The Investor David S. Wetherell

He materialized from out of nowhere, the owner by leveraged buyout of College Marketing Group (CMG), a mail-order company in Winchester, Mass., that sold lists of professors and their courses to textbook publishers.

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The New Day of Infamy. Part 1

Last Monday evening, my mother and I were sparring over how many toiletries to pack. By Tuesday morning, the whole world had been upended.

At 7:30 am, my brother barged into my room. “Bree, it’s Aunt Jan on the phone. Wake up! A plane crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon!”

I stumbled out of bed and took the phone. “Turn on the TV,” she barked. I raced down the hall to the living room. Dan Rather’s placid voice narrated the scene as balls of fire burst from the north tower. Within minutes, the total destruction of the twin towers. Then part of the Pentagon collapsed. No. I’m screaming, shaking…this can’t be happening. The explosions are too perfect, too surreal, too other worldly.

Across the country, many in my generation—for the most part coddled 20-somethings—are in shock, numb, sick to our stomachs. With the telephone circuits overloaded Tuesday, we communicated by email. We shot off platitudes (“our innocence has been shattered,” “things will never be the same again”) to each other as quickly as our Hotmail accounts would allow.

It only took an hour online to account for nearly all my New York and D.C. friends. All except my best friend, that is. She lives in Battery Park, just blocks from the World Trade Center and works on Wall Street. She was likely on her way to work when the first collision occurred. I cannot get through to any of her numbers. I spend a day frozen in worry. Around 7pm Tuesday, however, another friend reaches her mother. She’s fine. She took a ferry to Staten Island, her mother says.

The courageous, lovely Barbara Olson was not so lucky, however, nor was a professor from my own alma mater Georgetown. No, no, no. I do not want it to be so. I want to rewind this awful movie and return it to Blockbuster.

It is fortunate I’m in Oregon and not D.C., my relatives tell me. But in the Pacific Northwest, the outrage is not so palpable. As one high school friend says, explaining her lack of connection to the tragedy, “I’ve never even been to these cities.”

..to be continued..