Tag Archive: September 11


In September of 2001, many things in my life were new: I was the new Nights (7 p.m. – midnight) man entertaining on a little AM radio station in Nashville, Tennessee. I’d do my show and then off I’d go to check out some local DJs in my new Music City. Mostly, I checked out Liquid Lounge (before it became “Elements”) till about 3 A.M., looking for new club DJ opportunities and then go a short distance from my new downtown, back to my new little two bedroom cottage.

This was still the pre-cell phone era and I only had a land line and cassette tape- based answering machine which I based in my other room, across the hall in my studio room from my bedroom and had an incredibly long cord, which allowed me to be on the “princess” phone all over the house and even out on my little front stoop. I didn’t have my first home computer yet and there were still pay phones everywhere!

So I’d sleep from like 4 a.m. until maybe noon, unless I had some special morning interaction to attend or a gig; such is the life of the second and third shift radio man and many other alternative hour workers.

Then the phone rang around 10 or 11 a.m. I guess, and I heard the machine come on in the other room, and maybe my friend, Monique’s voice say something as I slept – and ignored it. Soon, the phone rang another time and I recognized her voice again! At this point I picked it up and my friend Monique says, “Turn on the TV!” I’m like, “No, I’m sleeping…” or something to that effect. She insisted and then I fumbled around and found the remote to turn it on. What I saw I thought was a movie, in the purple haze of awakening. “Why you want me to watch this movie, Mo?” I must have asked. She said something like, “No! A plane hit the World Trade Center!!” I began to sit up in my bed and just about then, the second plane hit the other tower. Shock. At that moment, I knew that this was no movie.

As I watched the coverage that fateful afternoon, I’d almost forgotten that I had a “show” to do that evening – and the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to perform it. – I was bummed to the max! Calling my Mum in on Long Island, I asked could she smell the smoke and she said “Yes.” So I called my Program Director to ask him out of my show that night, but instead of empathy for my feelings, he replied, in, what I’ve learned is typical southern black American ignorance, “Aww man, its just a plane hit a building. G’wan in and do your show!” At that point, my respect for him, being in his position only because he was the station owner’s son, went from like and “eight” to a “one” on a scale of one to ten. How dare he condescend, knowing that my roots are at the base of the World Trad Center and having been in my house where I had a wall-sized poster of them and the whole southern tip of Manhattan above my bed!

Writing this now, I know that the rebel in me wanted to call out, but I think that my inner “Dan Rather” made me go in that evening, but not to do my usual “party” radio show. Instead, I opened-up the phones to my new Nashville local listeners, to let them air their impressions of the day’s attack. Many were initially sort of clueless, to my disappointment, but as my program grew into the evening, I remember that the discussions became more spirited and that many of my listeners knew that I was from there and expressed their empathy to me, if not for the national implications, for me as someone they only met through the radio who identified with New York City. It was the most solem show I remember in my professional radio career – I hardly played any music and we lived for the top of the hour network updates for five hours that night.

Last night, on the cusp of eighteen years later and trying to go to sleep, I wished I could listen to that show; probably taped it on a cassette which is likely in storage with much of my belongings from those days that I cannot get to it because of my poverty, having chosen that radio career path, which has imploded for me like those beloved towers fell.

In closing, I must remind you to carry the message that we have young people in school now who have no recollection of that treacherous attack. So it is super- important that we teach them the magnitude of that day like the Pearl Harbor surprise attack was for the generation of my parents was.

Since 2016 or thereabouts, we as Americans have lost that unity that came about in the wake of those horrific and cowardly attacks. I close by asking you, my dear reader, to help bring back that sense of togetherness-of-purpose-umbrella, which we all gathered under after September 11, 2001.

Well, I took summer off  from posting here, mostly because making, fund-raising and earning the almighty currency that is the lubrication fabric of  our society and vehicle of personal comfort became a priority, and this is little more than a “hobby”, albeit a happy one when I indulge and share my “diary” with your eyes and mind.  I am happy to see my blog is doing well and steadily accumulating “hits” far beyond my wildest dreams when I began this venting in November of 2009.   No excuses, at this stage of my life (late fifties) a man does what his ‘Boy Scout’ preparedness intuitions tell him to do.

As the media ramps-up the USA to again relive the horror of September 11, 2001, I will ignore the urgings to pull out the VHS I have of the horrific happenings of that day that changed the way this country treats its own citizens, much to our own detriment, and instead keep my “nose to the grindstone” to prevent myself from getting tossed from this house of my last ten years before I have a new place to settle, even-though the “handwriting is on the walls” of this place, and I am eager to settle with my soon-to-be-wife “Nina” someplace else.

Therefore, I want to muse here about Labor Day. We are already too prone to “HBP” without going back to nightmares voluntarily. The first thing about Labor Day, 2011 is that it has magnified how drastically the seasons shift nowadays as compared to when I was a boy in Brooklyn, New York.  After four consecutive days of one-hundred degree farenheit temperatures, the “remnants of tropical storm Lee” made landfall from the Gulf Of Mexico and ushered-in late November-like temperatures for the past four days!

While my electic bill is happily reduced, as I always like to stick-it to the power company monopoly, I do not appreciate ‘Mother Nature’ cheating me out of my September sunshine in-favor of the blanket!!

  One of the great things about communicating regularly with my international finacee`, is that she shines a spotlight on something I have noticed forever here, and that is: the constant way our media dredges-up unpleasantness from the past. It is one of the reasons racism based upon skin color is still an issue in the “good ole U.S.A.” – our media keeps reminding people of our differences, instead of letting them settle under the collective archeological dirt of the generations whose dust accumulate on-top of that sordid business.

I first realized the impact of organized “labor unions” when the United Federation Of Teachers in New York City took their union out on strike in October of 1968 under Albert Shanker. It was the best to us pupils because we had two weeks off in going into Halloween that year! LOL

Growing-up with two teachers in da house taught me the value of how Labor Unions represent the underpaid and overworked.  Labor unions conjures memories of the Teamsters and the unknown whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa, their leader back in the day.

I joined AFTRA because I had to when I started working on WBLS FM in NYC back in 1984; they came looking for me via a letter which I still have! I was proud, even though the dues were and are exorbitant; I am glad, and think Labor Unions are under-appreciated these days.   The benefits outweigh the negatives; the camaraderie and strength-in-numbers is priceless against greedy “‘bosses” and  selfish, Scrooge-like employers. 

When I moved to my present southeastern location, I immediately felt the abrasive stiff-arm of the non-union mentality passed-down from generations since a divisive war that I won’t mention, lest I become part of the problem I seek to solve.  They probably liked it when Ronald Reagan broke the airline flight controllers’ union back in 1981, ushering-in the era of anti-union sentiment in the USA that most unfortunately, still carries-over here in 2011.  It was a very bad policy that affects the safety of the flying public to this very day, with “controllers” falling asleep at the “wheel”.   That attitude in this region hampered me when I was wrongfully terminated by an employer who brandished a deadly weapon – the local union “local” had no testicles to help me. [see my book, “He’s In A Meeting…” for more about it]

What are your family or work-related labor union experiences or memories? The floor is always open to your comments!

 I am back and hope to hit some posts out, back-to-back and belly-to-belly,  as my next post is already warming in the bullpen! What I also learned in the summer of 2011, is who is really in my inner circle, who will sweat, cry and toil with me to achieve a successful Labor of Love.

It’s about TIME!! I scarcely want to believe it; this is a time I want to SEE a dead body on the video that looks like this demon. Not liking to cheer death of any person, but with what he has spewed, this dude  had it coming and we were never going to see a “jury trial”  Guantanamo Bay-style. In Pakistan, eh?  I knew he was ther all the time!!  I remember being on the radio here, having just moved six months prior.  Nobody felt my emotions like I felt the hurt at my beloved twin towers of the World Trade Center (I like architecture, ok?) being violated and imploding to the ground here  like I did.  I was angry at the locals for that; the new people I worked for said tom me, “Oh, It’s just a building…”  Oh yes they DID.

I didn’t even want to do my radio show that night because I wanted to be back home and share the trauma.  Maybe it is good I didn’t breath that air, given my genetic lung makeup, but I wanted to stand with my friends in Manhattan and the boroughs of New York City.  I couldn’t bow-out in the face of such uncaring callousness from my new boss, but I did a trimmed-down show…”The Pajama Bar” was “closed” and I tried to even open-up the phones for callers.  I got some real empathetic ones from a few here in what was then my new southeastern city, not as many as I desired, but it worked long enough for me to fulfill my performance committment and get back to my cribola.

I wrote a poem about those Bin Laden led attacks that I read on the air a few days later.  I cannot find them right now, but the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, which I called for on the radio, will make me try to find them again and post them within this blog.  I remember that I called the Muhammad Atta gang the worst “faggots and cowards”, and a few more choice analogous words, and that I got phone calls about the poems after I read them live. Why didn’t they just step-up and fight us face-to-face?  It was a throw-back to my spontaneous college radio days when, filled with venom and hate for those who held us back because of our skin color, I would launch into poetic tirades in-between the music.  I remember bringing in all of my old anti-war protest jams from thirty years prior in the days to follow, like this one:

 The attacks of September 11, 2001 were a similar affront to the moral cohesiveness of our society at that juncture.  Since then, we have disintegrated into less than all that we can be since those Bin Laden-led attacks, keeping our collective heads in the sand, three monkeys-style, when we hear home-grown hate on the FCC-regulated airwaves.  I hope that now, as we stay vigilant for reprisals (his lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahri is still lurking someplace), that this American society and all the people on this planet Earth can renew its committment to fairness, justice, respect and peaceful coexistence for us all.  Maybe our gasoline prices will drop for a bit now,

And… hopefully we can, as Freda Payne sang, “Bring The Boys HOME”Geez...   

Peace.

OH! P.S. BIGG UPPS to Kooool Ronnie Beee of Atlantic City, NJ for the late Sunday night “SCOOP”!  1 Love.

[you have a standing invitation to COMMENT on this or any of my posts. Thank You.]

I loved the World Trade Center towers and had many occasions to visit them and even DJ/co-emcee at a party there once upon a night.  Granted that hindsight is 20/20, but I said this then on September 11, 2001, and I say it now, and had our “leader” been as bold as he talked tough or as those in the war-torn past century, we wouldn’t be pouring money needed here in “the States” into an unwinnable war in Afghanistan today, or Iraq yesterday.  I would have chosen the Truman option; I’d have nuked the hell out of wherever we thought Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts were and possibly leveled Afghanistan by September 15, 2001.

The Japanese in WWII were as brutal to our troops and civilians as Al Qaeda/Taliban was on “9/11”, and that is all the justification I would have needed.  The United States strayed from being no-holds- barred under President Clinton who wrongly instituted “political correctness” at home and abroad.  All that did was make this country look vulnerable and weak.  There are no “safe” wars, and innocents will get killed if you are to win.

I always hear my Dad, the late WWII U.S. Army Major (one of few Black American men to achieve that rank back then) say about our fighting in Vietnam that “we are fighting with one arm tied behind our backs.”  I am sure he would say the same thing today about the USA pouring resources needed at home into fighting those who are engaging in a mythical “holy war”  if he were still with us here in the physical world.  He had another prophecy that he expounded to my Mum and I back in the early 1990s, “They are building a silent army and Trojan Horse over here…”  By “they” back then he meant “Arabs” because we didn’t speak in terms of “Muslims” unless talking about the U.S./Chicago-based Nation of Islam.  Noticing the influx of these new “immigrants”, he felt that they had meaner intentions than those who came to Ellis Island earlier in the twentieth century whe he was a young man.  Prophecy fulfilled. 

If you are the big, bad “superpower” and you let some upstart fanatic bloody your lip and don’t squash them then and there, you get what we have now and you are not so “super” anymore.  Where was the Enola Gay when we needed her – and the guts to use it?

With all the fuss over whether Iran is building a nuclear program, I wonder why, when if you have the ability to use one when attacked visciously, you don’t.  I do not see that as the high road, but an off-ramp.

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