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  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
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  • Thursday, September 07, 2006


    9/11, 9/14
    Help The Baghdad Fly Fishing School
    JENNY: Call Mom! NOW!

    .. I was having coffee at a local coffee shop in my neighborhood in the Bronx when a guy came in and said that a plane had hit one of the WTC towers. Everyone was speculating as to whether it was an accident.
    .. I had called for a car service to go to work, because I was running late, and it arrived before I had heard anything more. We must have been one of the last cars allowed into Manhattan on the West Side Highway before all the roads, bridges, tunnels and airports were closed. All kinds of emergency vehicles were flying past us down the road. I have no idea how the driver got back up to the Bronx after he dropped me off.
    .. By the time I got to the office on the Upper East Side, the second plane had hit. All the telephone trunk lines were full, and cellphones weren't working (since the transmission towers were on the WTC), so I couldn't call my son, who was in Providence, to tell him I was OK. I finally reached a friend in Boston via email and asked him to call my son, which he did.
    .. I couldn't reach my best friend, who was living on West 13th between Sixth and Seventh in the West Village, a mere hop, skip and jump away from the WTC. The area that was closed to the public started at 14th Street, so her block was included. I didn't hear from her until the next day.
    .. I was marooned in Manhattan until sometime between 1 and 2 pm, when Metro North started running trains out of Grand Central. The city bus down Fifth Avenue was running as far as 42nd Street and not collecting fares. I walked to Grand Central, where there were no schedules in effect. Trains would come in, load up and leave as fast as possible. People were getting to Jersey by ferry.


    .. The British had entered Chesapeake Bay on August 19th, 1814, and by the evening of the 24th of August, the British had invaded and captured Washington. They set fire to the Capitol and the White House, the flames visible 40 miles away in Baltimore.
    .. In the days following the attack on Washington, the American forces prepared for the assault on Baltimore (population 40,000) that they knew would come by both land and sea. Word soon reached Francis Scott Key that the British had carried off an elderly and much loved town physician of Upper Marlboro, Dr. William Beanes, and was being held on the British flagship TONNANT. The townsfolk feared that Dr. Beanes would be hanged. They asked Francis Scott Key for his help, and he agreed, and arranged to have Col. John Skinner, an American agent for prisoner exchange to accompany him.
    .. On the morning of September 3rd, he and Col. Skinner set sail from Baltimore aboard a sloop flying a flag of truce approved by President Madison. On the 7th they found and boarded the TONNANT to confer with Gen. Ross and Adm. Alexander Cochrane. At first they refused to release Dr. Beanes. But Key and Skinner produced a pouch of letters written by wounded British prisoners praising the care they were receiving from the Americans, among them Dr. Beanes. The British officers relented but would not release the three Americans immediately because they had seen and heard too much of the preparations for the attack on Baltimore. They were placed under guard, first aboard the H.M.S. Surprise, then onto the sloop and forced to wait out the battle behind the British fleet.
    .. At 7 a.m. on the morning of September 13, 1814, the British bombardment began, and the flag was ready to meet the enemy. The bombardment continued for 25 hours,the British firing 1,500 bombshells that weighed as much as 220 pounds and carried lighted fuses that would supposedly cause it to explode when it reached its target.
    .. Waiting in the predawn darkness, Key waited for the sight that would end his anxiety; the joyous sight of Gen. Armisteads great flag blowing in the breeze. When at last daylight came, the flag was still there!

    .. The continuing effort to help the Baghdad School Of Fly Fishing:
    .. Red Chaser . Com,
    .. Free Republic,
    .. Fly Fisherman,
    .. Mid Current,
    .. San Diego Tribune.