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October 08, 2003


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Hey Flee,

I was genuinely shocked (and quite flattered I might add) to see an entry about me on your blog. I love reading it, it makes me pine for New York and see all that you are up to. You really do inspire me to dig into the part of my brain that needs to be dusted off (or at least have the dust cover removed) that still yearns to write.

As for the WTC, I would like to share a Canadian perspective. I visited WTC in January 2001. It was a clear, crisp day, a snow storm has passed through the day before. Not a cloud could be seen, just lovely NYC. My husband and I pointed out landmarks to each other and gazed down at the maze. Once down in the mall area, I called my mom because it just seemed so appropriate to call someone you love from a place you love to visit.

When 9/11 struck, we were in complete shock as was the rest of the world. I was on my way to my mom's to take her to an appointment and I heard it on the radio. I honestly thought it was a joke (a very sick one at that) until I began frantically changing the stations and to my horror listening to much of the same.

When I arrived at mom's house, I dashed up the steps, flung the door open and before I could even utter a word she mirrored the expression on my face, at that moment I knew it was true. Of course like everyone else, we immediately glued our eyes to CNN. By this time both towers had been hit and then they quickly switched to reporting a fire at the Pentagon. A little more than a fire, don't you think?

I then recalled the day of my last visit, same weather only warmer. No clouds, just blue sky and the beautiful NYC skyline. Seeing the skyline disintegrate into nothing but billowing grey brought tears to my eyes. In January I was talking to my mom from WTC, now I was with her watching it fall.

We finally unglued our eyes and went to her appointment. The whole way there, the whole way back, my head was hazy. This was just too much to wrap my head around.

I called my husband, more out of instinct than anything I think. Of course he was fine, was he in NYC? We briefly touched base and when he came home we ate in front of the TV until it was unbearable to watch. That was our routine for at least a week.

I know my humble experience is nothing like those of you that live there. I just want you to know that there are others around the world that love NYC and felt a loss that tragic day too.

So my friend, maybe you should wait to visit where WTC once stood until I can come with you. We can mourn together.

Your last friend in Canada,

Karen Hayes

I came across your web site by accident. I had just typed in "Alpena" and somehow got to you. I read your accounts of your parents deaths and I had just been through the same things in 2000 and 2001. I empathize with you very strongly. I noticed that your mother loved porcelain painting and I have been teaching classes at home in my studio for 29 years. I was brought up as was my husband in Alpena, then left to go to the Detroit area for 42 years. My husband is actually in Alpena right now helping to take care of his elderly mother. My sincere sympathies on the deaths of your parents. You have given them a very wonderful tribute and I am trying to do the same thing for mine. I've been writing stories for scrap books for their descendants telling about the past generations through the stories they told me. It was insprirational to read your writings. Karen Hayes

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    Sponsors National Poetry Month in April and has a huge audio archive of readings, much of it available online. They even have an iPhone app!
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    Founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape, Cave Canem Foundation is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.
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