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Sep 11, 2005

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Adam Schneider

Mr. Cone
As it is now 7 months after you posted this thoughtful piece, I doubt you will see this. But I feel compelled to share my thoughts as I too, think of Calvin often.

Though I cannot say I knew him well...in the short time that I did, I feel safe in saying that I tied in to the magnetism you mention.

I lived in Riverdale at Hayden on Hudson in 2001...just a few floors below Calvin and LaChanze. One of my young daughters had a birthday party in June of that year and Calvin joined us with his beautiful little girl. There were 50 people at the party but I went out of my way to connect with Calvin and LaChanze...wondering who these attractive people were and noting how much they loved their young child. Only after the party did I find out from my looky-loo sister that LaChanze was an accomplished actor.

For the next few months, I saw Calvin in the hallways of our building...his job and my own seemed to limit our chance to connect more formally. What's more, in early September, we moved to Pelham so time was not on our side.

I do remember, though...the last time I saw Calvin. It was September 4, moving day and as we wever moving from the ground floor of our building, people would have to pass our apartment to leave. I was packing the truck and when I returned get more things...I ran directly into Calvin who had grabbed my golf clubs (left in the hallway next to the wall) and in a mock-sprint, ran toward the elevator. Catching the joke...I yelled for him to feel free to take them since golf was the source of more agony than ecstacy. He laughed, returned and looked me in the eye and said "man, ya never leave your sticks lying around...NEVER!" We laughed, he wished me well, exchanged addresses and made promises to connect in the future.

Obviously that was the last time I ever saw Calvin...until the days following 9/11 and his face appeared in the NYT along with a short bio that seemed to do such a poor job of summing up a life. Sadness overcame me- for him, for LaChanze...for that wonderful little girl left without a father...and of course, the unborn child who whould never experience that specialness.

In the 5 years since that senseless day, I've often thought of Calvin. I've wondered whether it was because he was the one person I knew to die that day. But I know that not to be the case because I often said to my wife in the days following my daughters party that he was one of those souls you wanted to know. He was someone that I would have liked to know more.

Thank you for writing this remembrance and sharing your thoughts to those of us less fortunate than you to really know the man.

Adam Schneider
San Francisco, CA

Ed Cone

Adam, thanks so much for this remembrance. You may not have known him long or well, but you clearly saw him for the man he was.

Anonymous

After just reading about the 9/11 phone call tapes released this week, I just can't seem to wrap my brain around the madness behind the misguided deed that resulted in a horrible waste of human life.

Your words almost brought me to tears, not just for the loss of your friends, but for your very poignant observation about the fleeting nature of humanity. We are here for a very short time and then we are gone. Even our loved ones who are caretakers of fond memories will fade into history as well.

It definitely puts the small, petty things that we worry about in our daily lives into context. Thank you for a very moving article.

Nicole Pensiero

What a wonderful writer you are, Ed. I am so moved by your stories of Calvin and Doug. Best, Nicole Pensiero

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