[meteorite-list] View from home...

From: MacovichCo_at_aol.com <MacovichCo_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:49:00 2004
Message-ID: <9c.13475e90.28d652ca_at_aol.com>



Just returned from another midnight shift at the Javits staging area. Made i=
t down to ground-zero twice in the last two days. Scores of men became ill a=
nd had to be treated this morning at a triage center (and later had to be ev=
acuated) as a result of what they are now seeing.

So much for reality.

On another front, I also just took-in a bit of the saber rattling and bible=20=
thumping on the list. Jeez. I profoundly agree with those who've expressed t=
hat this is not a forum for "spreading the word," (regardless of the ideolog=
y/theology that list members wish to spread).=20

If you haven't already done so, might I suggest that you to take a look at G=
eoff Notkin's post of a couple of days ago on the extraordinary civilian eff=
orts--and the similarly extraordinary moral support--provided by the thousan=
ds of people who have gathered to contribute and have their spirits felt. Ge=
off nailed it.

While the destruction at the WTC is palpable either as a result of proximity=
 or from the images we've repeatedly seen on television, the forces of the h=
uman spirit in the "relief efforts" are (obviously) much less discernable...=
that is, unless you are in the midst of it. And being in the midst of it, it=
's powerful. It's breathtakingly powerful...even exhilarating. (I never expe=
cted to feel this way.)

Although I can't expect anyone other than on-site volunteers to understand t=
his, the many thousands of people who have converged to help are creating th=
is "vibe." It's not just patriotism, it's as if those of us here have been a=
fforded a peek at the wondrous rainbow of...humanity. This is, I think, what=
 moved Geoff to write so enthusiastically at length, and it would be so grea=
t if each and every one of you--particularly those that had the opportunity=20=
to contribute in some way--could share in this sensation. It's so unusual.=20

Anyway, as for my personal experiences the past few days, there are far too=20=
many to mention. Here's a little rambling dose:

My girlfriend and her 11-year old daughter were at the Chelsea Piers sportin=
g complex loading boats that were ferrying supplies down to the WFC (the Fin=
ancial Center) pier. The work at Chelsea was great for kids as it wasn't ove=
rly intense and they could feel they were making a contribution.=20

The Javits Convention site, on the other hand, was much more intense and you=
 felt like you were in the trenches. Apart from Shea Stadium, Javits has bee=
n the biggest depot, in addition to being a staging area for firemen, out-of=
-town police/sheriffs, as well as the FBI. It was from Javits that I was sen=
t downtown with four NYC detectives on Friday night after filling up their V=
oyager with protective suits, masks, gloves, goggles, meds, etc. I wasn't al=
lowed to stay long; it is still every bit as darkly surreal as some commenta=
tors have exppressed. Once again television fails us: the enormity of the de=
struction just can't be comprehended unless you're in it.

The night before we off-loaded supplies. A "bucket brigade" of hundreds of p=
eople was formed that I split into four arteries feeding four large tents (f=
ood, medical supplies, emergency supplies/hardware and beverages). My last a=
ssignment was to organize the segregating and loading of...dog food! (I wond=
er if this as a result of my wearing my ever-present "E.T. Meteorites" cap--=
which everyone wanted? Nahhhh, I suppose my true talents were finally discer=

I personally moved more than a thousand pounds of #$_at_# dog food.=20

Apart from the mountains of provisions that were being stored, the on-site c=
atering at Javits was extensive--and there were contributions from many grea=
t eateries. Although I was too jazzed to eat, the food looked and smelled gr=
eat (and was ridiculously plentiful). News of this feast found it's way to t=
he homeless community and, at 4am there were suddenly hundreds of homeless f=
olks on the scene. It was a bit surreal hearing a mentally disturbed fellow=20=
cogently urge a couple of firemen "You've just gotta try this pasta-hey, you=
're not listening to me, you've GOTTA try this pasta!" And they did=85and t=
hey turned to me and said "He's right=85you've really gotta try this."

Let's see=85a couple of droll signs I saw tonight hanging from fork lifts: "=
Osama-yo momma!" and "Osama-This scuds for you" (with a giant target attache=
d to Osama's head).

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which is now nearly in-place to=20=
oversee the recovery/excavation, has been reducing civilian participation in=
 the relief efforts radically in the last 24 hours. People like myself are b=
eing replaced with the National Guard and FEMA agents. On-site volunteer ste=
elworkers are being replaced by contracted (and salaried) steelworkers. The=20=
Chelsea Pier center will be closed today where, a couple of days ago, there=20=
were hundreds of ambulances in-waiting and about 500 volunteers packing boat=

This morning at about 6am I helped unload THE last truck permitted at Javits=
 with donated goods. The Javits site rarely dealt with "small entity" donati=
ons, per se, (we were in a secured area dealing with mostly requisitioned ma=
terial), but as most charitable drop-off sites had been closed, the two dude=
s who drove from North Carolina in a fully-packed twenty-four foot truck wit=
h a hitched trailer loaded with medical supplies had no-where to go, and the=
y were directed to the depot. (Moments ago I learned that Shea Stadium will=20=
be accepting trucks that are now in transit. For how long=85it's anyone's gu=
ess.) A spirited discussion ensued as to whether the truck should be unloade=
d as it would gum-up the area where supplies were being readied for differen=
t trucks that were going downtown. The N.C. dudes heard that no more stuff w=
as needed on the radio while driving down but didn't want to turn back. In a=
ny event, the truck was unloaded. When we were done, the guys said to me "Yo=
u have no idea how good this makes us
 feel," whereupon I responded, "I think I might."=20

I was called to go back to Javits a couple of hours ago and had to pick up a=
 battery powered defibrillator on my way; I just returned to my office in Ti=
mes Square. At this moment a couple of thousand police, FBI, FEMA, construct=
ion and steel workers, folks like me, etc., are at Javits. The Governor is n=
ow there as a result of the bickering about the transfer of authority from t=
he City to the State to FEMA.=20

I've learned today that Osama is a civil engineer as well as a respected poe=
t. I've also learned that Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have blamed "Abort=
ionists, homosexuals and the ACLU" (among others), for provoking God into al=
lowing Tuesday's events to occur. And during the last few days, I've learned=
 how to feel more alive.

And, finally, Djati Pengilonan - an ellipsoidal chondrule whose maximum dime=
nsion is 48mm...and it's an H6!
Received on Sun 16 Sep 2001 03:08:57 PM PDT

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