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Hang A Reggie

Tuesday 04/19/2005 8:00 PM

The sidewalk takes you under low-hanging trees, past overgrown vegetation, and sometimes, for all the grass and vines and such, you can't even see the path of molded, man-made stone in different shades of gray, but your feet tell you you're doing fine and not to worry.

By the time you're more than halfway past the old institutional structure of The Asylum on your left with its myriad of broken-out windows, if you know where to look, there will be a sharp turn to the right. Because the main sidewalk keeps going, it's easy to miss this turn, but once you see the cement path leading into the woods, the next part of your journey will be obvious.

Before we continue on, we'll stop for a moment and turn around. Tomorrow, you'll see what you're leaving behind.

Ten years ago this morning, I was flipping through the CDs in a record store in Tampa, Florida, that sold pretty much only speed death metal music.

I had driven down to Tampa to take my sister to see Laurie Anderson in concert. Shannon and I enjoyed the show the nite before and had a great time together. On my way out of town, I stopped at a couple record stores — this was the last on my list.

When I walked in, the guy at the register was transfixed by the little television he had behind the counter. It was turned up, but I didn't notice what was on. Not thinking they were going to have anything I was really interested in, the visit was more for the novelty as Tampa was ground zero for the burgeoning (at the time) death metal movement, and I wanted to see what it was all about. After a quick walk-through, it was time to hit the road.

It didn't bother me the guy was ignoring me — I wasn't exactly expecting world class customer service at the local hardcore music store. But over the next few minutes, words and phrases from the television started digging at my brain, distracting me from the records and CDs.

"...Ryder truck..."

"...Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building..."

"...Oklahoma City..."



"...hundreds missing...presumed dead..."

I listened to the news all the way home that day.

My mother always told she remembered where she was when President Kennedy was assassinated. For me, I'll always remember the exact moment when I learned about the Challenger accident, 9/11 and the Oklahoma City tragedy.

File Under: Anniversary, Other; Asylum, The; Cemeteries; Concert(s); Crimes Against Humanity
Music: Fatboy Slim "Palookaville"

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