Sunday, May 27, 2007


Post-September 11, there were a lot of amazing stories that came to light that had the potential for a real impact on those that heard them. One that struck close to home for those of us in the women's basketball coaching ranks was the tale of Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw. She was scheduled to be on the flight that hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center. It was only at the insistence of one of her assistant coaches that she drove with him to Providence, RI to catch a different flight so they could travel together.

While this hit close to the mark for me as a basketball coach, it also brought back a close call for my own family this weekend 30 years ago. That was the night that popular entertainer John Davidson was scheduled to make an appearance in the Cincinnati area. Members of my general, if they remember him at all, probably would recognize him from his hosting duties on That's Incredible! and Hollywood Squares. However, he also has released over a dozen albums and was a successful recording artist in the 1970's. My mom was a fan and my parents had tickets for the 9:30 performance at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in northern Kentucky, just across the river from Cincy.

One problem that day--my younger brother Jeff was six weeks old and had a terrible case of colic. It had come and gone, but on this particular day he was in bad shape. Kokomo was a solid three hour drive away from Cincinnati and ultimately they decided that it wouldn't be smart to be that far away from Jeff if things worsened for him (nor fair to a sitter to deal with an extremely colicy baby).

So they stayed at home. And thus avoided one of the most tragic night club disasters in American history. 165 dead as a fire broke loose in the building, with nearly 80% of those in the main hall where my parents would have been. A fast-moving inferno, too few exits, a massively overcrowded room, with no sprinkler system or audible fire alarm.

I can't fathom how differently our lives would have been if my folks had attended that night and been among the victims. Would we have gone and lived with our grandparents (both of whom would pass away within a decade)? Move to Chicago with my aunt and uncle? My youngest brother would never have been born. It's amazing to think how radically changed my life could have turned. Luckily, we never had to find out; others in my position weren't so fortunate.

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Blogger PHSChemGuy said...

Never knew that Sully...good to know that things worked out the way they did for your folks that night...

3:40 PM  

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