I'm sure every New Yorker has their own incredible story from today. Here's mine...
It was my normal morning routine, waiting for the downtown C subway a little before 8:30. The train arrived and I crammed on with my usual yuppy upper Westside co-ridersmost of whom I'm sure were headed to Wall Street and the Trade Center area. The doors closed, that is, all but one. There was one door in the car I was in that would only close halfway, like someone was holding it open. After several warnings from the conductor over the loud speaker to "release the doors" someone was finally sent to check out the problem. Armed with keys the conductor tried repeatedly to un-jam the door. After about ten minutes someone else was sent to help but to no avail. There was still no apparent reason for the problem. After about fifteen minutes they were just ready to shut down the train and unload the passengers when all of the sudden the door shut on it's own right in front of my eyes. We were soon off and running. This put me at school a little past 9 a.m.about 20 minutes later than normaland the train continued downtown heading into what was becoming Hell on Earth. This train and the ones held up behind us headed to the World Trade Center at about 15 or 20 minutes past 9:00after the first plane hit and after they had closed off all subways. Had that door not stuck those fellow travelers would have had just enough time to get to their offices in the sky before the tragedy struck.
I don't know what was holding that door open but all I can tell you is that I went to church today for the first time in a lot of years.
Thanks for including a photo of my friends Brian Lachance, Joe Hoffman, and me in your July 27 issue. Joe went through Army officer training with my partner, Wayne, many years ago and he and his wife, Mandy, are two of our dearest friends. We mailed a copy of the issue to him in Georgia where he works as a commissioned officer for the National Guard. Anyone who knows Joe understands he doesn't miss an opportunity for a good laugh, even if he is the only one who gets the punch line. He has proudly displayed the issue of Letters on his office desk. When one of his colleagues picks up the publication and begins to ask why he is pictured he blurts out, "Don't ask, don't ask, because I don't have to tell." I can only imagine the confusion he must cause his fellow officers who know he is happily married with two wonderful daughters. He turns the situation into a sly comment on the folly of the military policy on gays serving in our armed services.
Bravo, Joe! Mark Aguirre
Earlier this summer, the Delaware HIV Consortium held a two-part fundraiser called "Cup of Caring" in the Rehoboth Beach/Lewes area. During the last week of July, patrons at participating restaurants, bars and coffee shops could make donations in specially marked "cups of caring." Gifts from local businesses were raffled off to raise even more money in September. Every dollar raised was given to the Michael Brossette Memorial Fund, a financial assistance program administered by the Consortium.
The Michael Brossette Memorial Fund serves Sussex County residents living with HIV disease who are experiencing financial hardship and who do not generally qualify for other private, public or governmental programs. The MBMF helps people who might otherwise "fall through the cracks" by offering resources, including financial assistance and information about services. It is more than simply paying a bill for someone. It is a source of help for the immediate situation while providing an introduction to available services for the future.
This summer's "Cup of Caring" was tremendously successful. We would like to thank the fine establishments that participated in the July event: Blue Moon Restaurant, Blue Plate Diner, Brew-Ha-Ha, Browseabout Books, The Buttery, Caf Sol, Celsius, Cloud 9, The Coffee Mill, Double L, Dos Locos, Fusion Restaurant, Iguana Grill, La La Land, Lori's Caf, Jake's Seafood, New Amsterdam Gourmet, Ocean Club Restaurant, Our Place Restaurant, Stoney Lonen, and Tutto Bene.
September's raffle was held at Yum Yum Pan Asian Bistro, through the courtesy of Steve Webster and his great staff. Raffle items were donated by Bear on the Beach, Caf Sol, CAMP Rehoboth, Dolle's Popcorn, the Glass Flamingo, Ibach's Candies, Insight, and Yum Yum Pan Asian Bistro.
Yes, it is a long list of businesses. It just shows, yet again, the generosity and commitment of the Rehoboth Beach and Lewes business community to HIV/AIDS causes. It is simply incredible. Just as inspiring is the commitment of residents and visitors of these towns who supported these events. Together we have raised money to help people in lower Delaware who are living with HIV infection. For that, we are very grateful.
Susan R. Weimer Executive Director
I normally find Hastings Wyman's political observations to be worthwhile reading, but his comments on a New York mayoral candidate's Catholicism (Letters 8/24/01) were unfair and displayed an insensitivity to the diversity of our community.
First, he refers to "Catholic and other social conservatives" as if all Catholics are conservative. Nothing could be further from the truth. Survey after survey have shown that Catholics are as divided on social and political issues as is the entirety of the nation. On many issues Catholics are considerably more liberal than members of other main stream denominations. The candidate in question seems to be going for the vote of conservative Catholics, not all Catholics.
Likewise, the New York candidate is described as one "who goes to Catholic mass every day, [and] has long been conservative on social issues." It may not have been intended, but to this Catholic that statement comes out sounding as if he was engaging in some kind of occult ritual that is the proof of his conservatism. I can assure you that there also are many liberals, Catholic and otherwise, who go to church and pray regularlyeither of which would have been a more appropriate way of referring to the religious practice of the candidate.
Thank you for letting this liberal, gay, practicing Catholic express his concern for the subtle, often unconscious, anti-Catholic bias that still all too often rears its head in America.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 11, No. 13, September 21, 2001.