My daughter, Jennifer, hadn’t been feeling well so I drove her to school a little late that morning. She had just started 2nd Grade in our comfortable, suburban town of Fair Haven, NJ. As I walked in the house, the phone was ringing. When I answered, a friend said, “Lisa, which tower is Ted in?!”
I met Dr. Kathy Vilardi, PhD, in late October 2001. I wanted to get Jennifer started in therapy as soon as possible. Dr. Vilardi was the third therapist on a list of practitioners that I was meeting on Jen’s behalf. I had done therapy for 10 months in the second year of my marriage to Ted, and it had been an excellent experience.
By late October I was in desperate need of help. My mother had left and there was no one I could call to help me with the kids. Some friends took me/us under their wings. We spent a lot of time together as families, but I needed to get things done; I needed a break from motherhood. I needed a Mrs. Doubtfire.
In October 2001, Bruce Springsteen and John Bon Jovi joined a group of recording artists already scheduled to play in mid-October before the attacks on 9/11, at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ. The original artists were from the Sun Records Company (best known for recording Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash). The producer was a man named Rick Korn, a local television executive from Rumson, NJ. Following the attacks on the World Trade Centers and in honor of the many friends and neighbors who had died there, Rick ‘donated’ the concert to his newly formed charity The Alliance of Neighbors of Monmouth County as its first fundraiser.
Bar Scott – The Good
Gail Sheehee – The Bad
Bill Keegan – The Good
When asked, “How could God have let this happen?” he said, “This wasn’t and act of God, this was and act of brilliant evil. What came afterward was God.”
–An Attending Priest, WTC Ground Zero, Spring 2002.
Going home on the ferry that night, I told Rick we needed to do something for these men. We needed to thank them publicly. We needed to tell the world what we had witnessed. We needed to do a Voices of Inspiration concert for them — to rally them, recognize them, support them, and help them begin to heal. Now I understood what I’d been doing for the past year; this was what I’d been working toward all those months.
“The Voices of Inspiration: A Universal Hug” concert at the Beacon Theater was a success. We now had original film footage of the concert, valuable interviews, original music by talented artists and a unique story of the 9/11 experiences. The next logical step was to put it together and produce Rick’s then original concept, the Docu-Concert.
It’s title: The Voices of Inspiration: A Universal Hug Thank You Concert for 9/11 The Rescue and Recovery Workers.