A few weeks ago we had an exercise on Facebook, recalling our whereabouts on 9/11. Many of us can recall vividly where we were and what we were doing when the planes hit the WTC, live on TV.

I wasn't in a location where TV was available 50 years ago, but I can recall where I was and what I was doing.

The weather was cold and damp in northern Ohio. We had been busy all day at a high-school speech tournament. My friend Charlie and a bunch of us guys were basking in the limelight of recognition. We did well. Charlie won an award for Oratorical Declamation, as I recall. He had done a cutting (an excerpt) from a play. It was A Raisin in The Sun. Damn, he was good, too. “What happens to a dream deferred?” I think he probably got the trophy. I remember I got a ribbon or something for my effort. I did a cutting from Inherit the Wind. “This man wants to be given the same privilege as a sponge. He wishes to think!”

As we came out of the school late that afternoon, we were full of ourselves, telling each other how good we Men From Chaminade were, how the boys from the other schools couldn't even remember their lines. When we returned to the bus which would take us home to Dayton, the bus driver was playing the radio.

But there was no music.