Monday, August 28, 2006

Speaking of your 9-11 story

For whatever reason recently I was reminded of the story of Ben Curtis on the occasion of him getting into some trouble for pot. He was "The Dell kid." I say "kid" even though he was 21 in 2001. He really doesn't deserve that. James Lileks, of course, does a phenomenal job with very few words of his own. He just quotes a Boy's Life article about this Eagle Scout. I don't have anything to add. I'll just let Lileks do his thing.

You might know Eagle Scout Ben Curtis . He's that "Dude, you're getting a Dell" guy on the TV commercials. On Sept. 11, 2001, the 21-year-old from Chattanooga, Tenn., found himself in the midst of a crisis.

He was sleeping in his Lower Manhattan apartment when an airliner hit the first World Trade Center tower. His roommate, a photographer, ran to the disaster scene a few blocks away, but Ben went back to sleep, thinking the noise was a gas explosion. When the second tower was struck, he got up and looked out the window. Seeing the fire, he decided his roommate might need help.

When the first tower collapsed, Ben rushed into the subway entrance nearby to escape the flying debris. Clouds of soot poured down into the tunnel. He took his shirt off and tied it around his face to breathe.

A woman came down the stairs with a severe gash on her head. "At first I was completely freaked out," he said, "but then my Scout training came back to me." He used his shirt as a pressure bandage and helped the woman to safety.

Still chuckling at his pot bust? Fine. But we all wonder how we would have reacted that day. He knows. He can live with himself. I wish him good luck.
I wonder how it turned out for the guy. If I had to guess, he's doing alright. He sounds a good egg.