Theresa Carey: Saved by Volleyball


My favorite sport, volleyball, has literally saved my life three times. The third time was on Sept. 11, 2001.

I had just published a book about online investing and had been invited to speak at a breakfast meeting taking place in conjunction with the American Economic Association's annual meeting at the World Trade Center. The breakfast was scheduled for the morning of Sept. 11 at Windows On The World, the restaurant atop the North Tower.

A couple of weeks before the meeting, I looked at my calendar and realized that the first match of the high school volleyball season was to be played that day. My daughter, Colleen, was on the Paly varsity volleyball team, and I was coaching the then-brand-new Paly freshman team.

So I turned down the invitation, with some regret because I love traveling to Manhattan.

When I awoke that horrible morning, and saw the flaming towers collapsing, I could not stop shaking. If not for volleyball, I would have been there. Only the people who left the breakfast meeting before the speaker finished survived. I was supposed to be the speaker.

It's still eerie for me to think about all the "what if?" scenarios. As a writer for Barron's, quite a few people I used to regularly interview perished that day. My Barron's colleagues were across the street at One Financial Center; all survived, though there was a great deal of psychological damage.

Theresa W. Carey

Fife Avenue

Palo Alto

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