Tag Archives: coffee

How A Girl, An Uncle, and Cappuccino Saved My Life: A Reflection on 11 Sept 2001

Today is a few days past the 10th Anniversary of Sept.11th, yet I still wanted to post these thoughts because they have been going round and round inside my head over the past week.

I (Dan) have a few (maybe more) quirks – anyone who knows me can testify to that fact. 🙂 One of them is exploring different coffee shops with my uncle whenever I visit him or he visits me. Another one is hoping the plane is overbooked so I can stay a free night and get a flight voucher. (Although this quirk has waned since traveling with children.)


In August 2001 I planned a trip from Santa Cruz, CA where I was working to Boston, MA to visit my Aunt Jeanne, Uncle Sonny, and cousins. I called American Airlines to book a round-trip ticket from San Francisco to Boston. I asked the reservation lady on the phone to have me return on Tuesday, September 11th. She asked how early I wanted to leave Boston because she had one connecting through Los Angeles and one connecting through Denver to San Francisco. I paused for two reasons. One I told her and one I didn’t. The one I told her was I wanted to go into Boston with my uncle and get a cappuccino at a bakery he knew downtown because he teaches dentistry at a university downtown on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I wanted to make sure I could sit for a few minutes and enjoy another “chapter in the book of memories,” as my uncle says, before I raced off to Logan. Yet the other reason I paused is because in the back of my mind I had thought to get a flight connecting through Denver in the hopes that the leg from Denver to San Francisco would be overbooked earning me a flight voucher and free layover in Denver. I know that sounds odd, but I was a hopeless romantic and thought this would give me a chance to see a girl in whom I had an interest. So, with these two reasons in my mind, I turned down the direct flight and asked the lady to book me on the one an hour later with a layover in Denver.

A few weeks later on 11 September 2001 I made it to the airport, but I never made it on my flight as the FAA started grounding all flights because two planes from Boston had just been hijacked. Oh, and the earlier flight offered to me – the one I turned down for coffee, my uncle, and a girl – was one of the two flights hijacked and flown into the Twin Towers.


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Photo of the Week – coffee time

At the tail end of a campus ministers' conference I had a chance to visit some friends who just moved and to preach in their new congregations. On Sunday morning my friends told me they haven't come across their coffee grinders yet in the unpacking. So I decided to use their mortar and pestle instead in order for us to enjoy some morning coffee.

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