Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Minnesota

I was almost set to leave work on Wednesday when I heard the word "Minneapolis" being buzzed about. I'm in Seattle now, but the Twin Cities are my hometowns, so I started paying attention, and of course...that's when I heard about the bridge.

I wasn't exactly sure which one it was (it didn't really have a name, though now they're acting like everyone called it the 35W bridge). But once Rob and I talked about it, we realized that when I lived at home and worked downtown, my express bus went over it every single day for 3-4 years.

I was lucky. As far as I know, no one in my family or circle of friends was on the bridge when it collapsed. We called and called, and so many times received a "all circuits are busy" message. When we finally got through to one friend, she answered with "We're OK! We're all OK!", the reply that had replaced "Hello" as she received call after call from worried out-of-towners.

My niece was reportedly close to crossing the bridge -- on her way to the Twins game. She thinks she was a minute or so away, and she had been delayed by forgetting something and having to go back for it. Guardian angels? Maybe.

But it's still soul-shocking to see YOUR places, your streets, your local newscasters all over the national news, even though you'd think, working in a national newsroom, I'd be all journalistic and blase. Not so much, my friends. That's my Minnesota, and it's always felt like a safe haven. If anything, I worried about the flimsy bridges here in Seattle, never giving a thought to those in Minnesota.

Here is the front page from my former employer, the Star Tribune newspaper, and from the neighboring Pioneer Press. Very much something to see. I'm only glad it wasn't worse.


Anonymous said...

"But it's still soul-shocking to see YOUR places, your streets, your local newscasters all over the national news"

I know what you mean. I live in Roanoke, Va, and I will never forget the feeling of seeing my safe home plastered all over the national news.

Finding My New Normal said...

It is so surreal, sad, scary. It could have been any one of us. My friend Pat's son Ryan was on the bus that JUST crossed. It is just unreal.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the news on this Thursday morning (I live on the East coast and was asleep when the news broke), I actually thought about you and wondered if you still had family in the area. I checked your sites throughout the the Thursday for anything you might have to say about it. Glad to read that all of yours are alright. It really is so hard to watch coverage of a tragedy in your own hometown when you aren't living there anymore. My thoughts are with all the folks in Minneapolis and it's widespread children.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, Gael. My husband and I both lived in Marcy-Holmes back in "The Day" and I was glad to read that I wasn't the only one freaked out about seeing my old stomping grounds all over the national news.

Anonymous said...

I detect a little bitterness with this post. ...though now they are acting like everyone called it the 35W bridge.

However, I am happy that all is well sans the people directly affected by the collapse. My prayers are with them.