World Trade Center, Earlene Alexander, New York discussed on The Moth Radio Hour

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Hickson from them off. Martz. Community programs sometimes works with nonprofits in New York, and we're very proud of our relationship with the 9 11 tribute Center where we met our next storyteller Earlene Alexander. Here's Earlene Live at the mall. Sarah, my mom. My mom and I We were very close. We were so close that You have dinner together almost every night. Even after I moved out, someone had to feed me and we talk every day and we had always in our conversation have something to laugh about. And that laugh would get us through today or sometimes through the week. We even worked for the same company at the World Trade Center. She worked in engineering on a second 72nd floor. And I worked in aviation. So She got to work really early, though, 7 30. Me and the rest of the world. We got to go work at about 9 39 45 10. But on this beautiful day in September I remember being the loveliest day. Had to be at work early. Since I had to be at work early. I said, I'm going to surprise my mom and I'm gonna show by her desk with a cup of coffee, light and sweet like she likes it. And I'm going to say Well, who has banker's hours now? And I say that because I recall that she used to always tease me about having banker's hours. She's like, you know, you just cannot get to work before team, can you Well, today I am. So I make my way to the World Trade Center. I get to the concours where all the stores are. And I look and I just wondered like who are all these people up so early that Congress is full of people in the coffee line is so much longer than I Usually have it. What I stand in line. I get the coffee because I'm gonna. I am determined to surprise my mom. When this day So I make my way to the 44th floor because at the 44 floor, you have to change over to the next set of elevators. I'm headed to the next cell of metal set of elevators. Do you get to my mouth's floor? And I see and one of the elevators My work, Mom, Margaret. And I see that she's talking to Our friend Dan, Who's the secretary of our company? So what? You're talking and laughing And what are they talking about? I want I want to know. So I try to catch up to them. And just as I get to the elevator, it closes in my face. He couldn't have seen me because if they did, they would have held the elevator. And then I would have been laughing too. Says. I'm waiting for the next elevator. All of a sudden the building shook violently. And then lean to the side and bounced back. What was that? What is going on around me? Glasses cracking and shattering and people are just moving so fast. I don't know what's going on. But I hear a voice coming from the stairwell. Let's get out of here. Let's get off this floor. We have to go. So we go into the stairwell. And his calm is quiet. It's almost like one of our periodical fire drills, evacuation drills. The only thing you could hear in the stairwell where people walking down the stairs. We still don't really know what was going on. I was just hoping that the elevators were working when we had to come back in. So We get down to the concourse and we open the door to the concourse, and there's nothing but flashing strobe lights and Alarms going off and a police officer pushing us out of the out of the office building yet out of his office building, get out quickly. So I step by the office building. And there's paper coming from the sky. I step out a little further. And I looked back up at the building. Enters a cloud of smoke coming from one of the floors. That's a really bad office fire. I wonder how that happened. And then all of a sudden I feel myself being pushed again. Pushed across the street. Get away from the building. So I go to the corner directly across the street from the building. And then I noticed I still have my mom's coffee. I still have a chance to give my mom her coffee as soon as she comes out his building. So waiting, and I'm looking at each and every face coming out of that building. I didn't see my mom. To my co workers come up to me. And they say, Well, we have to leave this area. Is he? Yeah, I'll leave. As soon as my mom comes and then we can all walk together. Wait with me. So they indulge me for a minute. And then they convinced me that I have to leave. And so we're walking. And then I I don't know how it slipped my mind that I'm still holding coffee. My hand has a tight grip on his coffee. Because in my mind, I'm still looking for my mom because I need to get over this coffee. And I'm looking at every face going by me. I'm looking at every face in every crowd. And I still don't see my mom. So then a man comes in runs. Bias take cover two buildings about the fall. So we go into a store. And as soon as we walk in the store and I look out the window Harbison like a nuclear explosion. Us then. Smoke. Just like takes over the whole area. I can no longer see the buildings. I can no longer see the people. So when it does cleared I was really Concerned. Is my mom had as my really bad And all this smoke and dust going on. I just wanted to find her. My cell phone wasn't working. No one cell phone was working, so I couldn't call her. So we went to find a pay phone. Every pay phone had, like 10,000 people online. And so finally, I'm going to sit at this paper on and wait on line with everyone else. So I get to the phone. I call my mom's house this even when there's her from her. No answer. I called my grandmother's house to see if anyone's heard from her on that side. I talked to my aunt. They're so happy to hear from me..

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