Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Where were you?"

That's the question everyone will ask this day for decades.

Cottey College. It was just as bright in Missouri as it was there in New York. All day, girls who hadn't been in a class were checking on the television and reporting to girls in their classes on what had happened or was speculated.

My best friend had an earlier class than I did, so she didn't know anything by the time we met up outside Hinkhouse Center (the gym and dance building) between classes. The only class (of four) that I had in which we conducted class at all was a ballet class. Every other class just sat and talked about what had happened.

After lunch (and for some reason I remember there were brown-sugar sandwich cookies for dessert) I realized that the flag needed to be lowered to half-mast. You have to know Cottey to understand what I'm about to say, but I took myself upstairs to the college president (Dr. Washburn) to ask about it, intending to do it myself, but Dr. Washburn got one of the maintenance men to take care of it.

After supper everyone was still phoning relatives, trying to get a chance to give blood, checking on friends and family who could have been affected in some way. (My aunt had to walk home, I think; My Knight was at Hofstra University in Long Island and could see the fires from campus.)
We prayed around the flagpole; I went to the organ and I think what I played was "Eternal Father, Strong to Save". Later, Dr. Washburn walked through all the suites to check on her girls.

Now, someday when Bluebonnet is bigger, we'll have to explain what happened; it's going to be a lot tougher than when our parents explained about Kennedy being shot or the Challenger exploding.

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