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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Too close for comfort in Boston

     A little after 3 p.m. on Monday I received a call from my daughter.  I expected her to tell me about my son-in-law's finishing time at the Boston Marathon.  Instead she said, "We are all OK but are having to evacuate our hotel."  Puzzled but before I could say why she said, "Turn on your TV Dad.  I can't talk now as they are telling us not to use our cell phones.  Will call later to talk more."  Turning on the TV filled in some of the facts of why they were evacuating their hotel but didn't answer my numerous questions until her call back yesterday.
    I knew they were staying near the finish line of the Marathon but didn't realize how close they were to the site of the first bombing until her call yesterday.  Their hotel was two doors down from the bombing site, literally next to the finish line.  My daughter and our 6 month old grandson were standing in front of their hotel watching my son-in-law finish the Marathon 40 minutes before the bombing.  Running the Marathon in 3 hours and 20 minutes meant that they were back in their hotel room when the bomb went off.  Hearing the bomb and seeing the confusion on the street from their room they started leaving their room only to be met by Boston Police and FBI agents telling them that they had to evacuate the building.  They were not allowed to go back to their room to get their luggage as the building was considered part of a crime scene.  Being escorted out of the building through the lobby they saw some of the injured being treated in the lobby.  The entrance to the hotel and lobby was blood-covered from some of the injured who were now in the lobby.
    With my son-in-law still just wearing his sweats they contacted other friends from their running club, the Golden Gate Running Club, and located a friend who told them they could stay in his hotel room.  They are   heading to New York City today (staying near Times Square!) and Columbia on Saturday. They were fortunately able to retrieve their luggage yesterday.  Seeing our 6 month old grandson for the second time since his birth will take on new meaning.

     If the experience above wasn't bad enough my daughter had a pick pocket take her phone when she and my grandson were out in front of the hotel watching for my son-in-law to come by.  She felt the person take it and turned around to look at the person and emotionally told him to give back her phone as it had pictures of her baby on the phone.  Surprisingly he gave her phone back before walking away.

P.S. 1
   Attended Jeff Yeager's talk at the Miller Library last night.  His best line was "I got a call from a person with my book publisher saying he had good news and bad news.  My book had one million readers but only 27 books sold as all the "cheapskate readers" got his book from the library."

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