Category Archives: twins

Patriots’ Day: Solidarity


There is a quotation being volleyed about called, “The Slurry Walls of Life.” I

received it twice now. Once, from someone far away, but a U.S. citizen, and the

second time I read this was in our September church newsletter. Neither time

was an author given credit. This upsets me, almost like I am ‘pirating’ someone’s

thoughts. If you happen to see this, with an author attached, please let me know!

I hope these words will hold something meaningful to give to you,  a few days

ahead of  the actual Patriots’ Day.  This quote comes exactly as I received it, no

editing or changes made.


I think on the actual day of 9/11/14, I will be silent. . .


“As horrific as 9/11 was, it could’ve been even worse if not for a 30 year old

engineering feat. Reaching some 70 feet underground, a 3 foot thick concrete

structure called a ‘slurry wall’ surrounded the base of the World Trade Center

complex. Designed to prevent the Hudson River from flooding the basement,

this wall prevented New York’s subway system from flooding and countless

additional people from dying on September 11, 2001.


A ‘slurry wall’ is constructed by pouring a thick, goopy mixture of powdered

clay and water into a deep, narrow trench. The solution coats the sides,

preventing water and soil from collapsing the trench. Pipes are then inserted

through the slurry, and concrete is pumped into the trench, pushing the slurry

up and out.


At the World Trade Center, the concrete formed such a strong wall that even

two airplanes and the falling towers didn’t fracture it. Part of the ‘slurry wall’

stands at the 9/11 Memorial site, a symbol of resilience.


Sometimes God uses life’s ‘slurry’ to make us stronger than we ever thought

possible. We might wish something yucky hadn’t happened- – until we discover

it was part of what sustained us, making us resilient and enabling us to rise out

of the destruction and death to an awe-inspiring new life.”

(Author Unknown)


This much I could research, that the original ‘slurry walls’ construction, under

the World Trade Center, were supervised by a man named, Arturo Lamberto

Ressi di Cervia. This building supervisor passed away at age 72 in August, 2013.

He lived almost 12 years past that day of sadness, to see this job become the

base of the Memorial. The construction workers need to feel satisfaction in their

awesome work on the ‘slurry walls.’


Arturo Lamberto Ressi di Cervia’s professional crew poured the walls of support

that survived the crashes. Construction supervisor, Mr. di Cervia, must have

felt a little better that his workers’ wall held back further destruction and may

have prevented more deaths.  Although, it is nearly impossible to be proud of

your accomplishments, in the midst of death and sorrow.  Acknowledgment

to the crew only seems ‘right’ to do, as to ALL the workers who came to the

rescue of the ones injured, helping to unbury the living and the ones who died

on this horrific day. Rescue dogs wore themselves out, helping to find so many

‘buried’ people.


There is a fine article (not containing the above quotation) from a man named,

David W. Dunlap, written about the construction of the ‘slurry walls.’ Dunlap’s

article was published on 9/11/13/ in the New York Times:

“Looking to a Wall that Limited the Devastation of the World Trade Center.”


“Twins” Can’t Have the Same 1st Name!


My friend, Melvin, and I were the last ones out in the Mezzanine area

(again!) of the distribution center. As we were walking out, having

chased each other up and down, 72 aisles. Back and forth, sometimes

not having to go down an aisle due to product placement, one or the

other of us would get ahead. Melvyn spotted Robyn and his usual joke

is to say,

“There’s your twin, Robin!”

We laugh sometimes, at the unfortunate differences between the two

of us, my coworker named Robyn and I. But when Melvin jokes, I put

my ‘fake’ frown on and say,

“Hey! That’s not funny! “Twins” can’t have the same first name!”

Our appearances would not make us twins, our ages wouldn’t either.

She is almost ten years older. Robyn had light blonde hair that sticks

up like little feathers in a waif type hair cut. She is “losing it.” Sorry to

say this, but the managers and her coworkers are keeping her on

the payroll in respect for her 40 years of employment with Advance

Auto D.C. #23.  She goes around to our now defunct sign up sheets

for “chores” like sweeping, dusting racks and stacking bin boxes.

She initials these papers that someone posts every Sunday evening

to keep her occupied.

I asked my favorite boss, Jake, one time, “Why doesn’t she switch to

days? You know she may have “Sun Downers” which is often a form

of dementia or Alzheimer’s. As the day winds down, these elderly

people start losing their memory. When we were in the nursing

home, my activity assistant and I tried to engage these particular

patients/clients early in the day while their thoughts seemed to

string together better. Often they were coherent, especially when

remembering their ‘distant’ past memories.

As most of you already know, ‘recent’ memory is harder to pull

out of thin air, but the past is rich in details. Some of you, my age

or older, have been dealing with a parent or relative that has

memory loss.

Jake had no clue (he was in his twenties when I started there and

asked this question) and said he would check with his boss, Mike B.

Never getting back to me, oh well…

Anyway, I want to describe this amusing character while I am not

making fun of her. I am delineating our differences so the chances

of being siblings will seem very slim. Robyn has bleach blonde hair

but either lost her eyebrows or is one of those women who has

plucked their eyebrow hairs all out and then she uses a very heavy

hand with the eyebrow pencil. I mean it is a thick black curved

arch! Her eye makeup has been also given an extra dose of

blue eyeshadow, showing off her blue eyes, we must presume.

She may be losing her sense of smell, also, since she must give

herself an extra ‘dose’ or a big spray of perfume. I cannot

identify it, but it is an older scent that when put on your warm

pressure points in a lighter fashion, can smell misty and sweet.

In the larger doses, Robyn can be identified easily by her trail left

behind or her cloud of scent approaching. She is always dressed

in nice shorts and a nice clean blouse. Robyn has been, sometime

in her past, a careful dresser and she must do her laundry earlier

in the day, because it is fresh smelling amid the odor of the


Robyn always  says “Hi, I think you remind me of a friend I know

named Alice.”

I wish I could tape this, so I could prove this is the very same

“opening line” she gives me, whether we run into each other

as she comes in at 3:30 p.m. or in the bathroom, aisles or like

today, in the Mezzanine.  Melvin heard it for the very first time,

being located in the next aisle over; AHEAD of me again! I try

to cut him off at the pass, but he won’t let me. MEN!!

Anyway, today Melvin snickered and then let off a second

sound, a resounding “Snort!”

Now, I will tell you after we went two rows down, crossing

paths, trying to get the last orders done, after having put in

over 10 and a half hours. Don’t tell Melvin, but I loved that

“Snort!” It made me chuckle and it made me smile.

But, here he was face to face, saying the same “tired” joke,

“Hey there, I just saw your twin! And you cannot say you have

the same name! She clearly identified your true identity by

revealing your secret “twin” name: “Alice!”

Oh, groan!!

I replied with a snarl, “I am going to get you back, Melvin!

Just you wait!”

Now, if you wish, help me to plot my “revenge” on Melvin!