Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on September 8, 2011 · Page 4
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 4

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Phoenix, Arizona
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Thursday, September 8, 2011
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THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC fl4 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 201 1 '! Mi HOW 911 CHANGED AMERICA On an interactive video wall, average Americans, celebrities and politicians share their memories of where they were on that fateful day. See the videos and upload your own. Find this and more coverage each day at 911.usatoday.com. New lives Continued from A1 ' subjected some American Muslims to discrimination. But for some people who were simply living in New York, who weren't touched personally by the attacks, the tragedy served as an impetus for life-changing decisions. "You wake up out there and say, 'What is really, really important?' " said Salvador Calvano, a hairstylist who worked freelance at fashion shows and photo shoots in New York. He returned to his hometown and opened his salon, Hairpeace, in midtown Phoenix. Dena Patton, who moved to New Yorker, but his temporary stay in Arizona became a decade of reconnecting with family and childhood friends. "Life's short," he said. "We all get so wrapped up in projects ... we fail to really appreciate our own lives." In the weeks after the attacks, Patton wrapped herself in a project that helped others mourn Sept. 11. She helped set up an art-gallery space where people brought in photos and stories. The project evolved into a book, "The September 11 Photo Project," and Patton traveled with the exhibition on a West Coast tour. "I saw families come through that project together and mourn together and connect together, she said. "And I just hadn't had that for eight years." When she landed back in New York, the project and book completed, she called her mother and said she was com training to become associates, The sessions were relocated to Queens from the damaged Building 7 at the World Trade Center. As it resumed, it became more apparent to the two that they were attracted to banking by the salary, not by a passion for it. The two had bonded over their mutual love of food. Yung started feeling the tug of the culinary world. She quit her job in 2002 and went to culinary school in Australia.. Wichayanuparp kept climbing up the banking ladder, eventually becoming a vice president. But once she landed the promotion in 2005, she realized it was time to leave. "I knew I wanted to do something else," she said. "I looked at Helen and how she went to culinary school, and I realized it's not too late to change your life." Wichayanuparp and Yung both happened to be in Hong Kong when Wichayanuparp decided to quit banking. The two tried to figure out what culinary passion to pursue. They settled on artisan ice cream sold in Arizona where Wichayanuparp had family. Their small-batch Scottsdale ice-cream shop has attracted national attention from the Food Network and Bon Appetit magazine. Each Sept. 11 since the shop opened in 2008, they offer a free scoop of ice cream to police officers, firefighters, paramedics and hospital emergency staff. Yung also remembers that Sept. 11 morning each time she looks up and sees a plane flying overhead. "If you don't make the most of today," she said, "you might not have tomorrow to do it." Yung was running late on Sept. 11. She lived in Battery Park City, on the western edge of Lower Manhattan, about a block from the World Trade Center. The investment banker for Citigroup was getting dressed for a training session in Building 7 when she heard a loud crash. She figured it was probably a truck accident. She also knew she needed to hustle to the office. She hit the streets and saw people looking up at smoke coming from one of the towers. Then, she heard a jet engine roar overhead. The second plane hit the second tower. Wichayanuparp said the lobby of Building 7 felt like a movie set, watching burning debris hit the ground through the lobby's windows. Patton, who had just become a life coach, was on her way to meet a client in one of the towers. Her subway train screeched to a halt, and a panicked voice on the loudspeaker ordered everyone out one stop away from the WTC stop. She walked out from the subway entrance to see people frozen and looking up at the sky. Calvano had stepped out to 'get a bagel and coffee in the Chelsea neighborhood. When he returned to his apartment, phone messages Arizona -Storytellers, presented by The Republic, 12 News and azcentral.com and sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, is dedicated to telling Ari-zonans' stories. Today, a video of Lynne Christian joins the online collection. Scan this code with your smartphone or go to storytellers.azcentral.com. this feels," I knew not to take the elevators, so I instructed the trainees to start heading downstairs and out of the building to our main office. Delores and I made sure no more trainees came up the elevators, then followed. When you go down that many flights, your knees get wobbly and your shins start to hurt. The stairwell was full of evacuees, and their stories and fears got more exaggerated as we descended. People were saying a plane hit the World Trade Center. We had offices for trainees on the 15th floor, so Delores and I stopped there to make sure no one was left behind. We circled around, calling out, and found a lone student gazing out the south window at the North Tower. It was all on fire, looming over our building, so I knew if it came down, we'd be crushed. I yelled at him, "What the (expletive) are you doing here? Let's get out." At the fifth floor, all the evacuees ahead of us came to a stop. Some were getting panicky. Emergency workers had locked the ground-floor exit because debris from the tower was raining down on the street there. A building-maintenance guy behind me led us to another stairwell that exited on the west side, so we walked out into a crowd of police and firefighters. The South Tower had just been hit. One of the trainees told me it Salvador Calvano holds a photograph of the Twin Towers, rob SCHUMACHEIVTHE REPUBLIC told him to turn on his TV. After doing so, he went to his rooftop. When he saw the towers collapse, he said, he fell to his knees, hyperventilating and crying. The next few days, Calvano felt like he was living in a daze. The city was in a state of collective mourning. He felt he needed to shake it off, to escape for a while. He and a friend drove across the country to Arizona. Calvano had no real plan to stay when he arrived back in Phoenix on Sept. 22. But he found himself standing in a historic building his father owned on Seventh Street in midtown Phoenix. It had the look of his Chelsea loft, and when he tore the plywood off the sign outside, he saw it covered up a diamond-shaped dry-cleaning sign from 1927. Funky and historic, that sign felt like it could have been a bit of New York in his hometown. Part of Calvano will always be a iif irr't v 'it. 1 V r f- Lynne Christian served on the Arizona 911 memorial committee after leaving a New York career. looked like a mortar came from the East River and exploded into the building. I felt responsible for the students and started herding them toward our office on Greenwich Street. I remember looking back I was more angry than scared that this could happen and I saw people jumping out of the North Tower. So, I turned around and I never looked again, but other people were just transfixed, staring up at the buildings. At our offices on Greenwich Street, everybody was just standing outside. I heard someone say the Pentagon was also hit, so I knew our country was under attack. I went into a sort of survival mode. We were all told to go home. My car was in a parking lot. Streets were all blocked. Trains weren't running. Bridges were closed. I had no way to get home to New Jersey, no place to go. I had trained about 2,500 MBAs over the years, and I ran into one of them, Paul McNutt. He invited me to stay at his apartment up north, near Lincoln Center. We started walking, and that's when the South Tower fell. Paul was in the middle of the street, describing it, and you could hear all kinds of screaming. But I couldn't look at it. And then there was just this stampede of people. I put my back up against a wall and remained still because it seemed safer. New York for the hustle-bustle of the public-relations and marketing industries, realized she wanted to help people find more meaningful connections. "When you sit 7 Dena Patton there and watch the towers come down," Patton said, "I've never been the same. I want to improve the world." Patton moved back to her home city just in time to reconnect with her mother before she passed away. Patton now helps empower female professionals, partly by getting them together to chat over chocolate. "911 was definitely a wake-up call to do something we felt we could truly be passionate about in the long term," said Helen Yung, co-founder of Sweet Republic. She stopped managing investments and, instead, creates the shop's ice-cream portfolio. Storytellers Continued from A1 floor in one of the main towers, and he always said you could feel it sway in the wind, and it felt like you were in an airliner when the clouds floated by. , When I started working on Wall Street, I had no college degree and didn't even know who the hell Dow Jones was. But if you showed initiative and ability and worked hard, you'd get promoted. In 1993, my office was at 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story building in the shadow of the main towers. Friends and I were having lunch in the cafeteria when there was just a terrific rumble.. The building shuddered. The lights went out. No one had a clue what was going on. We finished eating and went back to work until police came and evacuated us. Someone had tried to blow up the place with a car bomb, but we thought it was just incompetent wackos until later, when we learned about a group known as al-Qaida. After that, we had occasional evacuation drills and bomb scares, but I didn't worry about terrorism or the fact that I worked at the very heart of world commerce. In my whole life, I'd always felt safe on the streets of New York. I became the training coordinator for new MBAs hired by the investment house. My office was at 380 Greenwich St., but courses were taught in an auditorium eight blocks away at 7 World Trade Center, so that's where I was on Sept. 11,2001. The program was on the 39th floor. Delores was my co-trainer. She and I had 244 students, fresh-faced kids from all over the world China, Japan, Europe, South America, the United States. We were waiting for late arrivals when the building began to shake. It wasn't as powerful as in 1993, and there were no alarms or evacuation orders. But I had this gut instinct. I told Delores, "We're going to leave. I don't like the way ing back to Phoenix. She purposely timed her drive so she would arrive in the Valley on Sept. 11, 2002. Patton continued as a life coach, although now one who helps people Helen Yung find passions, not just ways to monetary rewards. She also started a franchised social group, Chat, Chew and Chocolate, that gets professional women together once a month to make connections deeper than exchanging business cards. "It was just a knowing," Patton said about her decision to leave. "It's time." Yung and Wichayanuparp returned to the investment-banking Lynne Christian Age: 65. Lives in: Phoenix. Born in: Staten Island, N.Y. Career: Investment banking, retired. Moved to Arizona: 2002. Link to 911: Was in 7 World Trade Center when adjacent towers were attacked; escaped with other evacuees before her skyscraper caught fire and collapsed. 91 1 impact: Quit her job and retired to Phoenix; was appointed to the Arizona 91 1 Memorial Commission. We noticed a lone motorist in a Ford Explorer stopped at an intersection and offered to pay him for a ride. He was an electrician at the World Trade Center, and his boss didn't want him to evacuate. I never got a name, but he was a veteran, an amputee, and I remember him saying he told his boss, "I lost my leg in Vietnam. If you think I'm going to lose my life in the Trade Center, you're crazy." As he drove us up to 60th Street, I looked through the Explorer's rear window and saw the North Tower fall. I spent 22 days at Paul's place, trying to track down the MBA trainees using a BlackBerry and land lines. I was watching TV there when 7 World Trade Center collapsed, and I just thought, "Thank God we're the hell outta there." Two of the kids from Hong Kong were missing, and it turned out both of them wound up hospitalized. One had minor injuries. The other suffered a broken pelvis, a smashed face. She couldn't remember anything, but they figured she got trampled. I was sent to another CitiGroup building in New Jersey to help with recovery efforts. It was so busy, I never really had time to feel things. And then, a month after the attack, my company announced layoffs and my boss asked me for a list of 12 em 'ff' - ployees. This was the hardest thing I'd ever had to do. I was 55 and hadn't planned to retire for seven years. But I put my name on the list to save someone else's job. The truth is, I'd had enough. They were offering a good severance package, and I'd vacationed in Phoenix so many times that I owned a townhouse there. But, mostly, it was about 911. Before that date, my job was the most important thing in my life. Afterward, it wasn't. I survived Strike One in 1993, and then I survived Strike Two. I wasn't hanging around for a third strike. I'm probably a little bit more bigoted than I was, and more skeptical. After 911, I flew to Nantucket to see a friend, and I got profiled. At the airport, I was hauled out of line and my bags were searched while this hippie guy with purple hair and rings in his ears waltzed onto the plane. When I learned about plans for a 911 memorial in Arizona, I sent a note to the governor's press secretary and got appointed to the committee. In New York, I was one among millions who went through hell. Here, I was a survivor. The expiration date on my credit card is 911, so I can't escape thinking about it a decade later. The thing that pops to mind isn't an image of airplanes crashing or buildings falling. It's a passage from a book I read later that said there was a gigantic storage tank of diesel fuel in 7 World Trade Center. If that had caught fire, there could have been another explosion to magnify the catastrophe. I'm not one who panics, but that put a huge lump in my throat. It's not like I went through depression or rage. The terrorists didn't attack me personally, and reacting emotionally isn't in my personality. Still, I was giving a talk to Arizona high-school students about what happened, and I just started crying. I don't know, maybe I've just suppressed a lot of feelings. SmiglLiMtijIH Meet Dan at BevMo! in Scottsdale for Crystal Head Vodka bottle signing THIS SATURDAY, SEPT. 10TH J T - I 10am - Noon BevMo! Scottsdale 7129 E. Shea Blvd. (480) 607-5523 M-Sa, 9-9, Su 10-7 BevMo.comdanaykroydevent

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