Where I was…

September 11, 2001 is one of those dates that everybody who was
around remembers where they were and what they were doing. In my
case, it wasn’t anything very interesting, so instead of telling
you about that day, I’ll tell you about September 10, 2002.

Dog Walking

The first interaction I had with a human being that day was
when I was walking the dog on a public sidewalk and the owner of
a pit bull snarled at me for walking my dog on his sidewalk.
(Note that pit bulls never scare me personally, but pit bull
owners frequently do.)

Recorder Society

Then I was working on my responsibilities as administrator of
the Boston
Recorder Society
(I’m no longer involved, but at that
point they were paying me some money to keep things going.) I
received the news that the prominent coach who had wanted to be
named music director had decided that she needed to completely
break with the Boston group because of my completely
unreasonable request that other webmasters should link to the
up-to-date information on the official BRS website instead of
the out-of-date stuff she had on her site.

This sounds like something that should just be laughed off, but
in fact, at that time in the Boston early music world, if this
person blew up at you because you said “Good morning” (or “Please
link to the correct information”), a whole bunch of people would
tell you that you were being tactless.

Homebrew Club

Then the homebrew club blew
up, because someone decided to quit because the October picnic
organzers hadn’t taken his recommendation for what kind of
Octoberfest beer to buy a keg of.

Condo Association

Then I was going out to walk the dog for the afternoon and
there was a packet of papers from the condo association. At
this point I was serving as president, and was scheduled to
chair a meeting that evening.

One item in the packet was labeled “Action by the Association’s
Trustees without a meeting”, and contained statements about a dispute
I was having with my then next-door neighbor about how noisy the
Cantabile Band
rehearsals were. None of the other three trustees had ever
spoken to me about the issue, but all three of them had signed
this “action”. There was also a letter that one of the other
trustees had written independantly to a lawyer the association
was consulting, officially through me.

So I decided that if all
three of the other trustees didn’t want to work with me, I would
resign and go to a bar instead of to that meeting.


This was the one good part of the day. Several of my
friends from the homebrew club were there, the beer was good, we
spent part of the evening at the tables outside, and I was able to
tell them all about my terrible day.

One theory my friends proposed about why everything blew up in one day was that
people were unconsciously stressed about the one year anniversary
of 9/11. I’m not sure I believe that theory, but it’s certainly
the most blowups in one day I’ve ever had to deal with, in a long
life of organizing.

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