Twenty-one years ago, we were actually being tourists in “the city that never sleeps” according to Francis Albert. No business trip, no frantic rushing around Midtown, we were just looking around. In fact, we took the boat to Ellis Island, where most of the Armenians after the Genocide were routed to Canada, because there were quotas back then. As I look at the photo my Bride took of me, almost a year to the day later, the background of the picture was totally changed forever. A year later, I and everyone else was watching in total disbelief that terrorists used commercial jetliners and commandeered two planes and used them as weapons to destroy the Twin Towers. A day that we claimed that we would never forget, guess what? We have a generation that wasn’t even born and they have a different attitude about what happened, in fact, plenty of people now, it seems have forgotten, or it is convenient to forget about it.
There was a famous restaurant that I never had a chance to dine at, though my Bride did. The employees of Windows on the World were actually getting the restaurant ready for lunch, just like all the employees that filled up that tower and its twin next door. Some people did survive that fateful day, that were in the buildings, most were not that fortunate. I remember how impressed I was to learn that the entire staff at Daniel, in the Upper Eastside cancelled all of their reservations, and then moved the staff down to “Ground Zero” to cook and to make sure that all of the emergency crews had a chance to eat. I am also sure that other restaurants and individuals did the same, it is just that Daniel remains part of the story to this day for me. The country pulled together on that tragic day, and the following sad days as everyone tried to put the facts together to make sense.
I remember the following year after that tragic date, my Bride and I were all packed and ready to go to Carmel-by-the-Sea for a week of wining, dining and luckily even some dancing as well. On September 11, we got a call that my daughter was in the hospital ready to give birth to her first child. We got there with all of the commotion that surrounds the birth of a child. It was almost midnight and her physician looked at me, and said I have no idea why the baby has not been born yet, as she is fully dilated. I looked at my watch, and chuckled to myself, and told the doctor, this will all be remedied in about fifteen minutes and he looked at me puzzled, as if I had some strange super power that I was not sharing with him. I walked back into the room that my daughter was in and after a few minutes I informed her that it was past midnight and it was now the Twelfth of September, and that she could have the baby. She looked at me, and asked me if I was sure, and I confirmed it, and in a few minutes, they were wheeling the mother-to-be off to the delivery room. I continued to chuckle to myself, because I knew that my daughter did not want the child to be born on that infamous date, as she felt it would be bad luck. After my grandson was born, and I made sure that all were healthy and with no complications, I kissed the two of them good bye for the moment and told her we would be back after our week away, and that we had to be at the airport that morning around 4:30. I am happy to say that our eldest grandson is now in college.
No wine, no dining, just bear with me and allow me some indulgence to be solemn, even a raconteur has painful stories that have to be endured, as I give you little snapshots of almost the same date, in a three-year span.