Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker

Growing up in a big city, I rarely ran into people I knew once I left my neighborhood. (Although my mom seemed to run into people she knew a lot.) I got used to that sense of anonymity, and I liked to think that if I did something wrong or klutzy, no one would ever see me again. I liked the idea that not everyone knew my business.

Now I live in another city, but it's a lot smaller. Here I can leave my neighborhood and still run into people I know. The more schools I have taught in, the more my chances are of seeing people I know in most grocery stores. I can no longer just run to the grocery store in my pajamas, I mean, my sweats and a baseball cap. Ahem.

Stein grew up in a small town. So small that most people know everyone's business. You say our last name, and immediately people start asking who you know, Stein, or his siblings or his parents? Or the niece and nephews?

Friday night we went to see our two nephews play football. High school football is a world of its own. I never really got into it while I was in high school, partially because I went to an all-girls school, and partially because my guy friends didn't play football. I never experienced the "Friday Night Lights" of it all: bleachers, bands, cheerleaders, kids strolling the bleachers, kids hanging out. The game was good (they won!), but the people watching was even better. It was Homecoming, so there was a parade of girls throughout the game strutting their dresses and tiaras through the bleachers. In addition to that, there was the usual groups of people who know Stein, know his siblings, and know his parents.

On Saturday, friends of ours had an Oktoberfest party. Of course we knew most of the people at the party since Stein grew up with most of them, and also the hosts were the local veterinarians. At one point a local accident that happened earlier that day was being discussed. The person who was hurt in the accident had to be flown to the hospital by helicopter. When the question was asked whether or not the person had survived, our friend who is the local funeral director said, "I don't know, but I didn't get a call." It was at that point, combined with the football game on Friday, that I felt that small town feeling. The city-girl in me thought it was time to get back to our semi-anonymous city.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

On this 10th Anniversary of September 11th, I just re-read what I wrote two years ago, and that post also has a link to a post I wrote years before that. It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years.
Today I sent a message to the District Manager whom I was with when we heard the news. I told her that I will always remember being with her on that day. She wrote back and said, "I can't believe it's been 10 years ago because the memory is so vivid." I agree. The impact that event had on me is so strong. The impact that event has had on our country is so strong. The impact that event had on the world is so strong.

Never forget.