Wednesday, October 3, 2001

KFWB radio reporting for Wednesday, October 3rd, 2001


Among those few, small lighted matches in the darkness of the last three weeks, there is the sublimation of publicity. Yesterday, forty entertainers, athletes, musicians, visited with families of the victims, far away from the debris, at Governor George Pataki's command center near Grand Central railroad station. No prior announcement; no photo opportunity.

All of them and we know that actors Robert DiNiro and Alan Alda were there, and the New York Mets' manager Bobby Valentine and catcher Mike Piazza, and the ex-tennis star John McEnroe did whatever they could do and said whatever they could say to the widows and the widowers and the children.

Valentine related his experience to about a dozen reporters, but without his usual glibness, in a nearly empty Shea Stadium. He noted the difference between his job and his responsibility. He said nothing could've prepared him for his sense of needing to do something, and of his gratitude that the something isn't totally irrelevant.

It cannot be totally irrelevant when the very dugout in which Valentine spoke had just been inspected by a bomb-sniffing dog... nor on a day when warmth returned and the smell around The Trade Center itself turned from the faint odor of an electrical fire to the discomforting stench of rotting cheese.


After three weeks and one day, it is still here. The silent witness to all that the city has seen virtually untouched, virtually unacknowledged, while vast armies of rescue workers and politicians and distraught families have rushed past it.

It is still here, on Washington Street, between Ward and Rector. When all this began it sat motionless amid the chaos. A week later it could be seen only by the few who were admitted behind the police barricades. One week after that, ordinary New Yorkers could walk past it. Now trucks can rumble beside it, and perhaps within another week there will be a cab or a shuttle bus.

It is still here.

It is a Pontiac SSE sedan, maroon, at least it used to be maroon. Three rainstorms have not washed away half the horrible ash that had repainted it when we brought you here a week ago. Its drivers' side window has been rolled down, the door is slightly ajar, the trunk is slightly dented.

The license plate is from Connecticut: "A-Schaf." Whoever that is, it is safe to say they are not coming back for it, or, if we're lucky, they are merely delayed in doing so.

It is still here. This afternoon. Three weeks and one day later.