: Howard (N Newton, KS, United States) 
Occupation: Other
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was in Lead SD at a motel that morning, about to take my camper in for repair—a good 2 hour drive to Rapid City. My appointment was noon. I got up early, took my dog for a run, then swung by the motel for something I’d forgotten. It was a few minutes before 10 in South Dakota as I started to leave the room (I’d left the truck idling)

But I was a real news junkie in those days, so I turned the TV on but remained standing for my quick fix. . . . footage of Flight 11 slamming into the north tower is replaying in slo-mo. I dash out, park the truck, bring the dog in, and sit on the foot of the bed. . . . Flight 175 plows into the south tower.

I call the RV shop and they tell me to get there when I can.

For the past six months I’d been traveling across the country in my truck-camper in the wake of divorce, just me and the German short-hair (I got the dog, she got the cats), in search of rejuvenation, maybe even an epiphany.

The stop in the Black Hills in July was to reassess “What’s next?” and replenish the coffer. Working part-time at the VA hospital in Rapid City and evenings at a Deadwood casino sufficed for my gypsy lifestyle, but the larger life questions remained deferred until that fateful morning. Suddenly, with the change of seasons, I had to decide where we would spend the winter.

Three weeks after 9/11, I found myself heading for Monterey CA to reconnect with my godmother who had always been there for me growing up. Beyond that, who knew what the future might bring anymore?


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