By Dinty W. Moore
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I took a few hits off a spent joint in the ashtray, just to clear my head. The car never made it to the National Guard checkpoint outside of the ﬂood zone, because the engine died an hour or so later in the small town of Armagh. Still, I was close enough to hitchhike, and did. The next two days were spent wandering through rubble and mud, phoning in occasional eyewitness accounts to upi’s Pittsburgh ofﬁce, where someone folded my words into the ofﬁcial statements issued out of Harrisburg and Washington.
New York was unaware of who we were, but in our minds we owned the narrow island, and as dusk fell our world seemed indescribably promising and alive. And then we turned a corner. In front of us stood the World Trade Center, perhaps a quarter mile off. Somehow I had forgotten it would be there. The twin towers climbed into the pea green sky as if by magic, and we three young Jacks knew at once that we had to ascend the glimmering beanstalks, toward whatever destiny. We stumbled into an elevator, giggled like odd little monkeys as the ﬂoor went soft beneath our feet.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, rebellious sons in khaki pants and rumpled Brooks Brothers shirts, rolled up their sleeves and took on the potent patriarch. The symbolism was too strong for me to resist, and in my second year of college I threw myself headlong into reporting for the campus newspaper. Right across from the newsroom was the ofﬁce of the College Republicans, and they were so shifty, so smug, so thinlipped and acned, it was obvious they were up to no good. The budding Bernsteins of the Pitt News would sneer at the wannabe Haldemans each time we passed in the narrow thirdﬂoor hallway, and in my mind every one of my scornful expressions, every haircut missed, every joint rolled and savored, was a blow against Nixon, Rebozo, Agnew, and all that gang.