The Market Technicians Association, headed by its current president, Ralph Acompora, meets there. I often go there for meetings. The trading floor of the coffee exchange is in building four. Many investment banking and brokerage executives international and domestic occupy offices on top floors.
My personal friend Steve J_____ had an important position for Channel 11, TV, that sends its signal along with channel 5, TV, located across the hall, in top secret secured locations on the 110th floor.
Giving me a tour of his engineering space, Steve also took me to the roof. Even 007 would have a hard time getting through the door leading to the roof. On the roof are all the vital cable communication disks for all three airports, the FBI, Secret Service. all emergency telecommunications and links to radio and TV with back up links uptown.
Under the World Trade center ONE and TWO, are vast retail caverns that not only link to all major subway lines and lines to the New Jersey path link; also but tens of thousands of people constantly pass through this vast underground area, on their way to work. Many food stores, book stores and retail establishments are located underground.
If you ever go to Japan, you have the same underground store subway link system in Tokyo.
Most of the people rushing to work, stopping off for a coffee or newspaper are young girls, the clerical force that back up vast business financial worldwide operations taking place in both twin towers. Across the street is the equally vast Word Financial Center, Custom Houses, State Offices and of course near the top is the restaurant "Windows of the World" on the 107th floor.
It was an engineering marvel. To get in I needed a special pass, with my name and picture and a copper wire imbedded, that permitted entrance through a turnstile.
It seemed a pretty safe and secure place to work. Because of the last attack on the Center, large concrete barriers were placed on the sidewalk and the street surrounding the building was blocked off, so it was impossible to attack the world Trade CENTER BY RUNNING A TRUCK FULL OF EXPLOSIVES INTO IT.
Outside vendors sold food and drink and other items off pushcarts. Inside was a Hotel-Motel, and many restaurants were located to fed employees on many of the floors. The elevators worked well and were speedy and timely. Within walking distance is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and there, underground, is stored hundreds of billions of dollars worth of gold bullion. Much of the reserves of the world's central banks.
The air conditioning was excellent and it was a really enjoyable experience to observe the thousands of happy energetic people going about their business as I got out of the subway walking underground through the corridors to World Trade Building One.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO STEVE, BECAUSE HE WAS SWITCHED TO THE NIGHT SHIFT, SO HE MAY HAVE LEFT BEFORE THE ATTACK. His wife is a lovely person, they have two young girls.
The people I deal with at the Society on the 44th floor, were mostly middle aged women. Some of the administrative staff were also middle aged men. All were friendly helpful human beings. None of them were concerned, except me, with Arab terrorism.
I have my plastic ID card in my pocket but I don't know when I will ever get to use it again. I don't know if the people I meet and greet at the society are alive or dead. I don't know if my friend who yells and shouts at the coffee exchange trading floor is here on earth. And if so, how he will trade coffee again. (It was reported on CNBC Wednesday, 12 SEP, that these personnel were safe.)
The reason I wasn't at the society today was because I went to my doctor for a medical check up that I had planned to take before leaving for Annapolis for my 50th Graduation Anniversary at the United States Naval Academy.
I am at my place of business, sending this E. Mail to you not far from the World Trade Center. At this very moment I still see enormous clouds of white smoke pouring up in the sky like the action of a volcanic cloud or an atomic cloud rising high in the atmosphere from a vast building area that once held thousands of American human beings. Walking north on First, Second and Third Avenues are hundreds of thousands of people. They pass thousands of policemen. They seem in shock, like refugees on a forced march to a gas chamber. They walk north, only north, away, far away, from the disaster that occurred to the south of them, south of Canal Street. They will never forget this day. All transportation is blocked. All bridges and tunnels are closed as are highways and airports, trains and tunnels. So they walk and walk and keep on walking, always north.
These are Americans in an atmosphere of fear. The primary election was called off. The politicians are confused. I hope that Colin Powell and other "turn the other cheek" Americans will face up to their Wake up Call about Arab terrorism.
September 11, 2001