Laura Ingalls, Reporter, KFI discussed on Wake Up Call
I heart radio app but my KFI reporter Laura Ingalls currently fox news reporter joins us on the line and one of my dearest friends in the whole wide world Laura good morning good morning John nice settle you down right well that's funny I said am I ever gonna be able to color lord this morning actually wrote your name out I thought have we call either by our first names in twenty years right so quick back story Lauren I actually met in nineteen ninety seven when we were working for a station in Sacramento and up both of us at that time very new very green reporters worked there for a few years together what were there like three years then Laura gets a big break comes down here to KFI I get my big break go to San Francisco and all of a sudden shortly after that boom both of us are calling each other going oh my god we're going to September eleventh we're going to the attacks it was a crazy thing how do you get there by the way. well it was it was quite an Odyssey because Chris little our news director the new director is still there and he called me and said I don't care what you're doing get a bad to get to the airport of course at that point we knew you know that the airports were starting to close and we just tried every single day I went to downtown LA to do reporting that day because I could get on a plane and every single day there after I went to the studios and and create town and we would try to get on a flight and every day we could get on and then one day I remember Chris coming out of the at his office in the newsroom and said who can get Laura to Las Vegas right now that they've just opened up the first one of the first flight and we can get on it and so I had a producer we drove very fast to Vegas and I got on a plane with an entire plane full of stranded new Yorkers who wore stock on the west coast that was you know a very. difficult experience to be on the plane with them because once we got into the New York area and it was an overnight flight we lifted up the windows and all you could do with this was the smells and the entire plane just you can hear the gasp and you could feel the emotion and the tears started and every single aisle and I went to New York for the first time I'd ever been to New York City and I came with two tape decks you remember around yeah yes I came into debt tape decks and on a backpack full of equipment to get a five on the from the hotel and I remember sitting in my plane seat and I hit record play and I never stopped rolling and I wrote the entire time that we were there yeah I think I I ended up going on a bus they sent me that. it was crazy four and a half days on a bus across the country but talking about the strain a new Yorkers I sat next to a woman who worked on Wall Street and as we were getting back no I'm sorry she worked at the one of buildings near I guess near the twin towers and I don't got closer and closer she started being able to contact family members that she had been able to get a hold of before and I'll never forget crossing the bridge going into New York City and seeing that same cloud of smoke that you're talking about and was crying everybody on the bus had a reaction that Kreider they gasp did they whatever it was you couldn't believe it until you got there and then the smell of being down there at ground zero was just something I'll never forget I can still I mean we can all still small and you know I it even anywhere across the country I think everybody knows somebody who was it who either perished or know somebody who did and everybody here certainly has a story and if you would have told me eighteen years ago that I'd be living in New York after being there for the first time on that week and I I felt like I was in the twilight zone I remember walking out of the subway and and coming up to ground level and and it was it was crazy it was it was dusty there were military members of the military tanks and a cargo truck and you know assault rifles and helmets and you're like where am I what it you know it just it was just such a unique devastating experience obviously but it just just to experience to your for the very first time that way and then you didn't even have to really speak out I need to go find a story. your kept your tape deck rolling and talk to anybody that would talk to you and and most people did it was like a a group therapy session on the largest scale you can imagine of everybody walking around the people with member when we went down with everybody walking around their pictures have used as my family member and the tears and bringing the two questions down over to the river where they had set up makeshift area where they were bringing people ask asking them to bring stuff from their home that they can get some DNA samples that they could try to start identifying people which of course took so long and for obvious reasons it was just a surreal experience and and every the temporal events we wake up and we relive those memories as a as a nation and and on a personal level of where we were that day how we experienced that and how it has stayed with us forever yeah and I think it's exactly those stories there was a story of a mom and it was as we were going into the area where the media could get in see you around ground zero and it was a mom who handed me a picture of her daughter who was missing and she said she's crying and she said please find my daughter you can get in there please find her and you knew I mean this was days later but I knew that her daughter was dead but it was stories like that it was a woman I was in a coffee shop and there was a woman who was sitting there very nicely dressed woman kinda looks almost like she was going to an office job and as I walked in she had a little box and she handed me a pen of like a safety pin with beads on it that made an American flag we're going to cover the story is going to the different on firefighters at the different fire stations where most of the entire crew had been killed and having to interview those firefighters and watching them relive the memories in their minds if you could just see it in their eyes with they were going through right then I mean it's it's things that you you can't forget even if you wanted to you know what I remember I was trying to before I got on the radio with you I was thinking of you know what what sticks out to me other than white I think one of my biggest memory just coming out of Canal Street and. and seeing the military you know everywhere now and now that the daily part of our lives living in New York City I I commute I go through Penn station and every morning I come up the escalator and I've got several different agencies with A. K. A. K. forty sevens and whatever there and holding but they everybody here is military now so it's just become a part of our daily life that was one of the biggest memories that I have from that day but also I somehow and you know how this works especially the radio radio is awesome first on so many levels because it's not the you can quote get away with stuff but we don't have a camera you can kind of bother we then get in between cars and people talk to you more often with the radio Mike as opposed to having a camera in your face and so as we were getting closer to the ground zero area are like somehow made it past a barricade I wasn't supposed to be passed and I was watching the search dogs they had set up a base set up these pool and they had and I was rolling on that as well that was a one of my pieces for KFI and they were taking the dog that we're going in the capitanes going into the search and they had the dogs were getting so confused with the amount of what the amount of debris that was on their pause as if they were taking the dogs and they were dipping them into these bass because they had to get the matter off of their little paws and get them cleaned off they could go back again and so it was like this assembly line of of you know little pools that they had dipping the dot getting them ready to go in and out and in and out and I was standing I got kicked out of that particular area when he realized the been there but it was again another memory of just watching how the operation worked and of course we've all watched for so many years you know at the people talking about what it was like being in the pile and how long people were down there and now today fast forward eighteen years the beautiful reflecting pools at the footprints of the towers and I always tell people who come here and visit what should we do well you should you know hit the show go to the. restaurant but you've got to go down you've got to go downtown I feel like it's your duty to go down there and take a minute and remember absolutely and you do you remember it there was a beautiful cathedral across the street from the twin towers is that the twin towers blew up everything around them ways broken windows you know blown out things but they but they were you know some of the best the buildings were even down in some of the places sorry I was that cathedral across the street that was untouched and for whatever reason for me that sort of miraculous standing building with the stained glass how it didn't blow up also send me something about like you know what we're gonna make it we're gonna make it through this and it was just such a it all of that debris and all of that rubble and all of that sadness that one standing building was sort of like a little beacon of hope and all of that. all chapel and as they call it the little church that stood yes yes and if it's over two hundred fifty years old and you know that that is best known by residents as New York city's little church that stood so people know that people visit at as you know not a not a tourist attraction but somewhere to go and pay respect yeah and see what happened and and so many of us who were down there and know that I mean look we didn't we weren't there that day we went there even a couple of days it took us both several days to get into position you know it at the end but people will tell you one of the other startling and and very hard things to even fathom is how all of the medical teams had you know came out and were standing there with gurneys and we're waiting for people to calm yeah and they never came yeah it was still talk about that today well to this day my friend I am so grateful that you were there because at night Lauren I would we went there was them for whatever reason our hotels were just down the street from each other and there was an Italian restaurants like right in the middle and we would kind of go there and decompress at night and we would just order dinner have a glass of wine and just talk about our day you had to get it out and and that the the fact it was all so surreal you almost needed to talk to somebody who was going through the same thing because you thought nobody is going to believe this nobody right I couldn't convey this to somebody who's not here witnessing this crazy bizarre apocalyptic thing that I'm in the middle of right it was it was so I was thankful for you being there as well and even calling back to KFI and okay what kind of phone do you have what shows are we going to do and you know talking with Chris little and Michael Clarke and everybody at the time talking about what shows were going to be doing with John and Ken and bill Handel and and I'm so grateful for the time to be able to that's what the great about talk radio if you can just let it roll let's ride and can just talk and talk and play the sound that you have these amazing interviews but you know you could the the smell. the air that people still talk about today that everybody can remember at the that plastic the electrical burning and that did tend the secondary small the came after you needed it was a group therapy session for anybody to have somebody here to talk to and it was hard to convey that and I don't know I don't know what you did with your family I don't remember but I I remember I didn't tell anybody I I just I didn't tell my family I was going because I knew how hard that was gonna be two point in New York so I just kind of a limited that until about a week later and I was ready to leave I said by the way I'm here. I told my parents but we talked on a daily basis and it would have been worse if they thought you know what you mean now we can't get a hold of her eyes so I did I told them right away but it was just.