Author: Dick Jordan

9/11 Remembered: On Martha’s Vineyard

9/11 Remembered: On Martha’s Vineyard

(On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Tales Told From The Road ran stories from its readers and other sources about their experiences traveling in the days surrounding 9/11. Over the coming days we will re-run many of those stories to commemorate a day in the history of the United States and the world that will long be remembered.)

“9/11 Remembered: On Martha’s Vineyard” By David M. Frey

When I remember the events of 9/11, I first remember the evening of 9/10. I had traveled to Martha’s Vineyard with my then wife and her family. Off-season had settled and the island had a sense of letting out a sigh and settling in for autumn. We went to a concert of sea shanties.

One of the musicians “daylighted” as a photographer and described his favorite time of day to take pictures.

It wasn’t sunset, he said. It was just after, when the water is glassy and reflects the colors of the sun-streaked sky as if it were glowing from within. It was that moment as he spoke, and looking out to the harbor, I understood why he loved this moment so much.

The next day, we watched the horrific news unfold on the TV in our bed-and-breakfast. It was suddenly awkward to be vacationing amidst tragedy.

Shopkeepers and restaurant owners couldn’t decide if they should close or not. There was no etiquette for dealing with this kind of tragedy.

Amid the chaos that followed, the ferry to the Vineyard shut down.

Boston’s Logan Airport, the departure point of one of the hijacked planes, became a crime scene. Even after flights resumed elsewhere, Logan was locked down.

We were stuck for days, unable to find plane, train or automobile home from Massachusetts, merely inconvenienced while we watched so many suffer so much more.

But what I remember most came before that: an evening of tranquil waters bathing in the last light of day.

David M. Frey is a freelance writer based near Washington, D.C., where he writes about the environment, food, travel, culture and politics for a variety of publications.

His work as a reporter, editor, photographer and columnist has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, High Country News, and NewWest.Net.

His 9/11 story was originally published by Tales Told From The Road on September 23, 2011.

9/11 Remembered: Italy Delayed

9/11 Remembered: Italy Delayed

(On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Tales Told From The Road ran stories from its readers and other sources about their experiences traveling in the days surrounding 9/11. Over the coming days we will re-run many of those stories to commemorate a day in the history of the United States and the world that will long be remembered.)

“9/11 Remembered: Italy Delayed” By Jackie Smith

We were booked to fly to Italy in early October, 2001, flight arranged and reservations made for a stay in the heart of Chianti country at Tenuta di Ricavo,  a once-small hamlet turned agriturismo destination.

Chianti Italy (Rick Cooper Photo)

As the airlines continued to ground flights for several days after 9/11, and more and more passengers were stranded around the globe, it occurred to us that travel any time in the subsequent weeks might be difficult.  So we reluctantly cancelled our plans to see grape harvest in Tuscany.

I might add it wasn’t because we were afraid of potential attacks—we actually thought there’d probably never be a safer time to fly.

Back then—hard as it is to believe now—rescheduling flights didn’t carry quite the financial penalties they do today and the Italians were most understanding of the cancellation.  No penalties, instead, sympathy offered for the attack on America.

We re-booked the trip for April 2002 and by doing so were able to experience springtime Tuscany, Easter Sunday in a small Tuscan village, and have a fantastic stay at the at the Tunuta di Ricavo.

Jackie Smith is former newspaper reporter-turned-public relations director who became a travel writer and travel blogger.

She and her husband, Joel, split their time between homes in Washington State and Greece.

Their travel blog is TravelnWrite. Her 9/11 story was first published by Tales Told From The Road on October 3, 2011.

9/11 Remembered: Will We Not Falter?

9/11 Remembered: Will We Not Falter?

(On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Tales Told From The Road ran stories from its readers and other sources about their experiences traveling in the days surrounding 9/11. Over the coming days we will re-run many of those stories to commemorate a day in the history of the United States and the world that will long be remembered.)

“9/11 Remembered: Will We Not Falter?” By Elisabeth Ptak

 I happened to be at the National Guard Armory in Medford, Oregon, last Sunday when the United States began bombing Afghanistan. It was a beautiful fall day where I was. The air was crisp, and overnight a new crop of leaves had carpeted the back yards and sidewalks in the picturesque towns around there. There were jobs to be had: a sign on a fruit processing plant announced the company was hiring experienced pear packers. Roadside produce stands overflowed with a harvest of pumpkins and winter squash for sale, and even the most run-down businesses I passed made up in character what they lacked in charm.

A portable traffic hazard signal flashed “God Bless U.S.A.” on the side of the road that I’d traveled in the shadow of the rugged Cascade Range.  “We will not falter, we will not fail,” blazed from the red, white, and blue marquee of a car and truck dealership, while Old Glory waved from front porches, lampposts, and motels. America was wearing its flag on its lapel and its heart on its sleeve. If it didn’t exactly feel good to be alive, what with the world situation and all, at least it felt color-coordinated.

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