Challenger will always be “the big where-were-you event” that sticks in my mind, mainly because I was asleep when the WTC attacks occurred. I was a freshman in high school, in band class, rehearsing on the stage in the auditorium. A girl burst onto the stage and screamed, “The space shuttle exploded!” Everyone got up and wandered into the main band hall — I don’t being officially “dismissed” to do so — and watched the news reports on the TV there. Everyone kind of hung out for an hour or so then drifted away. I don’t remember if I went home or on to class. I do remember one guy with a clarinet. He sat in a plastic chair placed directly in front of the television and stared at it silently, his clarinet in his lap the whole time. He had excellent posture.
Written by Christopher Null on February 1st, 2003