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Thanks, Adam

  • Subject: [cg] Thanks, Adam
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 18:22:40 -0800 (PST)

Hey, Adam,

Thanks for your story about the WTC. You, and stories
like the one you told so well, are why this is my
favorite listsev.

When I was in the City this summer for the conference,
I went over to the NY Horticultural Society's little
office and bookstore in the 50s. On the way, I passed
a fire station, with a banner across the doors with
the names of fire fighters from the station who'd been
killed, and words thanking the neighborhood for their
support. I realized then how deep the wound cut in
Manhattan, how personal this monstrous event was in
New York.

Your story brought other memories. Back in the 1970s,
I was a backpacking Californian living in New York
City. I was just planning to hang out until I took an
Icelandic Airlines flight to Europe, but found a
paying gig, unexpectedly, in a youth hostel on 88th
between Columbus and Central Park West. Weeks turned
into months, and I even started a garden in the
courtyard, bringing the gospel according to Alan
Chadwick from the ozone of Santa Barbara and Santa
Cruz to the broken glass and cinders of Manhattan.

And I joined a singing group, The Renaissance Street
Singers. We'd go all over the City, looking for the
best acoustic spots wherever they might be - subway
tunnels, staircases, street corners - and sing masses
and motets by composers like Dufay, Josquin and
Monteverdi. One prime spot was directly underneath the
Towers, in stairs going down and down to the subways.
Another was in the underworkings of the Brooklyn
Bridge. We'd emerge back into the night air after
singing there, and look back across the river, up at
those twin pillars of light.

Though the Towers are gone now, I hear that music
still, unexpected, in resonant hidden passageways
beneath the surface of things. Your story helped me,
again, to remember that.

Don Boeklheide
Charlotte NC

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