Friday, September 11, 2020

Thoughts Of Nine Eleven 2001 By Jack Blanchard

AMERICA, SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001. (Written on that day.)

We're all zombies here today.

We somehow find our way to the grocery store or
post office like sleepwalkers.
We stare blankly at the television in disbelief.
People leaping from firey windows over a hundred floors up.
A couple jumping hand in hand to their death.

We've been getting messages of sympathy from friends
around the world.
Thank you.
We're glad you're there, and we're glad you care.

This is obviously a dark time for the American people.
Our thoughts are with the victims and the people who love them.

The airports are all closed.
Folks who ordinarily rant and rave if their flight is delayed,
seem to be taking it without protest,
quietly seeking another way to get home. Too quietly.
Like zombies.

We worry about friends up north.
We'll try to call tomorrow.
Today is not a good time to overload the phone lines.

In some different way, all of us are victims.
At our house things are not normal.
We are in a state of confusion, disbelief, sadness, and anger.
Maybe we're in shock.
I try to make my wife smile with the occasional light remark,
but her regular smile is not working today.

All our projects, so important yesterday, seem trivial.
They're on the back burner for now.

It's inspiring to see how people in New York and Washington
risked their own lives to help each other.
I'm proud of Americans tonight,
and it's been a while since I've felt that way.
Firefighters, police, and emergency workers are heroes.

We saw Republicans and Democrats singing a spontaneous
God Bless America...together.
I hope they remember the feeling.
It's the way it should be.

Misty said she saw the young workers bagging groceries
at the supermarket almost in tears.

We, even as Democrats, are discussing hopefully
that President George W. Bush might have the potential to be a Harry Truman.
Right now we need somebody to "give 'em hell".
This is not a day for political differences.
We hope he kicks terrorist butts.

The maniacs that committed these atrocities represent to me what evil is.
I'm glad I'm not president.
I'd probably bomb all the suspects and ask questions later.
I know that's wrong, but we're mad as hell over here.
At least I am.

We've seen the pictures on TV all day, over and over,
but the reality is still hard to grasp.
We'll watch them over and over again...
even after the television is turned off.

Our country is strong. Our people are tough. I almost forgot that.
We'll get through this, and even be stronger.
In time things will be more like normal,
but never quite the same.

I never thought of myself as a super patriot,
but tomorrow I think I'll go out and buy a flag.

Jack Blanchard

Copyright © September 11, 2001 by Jack Blanchard.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

NOT A LIVING SOUL Jack Blanchard's Column September 9, 2020


Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers


The back country road led to Cassadaga, the Spiritualist center.
We turned right at the old hotel
and threaded through the little lane that winds past the church
and around Spirit Lake.
Not a living soul was out in the afternoon heat.

I'd been here before to do a series of articles,
and was well past the stage of being spooked.
But I was nervous today.
I was here for my first "reading" with a medium.
It wasn't ghost fear I had, but fear of letdown.
I had tried to be open-minded.
I just didn't believe in talking spirits.

As our tires brushed to a stop
against the high curb under the Spanish moss,
I was preparing myself for disillusionment.
I looked at the small countrified house
and was already pre-hearing the vague, but tricky generalizations
that fortunetellers are known for.
I was going to have none of it!
No table thumping either.

First of all, I thought, if the medium does actually contact dead people,
my dad, John, and my grandparents, Clair and Ethel,
would surely try to reach me.

I tried not to look suspicious
as Mae Graves Ward led me into her pleasant little reading room,
and invited me to sit in the old rocker in front of her desk.
Before I sat down she said this: "John is here"

"I know it's a common name", she apologized,
"but there's a man named John here. Do you know him?"

John then proceeded to recap our lives together,
making comments on things I'd done since his departure.
He joked around a little, in his way, and sent greetings to my mother,
although he knew she wouldn't believe it.

The sun came through the white lacy curtains
as Mrs. Ward continued to doodle with a pencil on scrap paper,
and cheerfully relay messages from the other side.

"Did your father have a younger sister who passed away very young", she asked?
I said no, a little embarrassed at her mistake.
"Well", she smiled, "We can't win 'em all.
This young girl is here anyway.
She seems to be eleven or twelve years old,
and her name starts with an 'Ro'. Maybe Roberta".
"I don't know who she is", I said.

She came a little too close for comfort with my grandparents.
Right on the money.
And she introduced a lot of other people.
Most I recognized, a few I didn't.

I left the five-dollar donation, said goodbye,
and returned to the car in a daze.
Misty asked how it went.
I said, "I can't talk about it just yet.
I have to try and digest all that just happened."

The sun was setting and the fishing boats were coming in
as we crossed the St. Johns River bridge,
and I began to talk.
And I went over it again later for my mother's benefit,
as we sat around the dining room table.

"But the medium missed a couple of things", I said.
"For instance, she asked if Dad had a sister named Roberta who died young."
"Her name was Rosie", my mother told me.
"She died at twelve years old."

Jack Blanchard

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan..
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
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