A Minor Price to Pay on 9/11

Randy Stover, Director of Client Services, Valassis – Client Services, Livonia, MI

I was staying at the Hyatt adjacent to McCormick Place and had just been seated for breakfast as I watched Good Morning America break into its programming to report that a plane had crashed into one of the Towers. As the story unfolded, panic began to set in with everyone, including the attendees at PRINT 01.

My focus turned to figuring out what I should do in the mist of all the chaos. I decided that it would be best to rebook my flight and return home, so I checked out of my hotel and headed to the airport in a taxi. Upon arriving at O’Hare, I was told that the airport had been shut down and all flights were grounded. I jumped back into my cab and began calling the hotel to see if I could get my room again, which I was able to do.

Listening to the radio, I quickly realized that finding some type of transportation home would be difficult. On the return drive to the hotel the taxi driver offered to drive me to my home in Michigan. At that point, I thought, “How much will this cost?” I am sure you are asking that same question as you are reading this sentence. His stated price was $850. I was able to negotiate the price, and he ended up dropping me off at Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor, MI.

I felt fortunate to have gotten home during a time of chaos. Had I not taken a taxi it was likely that I would have been in Chicago for several days. It was a scary feeling and I quickly realized that I was not in control. I was fortunate that things turned out OK for me, but my inconvenience was nothing compared to the loss and impact the attacks had on both our country and on people and families impacted by this tragedy.