A year turns on Sept. 11 | VailDaily.com
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A year turns on Sept. 11

Don Rogers

The wire already was piling one story after another about the planes hitting buildings. For a brief time, it all had the feeling of an apocalypse.

Incredibly, some folks actually thought we had answers. No one did. Not presidents, generals, professors. Not even CNN.

But in awhile it became clearer. Planes hit the towers. A plane hit the Pentagon. Yet another plowed into Pennsylvania woodlands. Bad enough. Then the towers crumpled.

In the midst of that – thankful perhaps that we had a job to do, too – we puzzled over the local stories. Our airport of course closed with the rest. What were the schools doing? How were people here, so far from Ground Zero, reacting? Who from here was over there? What about the World Mountain Bike Championships, in town now? And so on.

Then, the phone. An editor from a sister paper on the line. What do we think about pushing out a quick special edition? Turned out to be a good idea. The reporters – eager to talk to people – and photographers were out and back in a flash with stories and pretty good ones to go with the coverage The Associated Press could muster by that point. The section hit the street in the afternoon, and readers snapped it up. That’s the true test.

And then to the grind. Work until midnight and come home to the television on and the wife unable to pull away. No doubt that was the scene at home after home for the next few days at least.

But while horror and confusion reigned back east, the sun still came out here, the kids went to school, routine returned fairly quickly. The Mountain Bike Worlds continued and everyone – everyone – slashed their budgets, tightened their belts, waxed their skis and snowboards.

We climbed all over ourselves to give blood and to overwhelm the 9/11 victims with donations.

And then the country went to war, or as close as we could muster in that wasteland Afghanistan. Iraq promises a tougher challenge.

At home, we’ve long since furled the front yard flags, neglected to exercise even our most basic civic duties, encountered the far more proximate worries of local recession, drought, fire and the growing realization that we might not have quite enough water for our rush to buildout.

It’s been quite a year.

It’s not even fall

A dappling of snow on the Divide has Colorado Ski Country’s PR wing taking flight. A picture here, a prediction there of a snowy winter gleaned from Farmer’s Almanac. Isn’t Sep-tember just a bit early for such breathlessness?

D.R.


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