For the best first-hand, woman-on-the-street account of what it was like to live through 9/11 up-close and personal, Lucianne's Short Cuts (now known as Must Reads) were the best reporting anywhere.
Below are excerpts from those first days.
She was always up before dawn, so the planes had not struck the towers when she posted on 9/11/01. Yet the first item is still chilling in retrospect.
Short Cuts, Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 2001:
Troubled Skies: We begin the morning with one of our spy planes shot down over Iraq and Russian war planes buzzing our planes over the Pacific.
By Wednesday, the Short Cuts had changed.
Lucianne's caption: "Steel heroes hardened by fire. 200 may be dead. Our entire elite NYPD Bomb Squad is dead. God help us all."
Wednesday, Sept. 12th, 2001:
AN HOUR BEFORE DAWN and this gigantic engine of a city that never sleeps is trying to. It has never been so quiet here. There is no traffic. We are sealed off from the world. The tunnels and bridges are closed. People streamed out of the city yesterday and today will not be permitted back in while workers try to determined the enormity of what has happened. The death and suffering has just begun.
Thursday, Sept. 13th, 2001:
[The previous night] At 10 o'clock, Josh calls to say he is "standing in front of the hole" at ground zero and will be going in shortly. He has been asked to help search for bodies. He's phoning to say we won't see him until sometime today. This does not ease the heart. Two more buildings are creaking and ready to collapse. Late, they report there are asbestos particles in the smoke.
I finally shut things down. I am afraid to turn off the phone as I usually do. The last thing I hear is that Al Gore is "stranded in Austria" and Bill Clinton is "under protective guard in a resort in Australia." For the first time in a long, long day there is some good news.
Friday, Sept. 14th, 2001:
The nightly news showed Clinton on the street here in New York. He was in front of Curry in the Hurry on Lexington Avenue miles from the scene or carnage. He had his arms around a comely, crying brunette holding a picture of a missing loved one. He was feeling her .....pain. Doing something for himself, not New York. Sorry, that may be crass but my loathing for his man requires medication. What, dear God, is he doing here in the first place?
I got through those first couple of weeks reading Lucianne's Short Cuts before anything else. They were so good that I made a copy of them. Thank God I did because even though for years Lucianne kept an archive of her Short Cuts, dating back to the day terrorists attacked us on 9-11-2001, they are no longer available.