Page 8

Our First Trip Next

September 6, 2001 (continued)


A tribute to John Philip Sousa by the local orchestra was held on the riverfront on Saturday night.  Everyone brought chairs and food and drinks and vendors set up along the concourse with all sorts of wonderful foods, so we enjoyed both the music and food there.


Sousa Concert Crowd

It has been tough to recall the last part of our first trip because of September 11th, a day that changed a lot of things for a lot of people.   On the morning of September 11th, we were staying in a motel in Davenport, planning to head for Hawkeye, Iowa, where Gerry's Dad was born.  We turned on the news when we woke up, not in any hurry to get up and going.  We watched transfixed as the news broadcast showed the fire in the first Twin Towers building and we listened to the conjecture as to what had happened.  We saw the second plane hit the second building and stared spellbound at the screen as the story unfolded.  We watched in horror and disbelief as both towers collapse.  Gerry, who spent a lifetime defending our country, felt helpless and out of touch as the implications of what had happened became apparent.

Our daughter, Vicki, was supposed to fly out of Cedar Rapids that morning on a business trip and her husband Jim was to fly out later in the day.  She was ready to head out the door when she heard the news and found out all planes had been grounded.  We had planned to meet them at their home on Friday when they returned from the scheduled trips.  Under the circumstances, we headed directly for their house, only about an hour away in Coralville, just outside Iowa City.



Vicki Dad Jim Patio

Needless to say, September 11th affected us all deeply.  It was difficult to tear ourselves away from the television coverage and go on about life normally.  Both Vicki and Jim continued to work, and with Vicki working from her office at home, Gerry and I tried to make ourselves scarce for the better part of the day.  We walked a lot, checked out downtown Iowa City as well as the local Wal-Mart.  Evenings we ate together, usually at home and enjoyed their patio and back yard, where squirrels, bunnies, and a wide variety of birds stopped to visit and feast on the goodies left out for them.  On the weekend we visited several picturesque communities in outlying areas with many quaint antique and craft shops.