Thursday, September 13, 2007

Week 20: They've Finally Attacked Sunoco.

I don't know who remembers this, but six years ago this week was the terrorist attacks. You know, the ones people used to think of when you said "terrorism". I was in college at the time--a grad student, working for an MA in English because I didn't know what else to do with my time. Economic slump, no call for ex-English majors, not much call for anything. So I lived with my parents, worked at a Barnes & Noble, took classes at West Chester (where I'd just graduated), and tried to be a playwright in the Philly scene. To be honest, it was ideal, because I'm lazy and adverse to working in an office.

And then one day I was driving down to school--to think I used to drive from Worcester to West Chester, 30 miles each way, every day. And I heard about the first plane, and then as I listened to channel 6 on the radio, I heard Charlie Gibson suck in his breath when the second one hit.

Class was canceled, as was the night's Philly Fringe shows. As I drove home, the B&N I worked at was closed up and the parking lot empty. I just remember drinking a lot, because my parents were down the shore on vacation, and my sister was back in school up in Edinboro.

I guess where I'm going with this is that as messed up and terrifying as things seemed back then, it wasn't anything compared to what's happening now.

There was an attack on the Sunoco refinery down in South Philly this morning. No one's sure exactly what the story is--channel 6 says some low-level mafia trying to steal oil and sell it themselves and botching the job, while channel 10 puts in on more Muslim terrorists, like those guys at Fort Dix. What we do know is that there was a gunfight, two explosions, and a large leak of "anhydrous hydrogen fluoride"--thousands of gallons, they're saying. Hundreds of people are dead--refinary workers, folks asleep in bed. Anyone on I-95 seems to have gotten away in time, but maybe we just don't know about it yet.

Because this happened early in the morning, around 5 am, it wasn't as bad as it could've been--no one was at the Linc or a Phillies game, and while folks were on I-95 going to work, rush hour wasn't in full swing.

That's all I know. I don't think Kate's hurt--she's over in West Philly, and the wind doesn't blow west usually.

It's only ten o'clock, but damn it I need a drink.

I'll write more if I know what's going on.

1 comment:

baltpiker said...


The South Philly refineries have been crawling with National Guard troops for weeks now (protecting them was part of the reason Rendell called them up). Someone was *not* paying attention. Hopefully the guys in green made them pay for that.

Gah, that is *not* a job I'd want to have right now. I'm going to offer a coffee and a hug to the next NG comes down my block.