I'm a stay-at-home mother of two. Despite the insanity of my life, I always find time to read...it is my outlet and my passion. I also love to cook and appreciate a good glass (or bottle) of wine. If you would like to contact me, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before I tell you about Artie Van Why's book, I'm going to share a little bit of my 9/11 story with you. Some of you may heard it, and to those people I apologize for repeating myself.
My reaction was the same as the rest of the world on that day...I was devastated. I didn't lose anyone in the terrorist attacks, but I felt that my innocence had been stolen from me. All I wanted to do on that day was go home and be with my husband and children. Instead, I worked for a company who wanted to seize the moment and come up with a patriotic but profitable promotion, and was asked to work late to make it happen. Around 3:00pm, a teacher from my kids' school called me and told me my kids were the only ones remaining, and could I please come and get them? I had to call my husband to do the honors.
I didn't quit the next day. Who can do that financially? But at that very moment, I made a promise that we would get our bills paid, and reprioritize our life so I could stay home and raise my children. Things were sacrificed and my husband and I made it happen. Never again was I going to be put in that position, that my babies were going to be the last children left at school with the nation was falling apart. It was an epiphany. I quit my job, after a 16 year career, in 2004.
For three or four years, I went into my shell on 9/11. I grieved all over again. Even now, ten years later, there is a pall cast over the day. It is for this reason that even though I only accept 1 out of every 10 review copies, Artie's spoke to me. Like me and thousands of people out there, he has a story to tell.
Artie worked across the street from the Twin Towers as a word processor for a law firm. It wasn't his dream job. He was a gay man, mostly in the closet, and had always wanted to be an actor. Those dreams were put aside to pay the bills. Artie was also a recovering alcoholic, and was just trying to get by day to day.
But when the towers were hit, and Artie raced out into the street and saw bodies falling from the sky, something shifted in him. He wished he could have saved some of them. He walked home, changed his clothes, and went to his AA meeting. He called his parents. He slept with the light on. He wouldn't leave his neighborhood. He started when he heard an airplane. He would silently plan his escape route if buildings started to fall as he was walking down the street. His words are honest and raw.
Ultimately, he quit his job and chased his dream. He began getting his thoughts down on paper, which were published into this book. He adapted his words into a one man show off Broadway. He is doing what he loves.
I feel an affinity with Artie in that we both were irrevocably affected by 9/11, and made changes for the better. His personal memoir is a testament to the human spirit, and honors the memories of all the souls lost on September 11, 2001. This book is only 84 pages, something you can read in an hour, to help us remember a day that should never be forgotten.