Think back on any worldwide event such as the JFK assassination, Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, etc. Most people can tell you where they were and what they were doing; in fact, if you ask anyone here in Stephenville, there's a good chance they were either enjoying a cup of coffee at Jake and Dorothy's or at school when they heard news that would forever change the face of history.
I wasn't born during any of the events I mentioned but I remember where I was during Operation Desert Storm (2nd grade, I had an uncle who fought), coming home from seeing "Men In Black" at the movies to hear of Princess Diana's tragic car accident that took her life, and being awakened from an afternoon nap to be told that Michael Jackson had died. Probably the most descriptive memories I have are those of the New York terrorist attacks, this is my story.
In the fall of 2001, I was a freshman at Cisco Junior College and was living with my grandparents out on their peanut farm southwest of Cisco. September 11 started out as a normal Tuesday morning, I got up and hopped in the pickup with my grandfather and we went into town so I could attend the day's scheduled classes. We got to town fairly early so we decided to have some breakfast at Cisco's premiere coffee shop, Linda's Corner Cafe.
Our day was still going on as normal when all of a sudden, our waitress, Michelle came running out of the kitchen and with a frantic tone of voice, announced that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, I thought "Ok, plane crash, happens all the time", passed it off as coffee shop talk and proceeded with my meal.
As we left the restaurant, we headed towards the college so I could get to class, I got to campus a bit early so I decided to go kill some time in the Student Union Building (known to all students and staff as "The SUB"). On a normal day, you could enter the building and see students playing pool, studying, or fellowshipping with one another as the sounds of MTV and/or VH1 blared in the background but on that day, there was an awkward silence because every student, teacher, custodian, etc. was gathered around the TV witnessing the tragic events that were unfolding, that's when I began to realize just how serious it really was.
The days after 9/11 brought about many changes for our country. First responders were looked up to as heroes and patriotic music was regaining popularity as many musicians were releasing songs to radio, probably the most prolific song of that year was Alan Jackson's "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?" Alan, this is where I was.
Tim Turnbeaugh is a musician who was born and reared in Eastland County but currently resides in Stephenville, Tim can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.