People always say that when a tragic event takes place in life that you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. My mother tells me how she remembers to this day the exact place she was when Kennedy was shot.
9/11 is a day I will remember forever as to where I was and what I was doing. At the time I was still in college at Coastal Carolina University and had just started an internship with my father in real estate. Today was to be my big first day of work.
The day began with an early morning sales meeting with out entire company that was held at the Convention Center. This was my big day, time to be introduced to everyone in the company. The room was filled with several hundred agents and there was an excitement about how great real estate had been selling in our area.
The meeting began and as usual, they began the meeting by introducing all the new agents. So, they called my name, shared how I was going to be working as an intern/assistant to my father. After the meeting, there was little time for me to meet & greet all the new people in the company because I had to hurry home and prepare for my classes that day. As I drove home, I had the top down on my convertible car that I owned (man I miss that car!) and the sun was bright.
I was pulling into the neighborhood and my phone rang. On the other end was my father asking "What is going on?!? Are you home yet?" I asked what was wrong. "I just got to the office. Something major is happening in the news. We can't get any details here though!"
I ran in the house and turned the TV on immediately. As I did, I saw the second plane fly into the tower. I remember sharing with my dad what was going on and then finally hanging up with him. After that, I just sat there for close for over 3 hours just staring at the TV. I think the shock was so much that I couldn't even move.
Finally around 1:30 I got up and tried to prepare for the rest of my day of classes. When I arrived at college I noticed that there was hardly anyone out. I walked to my class to find it cancelled, so I then headed over to the student center. After entering the front doors I noticed a room that was normally filled with loud playing music, people playing games of pool & ping pong and having fun as a room filled with silence as many people had gathered there to view the TV and see what had happened.
The next few days in my real estate career were nothing short of interesting. I remember the next day we were trying to get someone pre-approved for a loan and had so much difficulty because the lender who was located in the north east was closed until further notice.
Then, the closing that was scheduled for Sept 14th was having difficulty because the lender was threatening to pull the loan on the condo because it was in a high rise building and those had become a terrorist threat. Other buyers that we had immediately changed their needs & wants from highrise oceanfront condos to low rise units. Other buyers just became so afraid to do anything that they pulled back.
Special assessments started coming around for special insurance policies for buildings that "could" be a terrorist threat.
Needless to say, the start of my career in real estate was memorable and one I will never forget. But, just like the men & women of this great nation, I was not moved or shaken from this career. I knew that this is where I was supposed to be. This was the career I was to succeed in. The next few months proved that as my father & I began to sell more property than ever.
As 2002 came to a close we had become #1 not only in our office of 20-30 agents, but also #1 in our company of over 250 agents.
So on this 7 year anniversary I write this with mixed emotions of joy & sadness as I think back on that tragic day. Remember those who were lost, they will never be forgotten.
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