There is no way that I could have thought my ordinary Saturday would include standing in my ordinary kitchen in eastern Maryland learning of 11 killed and 6 wounded ordinary people.
In my hometown of Pittsburgh. In my neighborhood. In my synagogue. On the anniversary of my bar mitzvah. My phone was acting as a TV as KDKA streamed scenes from Tree of Life; windows were blown out; police in full armor running up Wilkins Ave; “Names of victims not yet released…”
It is no shocker that I have tattoos of the Pittsburgh skyline and of the Pirates’ logo—with a crossed fork and knife rather than the baseball bats; I am a cook, after all.
When the call came from my sister that there were shots fired in my family’s synagogue, everything changed in an instant.
Thinking back to just after the 9/11 terrorist events, a news anchor was on a local Philadelphia station explaining why he was leaving the air. “You see,” he said, “my city needs me. I am a from New York, and I have to go back,” is how I remember that.
While my phone was drilling the unfolding scene into me over and over and over, I only could feel anxious to go to my hometown, too. To do something. To go home.Read More