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The Sky Was Empty


Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Monday, September 24, 2001

I was pretty sure when I got out of bed on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, that I was going to have a bad day. It was a day I had been dreading for weeks. Grumpy was hardly the word to describe my mood as I went about my daily routine. The dog was stubborn as I took her for her morning walk. I felt like kicking her when she jerked at the leash to try to get at a kitten next to the sidewalk. I managed to be civil to the kids and hugged them before they went off to school.

The reason for my grim demeanor was a scheduled trip to the dentist for a root canal procedure. I was mad that this expensive and potentially painful experience was one I could not avoid. There wasn’t any aspect about it I liked. We have coined a phrase around our house that we use to justify such whining. When we are sick or hurt, we often talk about our anguish for a while and then say, "I’m not like other people. I don’t like pain." It is our way of recognizing that our whining is just that and maybe others shouldn’t take it too seriously.

My wife came with me for my 8:30 a.m. appointment in Rochester. As we drove by the airport we admired the red, white, and blue Federal Express jet as it came in on its final approach. We searched the crystal clear blue sky for signs of other planes to watch. I have always looked on airplanes as works of art that just happen to have a practical application in the world. Our family loves to fly and I dreamed for a moment about being on a jet and going somewhere, anywhere, on that morning instead of going in for a root canal. Little did we suspect that airplane would be the last one we would see in the sky for the next several days.

Within the hour, as I lay flat on my back with my mouth open and full of tools, I heard the news that put my problems in perspective. The terrorist strikes in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. quickly overshadowed my situation. The dentist, the receptionist and the technicians listened to the radio and discussed what all this meant to them, our nation and the world.

Before sunset that evening, we went for a walk under the same amazingly clear blue sky. We had listened to the radio and television almost all day and knew the facts as well as most Americans. There was much talk about how the world had changed that day. This was brought home to me as I gazed up into the blue sky that I have walked under thousands of times before. The airplanes were gone. The .....
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Contemporary Bunkshooters

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Monday, October 1, 2001

The Rev. Jerry Falwell is what poet Carl Sandburg would call a bunkshooter. Pat Robertson is one too.

Full-flushing, bonafide bunkshooters. Conjurers, magicians, illusionists, pulling the wool over many people’ ..... 
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Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, September 17, 2001

To the Editor,

It is widely known that Osama Bin Laden and other Arab terrorists perceive the US as having a pro-Israel bias. Too few Americans know that from 1947-1997, the US poured ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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Gladys Judith Swain

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Gladys Judith Swain, 93, of Rushford, a homemaker, died March 7, 2001 at her home.

Gladys Judith Williams was born May 15, 1907, on the Humble farm at Highland Prairie, moved to North Dakota with her family when she was 3 months old and retu ..... 
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