Remembering 9/11/01: Tim “The Cabana Boy”, K-EARTH 101 Morning Show
On 9/11 I was running the board for the K-EARTH 101 Morning Show (It was Jim and Joni at the time). Brandon the producer was in another studio working on content for the show. I could see the reflection of a TV in the windows of the studio next to me and saw the first images of the plane hitting the first tower. The text on the screen indicated a small plane had into the building. However, it looked like something much bigger!
As I was about to ring the intercom to the next studio, I heard Brandon say that he thought we were under a terrorist attack. It seemed impossible to believe, but somehow he made sense. We debated on what to do. Do we bring KNX up on our air? Do we break in on the music with an emergency news report? Do we play the wait and see game? Our course of action was decided for us by the second jetliner, and our program director. All at once, when that second jet hit the towers, I knew Brandon was right…. And I Was Mad!
We soon patched KNX through our on air console and Jim would occasionally do our call letters over a lull in the report. Staff members we are moving around wondering, watching, listening. All we could do was hang out making sure the K-Earth stayed on the air. Then we got the call… The station was to be evacuated! DWP had a facility across the street, which was deemed a possible attack target! Go immediately to your cars and exit through the back gates away from the DWP yard! Everyone but Brandon. It was decided that he would stay and do the call letters live on the air for at least a little while longer. As if being evacuated due to a terrorist attack 3000+ miles away wasn’t tough enough, but to leave your friend and colleague behind?
I did what I was told and got in my car. Sat in the long line of staff trying to exit the back gate, and headed home. I called my future wife who was with our daughter and let her know what was happening. Then I called my parents who are listeners to the station and told them not to worry. For the next 40 minutes I drove my car through some heavier than usual traffic back to my apartment. All the while I had the radio turned down to where I could barely hear the reporting. I was thinking, seething mad and ready to fight back! My father is retired Navy with a good friend assigned to the recruiting office. I called and was told to relax for a couple days and think about my desire to join up just because of this attack. If it weren’t for my daughter and her mother asking me not to… I probably would have gone directly to the recruiting center that day.
I didn’t sleep much that night, or for the next several nighst for that matter. To this very day, when I think about what happened, I feel the same anger, heartache, compassion, and Patriotism that I felt on September 11th, 2001!