I had just moved to a place in Orillia, Ont., on the Saturday (September 8th) with three buddies who were attending Georgian College for the professional golf management program. We didn't have phone or cable yet and we didn't have radio (just our CDs) but we didn't care; we were brash 20 years olds with a sweet place right on Lake Simcoe and that was all we needed.
Our house was in the boonies (a couple minutes from civilization), so there were no neighbours around; it was just us and the lake. We had enough beer and snacks to last us the week so we just sat in the water on the shoreline with a cooler and we didn't move for a week.
On the Friday, September 14th, we finally got our phone hooked up and my first call was my father, Ed Arnold, then Editor of the Peterborough Examiner. After asking how I'm doing, he asked me what my thoughts on the States were. I was confused and thought what a random and strange question. I replied "Why are you asking me that?" He said, "Cause I just wanted to get your opinion on it." I answered, "Ummm, it's a great country." He said, "Can you be serious for a minute; this is serious stuff, you guys might be drafted to go fight."
I said what the hell are you talking about. I could tell he was getting frustrated when he quickly snapped back, "I'm not kidding, this is a serious situation Scott." I again asked him what he was talking about. He took a very serious tone at this point as he said, "the States is what I'm talking about; the situation there is very serious right now!"
For the 3rd time, I told him I had no idea what he was referring to. "You're kidding me," he said before quickly running over the details—but as he told me you could tell he thought I was still just messing around with him. After briefly filling me in (and I mean briefly as I would later find it he skipped on a lot of info), he said "You've got to be kidding me if you really don't know what happened there; if you're serious, you're the only person on the planet who hasn't heard yet."
I laughed and said I highly doubt that. "I'm dead serious," he said, "you are the only one." I then asked my roommates if they'd heard about any planes crashing in New York. "They all looked at me up at me dazed, like I was an idiot, replying "NO" in unison. I said, "See dad, I'm not the only one!" Dad replied: "Sorry, the only FOUR people on the planet who haven't heard yet than!"
After that we got dressed, had our first shower and went to a local pub to find a TV. We watched the repeat coverage in awe over a few pints.....three days after the actual events had occurred.
So when anyone asks me what I was doing the moment the planes crashed into the towers on September 11th, I can honestly reply, I have absolutely no idea.