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Home » Stories, True and Otherwise

11 Stories, Some Sad, Some True

Submitted by on September 11, 2012 – 5:22 PM40 Comments

Drifting Away turned left when he crossed the plate and continued straight down the right-field line, where he met and embraced the Black Angel. The Angel's wings enfolded him and the two of them continued down the line, a statue and a myth halfway to being reunited. — W.P. Kinsella, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy

I have heard that Valentine fell out of a fishing boat and drowned when he was a young boy. It was mentioned over the years with sadness by Papa, who seemed to think that his companions could have saved him. — a letter from my grandmother to Uncle J, regarding my great-grandfather's little brother; her handwritten remembrance is the only record of Valentine we have as yet been able to find

Side by side
They fell asleep
Decades gliding by like indians
Time is cheap
When they wake up they will find
All their personal belongings
Have intertwined — Paul Simon, "Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War"

N.M. Johnson died on Wednesday night. He was thrown from his wagon on the afternoon previous, by his team becoming frightened at a passing train. The miserable crossings in this city ought to be guarded. This is the second death within a month that is directly attributed to this cause. The funeral will occur to-morrow. — the Sycamore [IL] True Republican, 13 January, 1886

SUHR-Daniel. I'm compelled to let the world know about Daniel Suhr. Danny was a N.Y.C. Firefighter. I am one of many who was blessed in meeting Danny & becoming his friend. He was a caring, loving and the most generous person I have ever met in my life. He was a man's man. He was loved by all & missed by many. Danny had the heart of a lion. Let not anyone ever forget he died a hero for his country. God Bless his wife Nancy, his daughter, Briana & the whole Suhr family. May you always walk in sunshine. Love always, Louie (Snapple) Florio — a memoriam notice in today's Daily News, by a good-hearted friend some of you may remember 

MORE INFO.IN HAT — note found by Arnie Rutkis, Birmingham AL, as seen in Davy Rothbart's Found

I imagine Christopher's childhood. Fatherless, forcibly taken from his mother, tossed back and forth by people who did not want him. "Shadow," they called him, hiding. — Allan C. Weisbecker, In Search of Captain Zero

There'll be no friends waiting to throw shoes and rice;
Those heavenly moments will never come twice
I'm thankful for the hours you've blessed
I guess I'll have to dream the rest — Glenn Miller, "I Guess I'll Have To Dream The Rest"; Miller disappeared over the English Channel in 1944

A good way to see every fuckin neighborhood in a city is to try to find a place that sells size fifteen shoes. — Aaron Cometbus, Despite Everything

84th Floor
West Office
12 People trapped — Randy Scott

Don was mentioned over the years with gratitude by Bunting, who seemed to think that her companion might have saved her.

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  • Kim says:

    Woke up thinking of you and Don…I always do. Thank you for continuing to pick up the rope and pull, Sarah. (And for referencing one of my all-time favorite Paul Simon obscurities, too.)

  • Angie says:

    Always think of you first today, and thank the gods that may be that you were saved, by whatever angels guided you.

  • Bitts says:

    Again today, and for the rest of my days, 9/11 is marked by reading your annual memorials. They never cease to bring me to my knees. This one is no different. Oh, Mr. Scott, you brave, heroic man.

    Happy birthday, Don.

  • Meghan says:

    I spoke to 180 students today in the course of a full day's worth of teaching. In every class, when I devoted time to the 11th, I mentioned Don — just in case.

  • MizShrew says:

    Lovely. Thank you.

  • Deanna says:

    Another year here. Thank you, Sars.

  • Vareader76 says:

    I come here every year for a sense of peace and I am grateful when I find it. Happy Birthday Don.

  • Sandman says:

    I was thinking of you and Don today, and I suppose I always will, now. Thank you for another lovely piece.

  • JennyA says:

    Happy birthday, Don.

  • Alexandra says:

    Happy birthday Don.

  • Erin Pleva says:

    Yours is one of two places I always stop to visit on this day.

    Happy Birthday Don.

  • Vanessa says:

    Ditto what others said above.

    I always come here on this day to read your words. While today many of them weren't actually "your" words, I still found the entry just as wonderful and profound as "Scents Memory", which I can never, ever forget. That one literally just pops into my head like music lyrics at least once a month. The article on Randy Scott today was a stomach-punch to me, and including it here was really well-done.

    I know like many others I wake up today and think, maybe this is the year we "Find Don", whatever that means.

    Sending good thoughts your way this day and every day.

  • Maria says:

    Happy Birthday, Don. And thank you for saving our friend.

  • Elizabeth A says:

    I thought of you and Don on Sunday, when I mistakenly tuned into MSNBC's rememberance coverage, and then could not look away.

    I had forgotten it was Don's birthday. Happy Birthday, Don. May you continue earning pearls for your crown in Heaven, forevermore.

  • Julia says:

    Happy birthday, Don. And much love to you on this day, Sarah.

  • Shani says:

    After all these years, I still wonder whether you won't find him someday.

  • Kari says:

    Happy birthday, Don.

  • J+1 says:

    Happy birthday, Don. And thank you, Sarah.

  • Kristen says:

    I hid from the news all day today because I didn't think I could take another year of it. But I came here for your 9/11 account and I'm glad I did, so I could know Randy Scott's story. Happy Birthday, Don.

  • Cathy says:

    You and Don are always first in my mind on this day. Thank you for another amazing entry. I'm so glad you are still with us.

    Happy Birthday, Don.

  • Jenimull says:

    What an exquisite way to acknowledge Randy Scott. Thank you.

    Happy birthday, Don.

  • Sasha says:

    I made it through the whole day without crying. Until now.

    I shared "For Thou Art With Us" on Facebook and sent a little love out to Don and the other angels today. I, too, forgot it was his birthday, but I hope it was a happy one for him, wherever he is.

    Thanks, Sars.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Today I watched this site for your tribute.

    I scanned the paper with disgust–one story about United 93, and nothing else.

    I went to a movie about ghosts.

    I made a cake.

    Don, it's for you. Happy Birthday. Thank you.

  • Jessica says:

    I thought of you this morning when I looked out my window at the SoHo Grand toward the WTC. I think of you every September 11, actually.

    Happy birthday, Don. Although my personal theory — this is not sarcastic, I actually do believe this — is that Don might have been an angel. I know that is corny but there it is.

  • Jill says:

    You and Don will always be part of my 9/11 memories. Happy birthday, Don. Thanks, Sars.

  • Cait says:

    Thanks, Sarah. Thinking of you this week.

    I just read this article on Slate, and thought it might interest other TN readers:

    "We slowly made our way down the 77 flights of stairs. A woman there who worked for me at the time was about six months pregnant, so we went slowly in order to stay with her and help her down.

    At some point, I remember passing a number of firefighters heading up the stairs. They had a full set of gear on, and they looked weary and frightened, yet they continued up past us. It's hard to put into words what I feel for the firefighters who sacrificed everything that day in order to try to help others. Reverence is about as close as I can get."

  • LonOtter says:

    Thank you. This is the kind of memorial I appreciate.

    Hope Don had a happy birthday.

  • Maria says:

    @Jessica –

    You're not the only one with that theory. It's been mine for over a decade now. It's the only explanation that makes sense anymore, really.

  • Marv in DC says:

    Happy Birthday Don.

  • kategm says:

    Oh, Sars. The anniversary of that day doesn't pass without me thinking about you and Don.
    I didn't know the Randy Scott story. Now I'm crying at work.

  • Jaybird says:

    I'm with Maria and Jessica. As time goes by, I'm more and more convinced that angels step in more than we know, and in ways we'll never suspect.

    For some reason, the two bits above that made me cry were the Glenn Miller song snippet, and your mention of Don. I feel ashamed that 9/11 hurts me so much when I did not lose anyone personally. It seems presumptuous. I don't really have the right to cry like this, when I was and am thousands of miles away.

    It hurts anyway.

  • Jill says:

    I think of you and Don every year at this time. Thank you for your writing. Thou Art is one of my favourite pieces, by anyone, ever.

  • Rachel says:

    I tried to read that Randy Scott piece yesterday but I just couldn't. So I read it today.

    Thank you, Sarah.

    Thank you, Don. Happy Birthday.

  • Melanie says:

    I wonder if, somewhere in Jersey City, Don writes a blog, and whether, each year on his birthday, he remembers to his readers the New Yorker who saved him that day.

  • Angela says:

    Happy birthday, Don. I don't buy the angel thing. I really don't. But TN readers can find ANYTHING. And a guy in Jersey City named Don with a birthday on Sept. 11 whose mentioned in a blog with a readership like this shouldn't be THAT hard. And so, every year, I reconsider the angel theory one more time.

  • barbara heymering says:

    In Search of Captain Zero is one of my favorite books.. I (still) subscribe to Weisbecker's newsletter, but he's lost it, among the many conspiracy theories he's embraced is that 9/11 was a goverment plot.

  • Reader Gretchen says:

    Thank you. God bless you and Don. Take good care.

  • Kat from Jersey says:

    Love your September 11th column, as always, and I thought of you and Don this week, while watching my favorite 9/11 documentary (is it strange that I have a *favorite* 9/11 documentary?)

  • mctwin says:

    I stay away from all the 9/11 retrospectives; I could live the rest of my life without seeing those buildings fall again. But, Sars, every year I come here and read every year's entry and send a prayer that you will find Don someday and thank him for all of us.

    You express the feelings so well. Thank you again for sharing your gift with us.

  • Michelle says:

    I come here every year and think about Don. I hope he is having a great birthday, wherever he is.

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