The Washington Times-Herald

September 16, 2012

The day was oddly familiar

By T. Daniel Lancaster
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — I hadn’t written a column in a while, so while trying to come up with a topic, I thought I might take the easy way out and carve up the new reality show, “Here comes Honey Boo Boo.”

It is a show about a pint-sized pageant contestant and her uncouth tribe — a hillbilly clan that spends the better part of each episode trying to  perfect exquisite seasonings and side dishes to best pair with a little deep-fried squirrel.

That was the plan and I had Honey Boo Boo directly in my contemptuous crosshairs.

But just before putting pen to paper Tuesday, I walked on to my deck on a beautiful, cool, sun-drenched fall morning and I knew the Honey Boo Boo column that would have to wait.

I had been here before — 11 years to be exact — and this was a column that would take a different turn.

On that September day 11 years ago I had a house full of toddlers and preschoolers, and was primarily concerned  with diapers, runny noses and pulling crayons out of the toaster oven.

The day before, I had just written a smarmy, tongue-in-cheek “expose” of Mr. Rogers as my column to be published on Sept. 11.

After that, I assumed the rest of my week would be spent at soccer and volleyball games just like every other week in the fall — but then the world all changed in a matter of 102 minutes.

Funny columns weren’t so funny and high school soccer just wasn’t that important.

My three-year old and I stood in front of the TV and watched the second jet smash into the south tower, knowing only seconds later that this was not an accident — and everything was about to change for everyone.

I still remember the anger I felt that day. We all wanted someone to blame. After the anger, came the sadness, which has never gone away and I doubt ever will.

Because of the events of 9/11, we fought two wars in the last decade, spent billions of dollars, watched our economy free fall and seen gas prices skyrocket. We have pointed fingers at each other, trying to find some policy that began under President Bush, or was created by President Obama that caused the economic woes we now face. They didn’t cause it, they just tried to respond to it.

The cause came from 19 hijackers filled with hatred who created a confluence of events that we are still responding to today.

So was justice served, a year ago when Navy SEALs double-tapped bin Laden? No, nothing will take away the pain that man caused so many families who lost loved ones in the attack or in the decade of fighting since then.  

So 11 years have past and I’m sure many of us have begun to move on to some degree.

Unfortunately, judging from the events of the last week, as our neighbors in Dubois County bury a 21-year old Marine and the Middle East explodes into utterly insane chaos, it obvious our enemies have not.

I’m sure some time in the future, I can walk outside on a beautiful, cool fall September morning and worry about writing a column about a silly TV show — but not today.


Todd Lancaster is still watching “Honey Boo Boo” and can be reached at to share squirrrel recipes.