Good Times, Bad Times

This month marks a personal milestone for which I amgrateful and proud, and another that horrifically affected most, if not all, of us. 

First, the happy occasion. Ten years ago this month, I was offered an editorial position with two magazines published by the International Sleep Products Association. 

As then-managing editor for BedTimes and sister publication Sleep Savvy, I reported to Julie A. Palm, possibly one of the best editors with whom I have ever worked. I forever am grateful to her for the opportunity she afforded me and the example she set. She furthered my appreciation of skillful editing and magazine management.

And then there was the bedding orientation. Julie instructed me on the ins and outs of our industry. She schooled me on terms such as hog rings and serger-flanger. Not only was I learning about an industry new to me, but she helped me master a new language.

Sadly, this month also marks a memorable anniversary, one punctuated by tragedy and nefariousness. Twenty years ago this month, 19 young men set out on a destructive course that would change history. In about 100 minutes on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, those men hijacked and flew two jets into New York’s World Trade Center, smashed a plane into the Pentagon and crashed yet another in a Pennsylvania field some 160 miles away from the U.S. Capitol.

Like many of you, I was at work that Tuesday morning, attending a meeting. When we adjourned, I walked out of the boardroom to the sounds of people crying. The staff had gathered around a television, horrified as the South Tower collapsed. We still are scarred by the images of the buildings imploding as people are chased by — and covered in — the dusty remains of the iconic landmarks.

The bedding industry was quick to respond. As Julie described years later: “The bedding industry rallied in patriotic support, with companies raising money to help victims’ families, participating in vigils and more. At the time, Tietex International, a textile supplier in Spartanburg, South Carolina, advertised regularly on the back page of BedTimes; after the attacks, the company changed its ad from one touting its latest fabrics to this simple message: ‘God Bless America.’ ”

For me, I hope the bittersweetness of September strengthens my resolve toward fortitude, gratitude and remembrance.

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