This is a day late, but I’ll likely never forget where I was the morning of the infamous September 11. At the time, I was living in Formosa, Ontario, and had no cable TV. I woke up late in the morning, after leaving my stereo FM radio system tuned to a local radio broadcaster. There aren’t many frequencies one can pick up in Formosa, that’s for sure. Formosa is home of wonderful spring water, and the Formosa Brewery.. and that’s about it. The closest large town is Owen Sound.
I remember waking up, in this very very big bedroom that I had, and walking along the hard wood floors. Just a few days earlier, I had heard the sounds of US jet fighters practicing over Lake Huron. As they broke the sound barrier, the boom travelled for miles and miles.
As soon as I heard the radio playing, I new something weird was going on. I don’t recall exactly what I heard, but I knew something was up – it wasn’t the normal banter and song playing that I normaly heard. I almost felt as if I were in a dream when I heard words suggesting the U.S. was under attack.
I couldn’t really believe it. But I just heard that comment being made. I tried to wake myself up from the sleep, lazy stupor I was in. America under attack?? Huh? My first thoughts went to my children, who lived near the Capital city of Canada. If America was under attack… then maybe Canada was too? Was I hearing this all right? Was I dreaming? No TV… just a radio and a dial up connection to the Internet.
Should I make coffee first? Have a smoke and listen to the radio? Then I heard more details.. the Twin Towers in New York had been struck. I remember thinking, “whoa… am I in some la-la-land?” “Is this another hoax radio show? It CAN’T be real…”
But I listened on to the radio stations, while dialing into my local ISP. Tried to get some news. Yahoo.. CNN.. whatever. And as I heard more details on the radio, this fear came over me.. all I could think about was a new war.. a war my son, who was 14 years old at the time, might have to participate in. All I could think about was the safety of my family. How widespread was this?
I made a phone call to my business partner, in Orangeville to find out if she knew anything. Was the Owen Sound radio station playing a hoax? My coffee brewed as I listened more. Nope, this couldn’t be a hoax. Someething dreadful was going on. Had third world war started? Here I was, in this tiny village, about an hour from the shores of Lake Huron, hearing about explosions in New York City, evacuations in Toronto, air flights being diverged to other places, and I felt so out of place. Everything was peaceful where I was. The Blue Jays were screaching, the sky was blue, and I was alone, in this huge old farmhouse.
My business partner didn’t really know much, when we talked. Even with a fiber connection to the Internet, and cable TV, she couldn’t make heads or tails anymore than I could about what was going on in the world.
A couple more cigarettes, another coffee.. running between the main floor, where the radio was, the bedroom, where the Internet access was. My thoughts went to my children. I was really concerned WW 3 was possibly about to break out, and I wanted to get in touch with the mother of my children, and make arrangements with her to get our kids as far away from Ottawa as I could. However, I wasn’t able to get a hold of her. So, eventually I drove from Formosa to my office in Orangeville, where I spent the next two days watching television, my eyes glued.
And even with my libertarian philosophy, boy was I ever glad George Bush was the President of the United States.