Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge

I was walking home on 9/11, and I passed by the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. There are always a lot of people walking across the bridge, but it seemed to me like there were way more than usual. I later learned that there is now a new bike lane so pedestrians have the walkway to themselves. Maybe it had just opened recently when I walked by.

It’s been a while since I’ve walked across. Maybe it’s time to take a stroll and see what it’s like now.

20th Anniversary of 9/11/2001

Brian Lehrer, the most comforting and intelligent voice in NYC, is coming out of my speakers. I don’t know. I’ve got so many 9/11 stories, but I don’t really want to tell them anymore. I don’t watch 9/11 specials anymore. That said, for some reason I watched one last night. It was very well done, but I had to look away several times (when they showed people jumping). And it just made me sad. The world is worse than it was then, and we share much of the responsibility for that. A few stories though, the amazing decency of some people. That helped me from feeling completely flattened.

I’ll be walking downtown with a friend I made when volunteering at St. Paul’s Chapel during the recovery period. We’ll listen for a while to the reading of the names of 9/11 responders who have died since 9/11, due to 9/11 related illnesses. That is the idea and work of another 9/11 St. Paul’s Chapel volunteer, Barbara Horn (no relation, but we call each other sis). That will be somber. These are the people we worked with, the people we fed. We made beds in the church so they could lay down and rest. Well done, sis.

I’m fine. I just can’t help feeling, once again, that we squandered such an amazing opportunity. Our country was united, the world was united, and every step we took afterwards destroyed that incredible chance to build on the bridge the terrorists had unwittingly constructed. We’re now choking on the ever-rising hate and division. Ha. I don’t sound fine.

Hopefully I’ll be seeing lots of old friends today and I will have happier memories and pictures to post tomorrow. I took these pictures from my roof. The second shows the south tower falling. The third I took the next day, and it was still smoking. It would for a long time, and you could smell the fires burning for months.

World Trade Center 9/11/2001

World Trade Center, 9/11/2001

World Trade Center, 9/11/2001

Trapped, as Usual, by a Cat

Like many pet owners, I do not have to heart to get up when I have a sleeping animal on me. Ah, the tyranny of the sleeping cat. At the moment, Bleecker is on me and I’m the most reluctant to move when it’s Bleecker. The other two tend to hog my lap and bully him when he tries to claim time. So when he gets it I want to give him as much time as I can.

Here is one of the first pictures I took of him.

Richard Sanders Scott

This happens to me all the time. I pass a plaque laid in the honor of someone and I wish they said something about them. This is the plaque I saw in Central Park this summer.

Richard Sanders Scott 1905 - 1942

This is what I learned from HonorStates. “He was a passenger on the B-24D Liberator #41-23707 when they departed from their base in England for Oran in Algeria. They were to play an important part in the operations to defeat Rommel and the German Armies in Africa. On December 7, 1942, at the end of the first leg of their journey their aircraft crashed into a mountain on the approach to Tafraoui. All on board were killed.”

This is his military registration card. There is some disagreement about his year of birth, but his registration card clearly says 1904. They got the place of birth wrong, however. Oh, and I just noticed they misspelled his name. They meant well.

Richard Sanders Scott 1904 - 1942

Here is a picture of his gravestone from Find-A-Grave.

Richard Sanders Scott 1904 - 1942

And here is Richard, from his Harvard yearbook picture from 1927, followed by a screenshot including his activities. A handsome young man. He had a son, Richard, who was born in 1939, and a wife, Caroline Ticknor Hunnewell, who (whom? I never know) he married in 1937. I didn’t really uncover a lot in my brief search, alas.

Richard Sanders Scott 1904 - 1942

Richard Sanders Scott 1904 - 1942

A Beautiful Gift

Last week someone buzzed my apartment saying they had a delivery. When I went down there was a package for me wrapped in plain brown paper and no return address. And, it didn’t come through the mail. So someone personally dropped it off.

My first thought was anthrax! But I couldn’t resist and removed the brown paper. Then there was a box saying there was food inside. Poisoned food! Again, I couldn’t resist. I looked back at the handwriting and thought I recognized it. So I opened it up to this.

A beautiful handmade bud vase made by an old friend, Scott Connor. I’ve always loved everything he’s made and this was stunning. I couldn’t get a picture that does it justice, but it has an amazing shape which is different at every angle, and I love the shades of blue, the weight of it, everything. In a just universe Scott Connor would have spent his life making nothing but art and he would be very wealthy by now.

Thank you so so much, Scott. I will cherish this. I’m keeping it in a spot on my desk where I can always see it but where the cats can’t easily knock it off. (They do so love to knock things off things.)

The title of the piece is AND NOW? (There’s a backstory to that name. They are the words of the main prompt on Echo, the social network I started decades ago with Scott and many other people’s help. Whenever you do anything on Echo the command is typed in at the AND NOW? prompt.)

Vase by Scott Connor

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