This is a rescued article from a cache of the old CraicOn website.


I was in a nice little log-cabined breakfast place in Exeter, Rhode Island, when I first heard the news about a plane hitting one of the towers.

I had taken my daughter Rhea down the dirt track to the main road where the bus would always pick her up to go to school.

She liked to ride her little bike down quarter mile journey down the road.

It was a little pink Barbie one.

As the log cabined breakfast place was just another couple of hundred yards along the road I used to ride her bike along to it, to the amusement of my neighbours if they spotted me.


They did a terrific egg and bacon in a muffin there and I was just finishing my second one when a guy came in telling the owners and staff that a plane had hit the Pentagon and another one hit the Empire State building.

It seemed a bit implausible that two separate planes had hit famous buildings at the same time and the guy seemed a bit of a redneck so I finished my muffin, orange juice and tea before cycling back up home.

Fell Down

I turned on the TV and shortly afterwards the first building fell down followed soon afterwards by the second of the Twin Towers.

It didn’t click with me then that if circumstances had been a little different that I might have been in one of the Twin Towers that day or at least very close by and involved with it.

It was only when they said it was right besides the Wall Street Stock Exchange building which had been evacuated that it struck me.

Job Interview

About a year earlier, when I had decided to look for a job in the USA (I had been coming over regularly to stay a while with my family before going back to the UK to take another contract to bring money in) my wife’s brother said that his friend’s Dad was high up in a company that wanted someone with IT knowledge and as my experience seemed to fit they set me up for an interview for a job in New York.

It all happened very quickly.

I was called up and told that I should go to the local airport where I should pick up the ticket to fly to BWI airport.


I just assumed that this was in New York as that was where I would be working.

I was told that when I got off on the other side a taxi would pick me up and take me there. I was most surprised to see so much countryside so close to New York as I travelled along and then to see signs for The Beltway which I was sure was around Washington.


Suddenly the taxi driver stopped in a small town and “Here we are”.

But where were we?

I hadn’t a clue.

I asked the taxi driver and he said that we were in a suburb of Baltimore.


As I was imagining going into the building and being told at reception, after the taxi had left, “We don’t know anyone called that here” I asked the taxi driver to wait a minute.

It turned out to be the right place and I passed the interview.

They told me that I would be working through them for a financial firm trading stocks and shares and I would be based on the 42nd floor of a building right beside the Wall Street Stock Exchange.

I thought “That’s a bit high”.

I don’t know if it was one of the Twin Towers but they were right beside the Wall Street building and that was so badly damaged by falling debris that it had to be shut for a week after 9/11.

Job Offer

I was offered the job firstly at €100,000 and I gave indications that I would take it.

However, once I got back home I was starting to think twice about it despite everyone entreating me to take it.

I had come over to America to be with my family but I would have to work away from home and only see them at weekends.

I was being cajoled by my wife and her family and her friends to take it.

I was in two minds though.


They called me up to see what my decision and, as I seemed in two minds, they offered me an extra €10,000.

I said I would get back to them.

Then after a week someone senior at the company called and said they wanted to get it sorted out and offered me another €10,000.

As I hummed and hawed they asked me what figure I wanted.

I said that it wasn’t the money but told him about my family situation.

Twin Towers

Now I don’t know if it was one of the Twin Towers or not (although I have a vague recollection of being told that it was one of a pair of two tall buildings although he didn’t refer to it as the Twin Towers.

It might not have been the Twin Towers – but I would certainly have been caught up in the drama if I was in a neighbouring building.

Then again I might have packed the job in before 9/11.

Again still I might have been in late as the first building wasn’t hit till 9:03 – although if I was working away from home I’d probably have condensed my hours and come early to get away early on Fridays.

Out Quickly

Then again, as I was on the 42nd floor I might have had time to get down the stairs and out.

It seems that the stairways were crowded and moved very slowly that day but I’m not one for hanging about when something like that happens so I would have been running for the stairways immediately.

I’ve been in many workplaces where fire alarms would go off accidentally, including on the 14th floor of Citibank’s offices in London which had a very sensitive smoke detector.

While others would look at each other and not want to look foolish by panicking, I would head straight for the stairs as soon as the alarm went off.

A Chance

So, I might have had a chance.

However, I may have been caught in the building on the way down when it collapsed.

I doubt then if my children would have come to Moville – I certainly wouldn’t have.

They would almost certainly have been brought up in America.

They were nearly never born at all as I was nearly grabbed by a copper shark on my honeymoon in the shallow water by Chappaquiddick Bridge (the Kennedy Carwash as it is know locally) – but that’s a story for another day.