Honoring Ann McGovern

ann mcgovern

Ann McGovern, 11/25/1932 – 9/11/2001

Reposting on the 10th Anniversary.

This is the first year I am participating in Project 2996 which I discovered through my friend, Sarah. Dale Coe, the founder of the project, brings bloggers and the victims of September 11 together with the purpose of remembering and honoring those innocents who so tragically lost their lives that horrific day. Some bloggers choose those whom they wish to honor and others, like me, are assigned a name randomly. That is how I came to know of Ann McGovern.

Coming to this project a little late did not give me as much time as I’d have liked to learn about Ann. A few google searches in I learned of her daughter, Terry, and contemplated contacting her via email. I decided not to because, though I have the best of intentions in honoring Ann, I did not want to intrude upon her daughter’s grief. I can only imagine how much more palpable that grief must be in the days leading up to the anniversary of her mother’s death. Still, I will forward this tribute to Terry and hope that by doing so she, and others touched by Ann, will find the smallest bit of solace in my remembrance.

It is not the death of Ann McGovern that I want to focus on for how she died is not her legacy. Her legacy rests in those she left behind, in the lives she touched directly or indirectly. To paint a portrait of Ann I am relying on the voices of those who knew her best, her friends and family as well as some strangers, as documented in a handful of articles via the NY Times, CNN, and on Ann’s Legacy tribute page.

Ann McGovern, born Ann Walsh in the Bronx on November 25, 1932, was a Vice President for AON Corporation on the 93rd floor of 2 World Trade Center (the South tower.) She was wife to Larry; mother to Theresa (Terry) McGovern, Elizabeth (Liz) McGovern and Larry McGovern; grandmother to Liam, the “light of her life,” who was only 7 weeks old at the time of his grandmother’s death.

A childhood friend, Catherine (Connolly) Tighe writes: “My memories go back to 1950 at Tolentine HS in the Bronx. Your Mother, then Ann Walsh, was a fun loving basketball player, who always had a smile on her face.”

Ann was also an avid golfer. “We first met Annie at the Hamlet Windwatch Golf Club some three years ago. She randomly filled in one Saturday morning when we had a vacancy in our foursome. Both she and we had a delightful time, so much so that we invited her to play with our group whenever one of our foursome was absent. Her view of golf – have a good time and don’t be ultra serious – matched our own.” (Bob Stearns, Hal Juman, Harvey Kaplan, Mort Glick)

She was a teacher, in more ways than one.

From Stephanie Zaktzer: “I never knew Ann personally, but my mom always told my sister and I stories about her. Through college applications, to finally my entrance into medical school Ann would always correct my essays. She did not owe me anything, but by doing this it made my mom’s life easier (not hearing me complain about my grammar and spelling) and this only showed how giving she was. She helped me, a person she did not even know, just because she loved my mom so much.”

From her daughter, Elizabeth, also a survivor of the WTC attacks: “She taught me to love and respect people and things that were different.”

From a coworker, Eliane Ruokonen: “You [Ann] always had an excitment about you. You always pushed me to do more. Thank you.”

She was, as her daughter Terry describes, “exuberant, happy and full of life” with a “keen sense of humor.” Her son, Larry, recalls his mother as, “tough, independent, a fighter.

Another coworker, Bob Taylor, remembers Ann’s sense of humor: “I worked with Ann at A&A and AON, and had the privilege of sitting next to her for several of those years. She was crazy, and that craziness helped us through the work days. I remember at my wedding, Ann crawling under the table to take a picture of my feet, as she knew that I had taken my shoes off and put on a pair of sneakers, and she wanted to make sure that there was a picture of it so everyone else knew, too.”

There are other things- the bits of minutiae that make up all our lives- that I wonder about Ann. What kind of music did she like? What kind of books did she read? Did she like poetry? What was her favorite food, color, ice cream, movie? Did she like to dance? Sing? Did she like to travel? Mets or Yankees? Jets or Giants?

While these tidbits would help me form a more complete picture of who Ann McGovern was, these things I know are true: she was a loving mother who taught her children well; a doting grandmother; a giving coworker; a lover of life who didn’t take things too seriously. She was a strong Irishwoman with a quick wit, warm smile, generosity of spirit and an enviable vivaciousness for life.

How lucky those are to have known her, to have been blessed by her life force in ways small and large. How deeply she is loved and missed.

Today, on the 8th anniversary of 9/11 I remember Ann McGovern and her life well-lived. To her family and friends, it has been a joy and privilege to glimpse her life and honor her memory. I offer you my deepest, most heartfelt condolences.

A Reminiscence by Anne Bronte

YES, thou art gone! and never more
Thy sunny smile shall gladden me;
But I may pass the old church door,
And pace the floor that covers thee.

May stand upon the cold, damp stone,
And think that, frozen, lies below
The lightest heart that I have known,
The kindest I shall ever know.

Yet, though I cannot see thee more,
‘Tis still a comfort to have seen;
And though thy transient life is o’er,
‘Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;

To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form so angel fair,
United to a heart like thine,
Has gladdened once our humble sphere.


Lists! Lists!

I love lists! Here’s the best and worst of 2010.
Happy New Year!

(h/t kottke.org)

2010 Year Lists – Fimoculous.com.


i am…i am not…

i am…

a survivor
a wife
a mother

i am not….

i am.

i am not.


my poppop

old skool DHB

Originally uploaded by MzMullerz

i miss him.


taking stock

It took me a long time, she said, to stop confusing safety with love.

Originally uploaded by MzMullerz


we can haz mortgage?

apparently, yes.
we went and bought ourselves a house today.
(okay so it took almost a year.)

mortgage + kid = officially grown-up.
for reals.

i’m not sure it has fully registered yet but we moved about half our stuff today.
this house now has a lot of echos.

another week to pack and move the rest plus do all those other fun exciting things that go along with moving.
you know
address changes
utility transfers
deciding on paint colors…

can’t. wait.





change is in the air

and on the blog. i have removed my blogroll and will be reposting it as a separate page instead. i feel the need to streamline the look of the blog as well as make it easier to navigate. bear with me…

the progress on our new house is moving along. there is a possibility we may go to closing as soon as this friday. damn. i need to get packing. my husband keeps bringing home boxes and piling them in the living room. i think he’s trying to tell me something.

we most certainly will be celebrating christmas in our new home and i’m very excited about that. there is lot of work to be done but i honestly can’t wait. it’s a nerve wracking process but we’ve been lucky to have a real estate agent and lender that have been working their butts off for us. i can’t even tell you how much that eases my mind. still…the waiting sucks.

i finally got a couple of small photo galleries up on imagekind. so far the response has been positive. hopefully, i can start to sell a print or two here and there. i’m a little nervous about the venture yet i feel pretty good about it. i have a lot to learn..that i know. as the saying goes…start anywhere. and so i have.


Buy my art at ImageKind.com.

slowly working towards something more integrated. look for a dedicated photo site (read: ANOTHER blog) soon. but imagekind seems a good place to start. they sure make it easy and the feedback i’ve received from other users has been good.

if you are interested in ordering a print from my flickr photostream just drop me an email and i can add it to my imagekind gallery.

check it and tell me what you think. very curious to hear your feedback and suggestions. i’m flying completely blind but i figure, hell, i’ve nothing to lose.

nothing ventured, nothing gained.


st00pid blog.

i decided to change the look of the blog (again) and i am totally frustrated.
please, bear with me.


thursday morning THUD

see them all.


wednesday morning W O W

we did it, america.
i’m overwhelmed with pride in my country.
congratulations, mr. president-elect obama.
congratulations nation.
let the change begin.


tuesday morning magic

election day 2008
wow. the electricity in the air is palpable.
it feels like christmas eve.
it feels like the day before i get married.
this day.
THIS day
when we will elect the first african-american to lead the united states of america.
(never before has united meant so much.)
when the opposing ticket lists a woman for vice-president.
(whatever your opinion of her it is historic nonetheless.)

i am so proud of my country.
i am so proud that my son is witnessing this even if he doesn’t remember it all or remotely understand the significance.

but none of it matters unless you get out and VOTE.

(photo by my friend, kari h. used with permission. she has since removed it from her photostream but check the rest of her photos out. she is amazing and inspiring.)


monday morning manic

or how i feel after a halloween-house buying-historic upcoming election weekend.

M A N I C.

and a little nauseous.

the halloween part is easy to overcome.
step. away. from. the. candy.

the house.
it will take a small miracle and a visit from the money fairy.
numbers are being crunched.
calls are being made.
prayers to all gods and goddesses are being said.
i just keep saying, “if it’s meant to be it will be.”
that and “we can still walk away and not lose anything.”
we have to deal with our living arrangements either way.
lease is up at the end of november.
must DO something.

the election.
double oy.
i watched Recount again last night.
both scary and surreal.
scary because the election was stolen in florida.
surreal because i live in florida

(oh and how good is True Blood? i am obsessed with that show. but i digress.)

i have hope cliched as that may sound by now.
but i do.
i believe that obama will be the next president.
i believe he is the right choice at the right time.
the generational change the country (and washington politics) desperately needs.
i believe the country is ready but i am nervous, anxious, excited.

i keep telling myself, “breathe.”

and on we go.


barack the vote


halloween 2008

{ m a g i c }, originally uploaded by MzMullerz.


5 More Friends 



small acts of kindness

because obama’s grandmother may not survive to see election day, please take a moment to send her a postcard.

h/t to Crooks & Liars for the info.
they recommend postcards as they don’t require opening. what better way to show Mrs. Dunham that we wish her well and also to honor her extraordinary role in raising her grandson to be one of the most inspiring and transcendent political figures of a generation. i am proud to cast my vote for him.

be well, mrs. dunham. you did good.

Mrs. Madelyn Dunham
c/o Obama for America
Honolulu Headquarters
1050 Ala Moana Blvd Ste D2690
Honolulu, HI 96814


i always liked opie

and happy days

so what if i’m showing my age.


got guilt?

no, really. i’m having the shittiest. week. ever.
then i get this in my in-box.
well fuck you and your guilt scare tactics. fuckers.
if i weren’t in such a doom and gloom mood i’d find this funny! i’d send it out to all my friends! my enemies even!
but no.
i’m going to share it with you, dear reader. (of which there is, quite literally, one.)
have some pressure. i’m at maximum capacity over here, ya’ll.
plus i’m a really giving person. ask anyone.
(for the record, i have already voted by mail. so there.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "got guilt?", posted with vodpod



you betcha i believe in choice.


the third debate

first, apologies to all my readers (HAHAHAHA) for not posting yesterday.
i call hangover. ‘nuf said.

second, all you need to know about the third and final presidential debate is that Joe the Plumber won.
congratulations, joe.

and props to Bob Schieffer who was, by far, the best debate moderator we’ve seen. i watched it mostly online and before they went live on the TV, Bob addressed the audience and mentioned his good friend, the late Tim Russert. He acknowledged how much Tim would have loved this.

I miss Tim Russert’s voice this election season. Wherever he is I bet he’s getting quite a kick out of how this is all playing out.

Cheers, Tim.


section 60

when i was pregnant, i remember telling my history professor that i was truly terrified of the thought of having a son. because of what he might have to endure – or sign up for- in a time of war.

tonight i tucked my three year old little boy into bed and then i watched this.

and i wept.

for the sons and daughters
and the fathers
and the mothers
and the brothers
and the sisters
and the cousins
and the friends

of those who had found themselves
in the rows
of Arlington’s section 60

i find no solace
i find no redemption

i am deeply, deeply saddened
i am beyond comfort

i have no words

i have nothing but tears

i have every respect for those who choose to serve
whether i agree or not with their reason
i respect their decision to serve
to defend the honor
of country
of freedom
of democracy
of choice
of change

but it makes me no less saddened
for the loss of life
in the name
of freedom

all i know is
that a parent lost a child
a child lost a parent
a sibling lost a sibling
a friend lost a friend

and i cannot be sure
that the loss was with purpose
rather than politics
that these deaths were….

i cannot justify the loss
in the name of something greater
the loss
so great
in its singularity

how do you
quantify it?

how do you explain
to a parent
that their child
is gone?


as a parent
i cannot think
of one

not one.

(call me selfish.)

as a parent
i cannot conceive
of one cause
that would make me feel
any better
for my loss.
(call me selfish.)


i do not wish
to sacrifice the life of my child –
no matter the greatness of the cause-

(call me selfish.)

my child’s life deserves a greater audience
than that of someone’s definition of noble death.

(call me selfish.)

calling me selfish would give me no comfort

nor would it you
were it your child


Sunday Morning Silly

Pulp Fiction Muppets


this is exactly what i needed to hear today.

it hasn’t just been the economic crisis but the heightened visceral rhetoric coming from the mccain campaign.

one. must. remember. to. step. away.



i am sick

and tired
and crying
and sad

and deeply

this should not be
in the 21st

should have no place
in the debate
of our fate
as a nation

shame on you
for not advancing
our fate
our nation
our pride
our indifference

in the name of the common
that is our good

what we deserve
is diversity

what we need
is new thought
(not fear)

what we need
is tolerance
(not fear)

in the name of change

do you have the courage
do you have the gall
do you have the wisdom
do you shun the fear

bring it forth
and show
that there is change
that there is courage
that you have a voice
and you
want it
to be heard

change is coming

do you hear me now?

it takes courage
to look to the unknown
and accept the possibilities of change

do you have the courage


but my stomach is in knots. the more i read about the economy the more nervous i get.
i watched henry paulson give his mini press conference this afternoon and saw the dow fall into negative territory. after the fed and other international banks lowered their rates.

i hear don’t panic. we’ve been through this before. it will get better.
but i’m scared.

what happens if my husband loses his job?
what happens if, god forbid, a major medical problem arises?
what happens if we buy a house now?
what happens if we don’t?

the unemployment rate in my area is 10.1% – well above the national average. this is why i can’t even find a part time waitressing job just to have a little extra income (and escape my child a couple of evenings a week.) the housing market in florida has been plummeting for the past two years,. foreclosures are among the highest in the country. property taxes are on the increase. insuring a home in florida can cost a small fortune. i could go on…

i don’t have any answers but i’m loaded with questions and concern.

how did this happen? why did this happen? and what are going to do about it?
well, i fully intend to vote for “that one” because i trust his ability to guide us through this mess.

meanwhile, check this out.

Reversal of Fortune
Describing how ideology, special-interest pressure, populist politics, and sheer incompetence have left the U.S. economy on life support, the author puts forth a clear, commonsense plan to reverse the Bush-era follies and regain America’s economic sanity.
by Joseph E. Stiglit

excuse me while i go wash down some zantac with my vodka.


of the never-ending presidential election. the headlines today amount to attack and counter-attack between the two campaigns. then there is the little matter of the debate tonight.

personally, i believe the weight of world rests firmly on the shoulders of mccain. he is sinking rapidly in the polls, especially in the key states of florida, ohio and pennsylvania. he’s all but conceded michigan to obama. so it gets uglier and uglier from the stump because the only thing the mccain/palin campaign has left is to go negative. smacks of desperation, don’t you think?

this morning i read the Rolling Stone article on mmcain by Tim Dickinson. you get check it out here and i recommend you do.

a couple of highlights:

McCain’s life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers’ powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives’ evangelical churches.

In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot.

and this:

Indeed, many leading Republicans who once admired McCain see his recent contortions to appease the GOP base as the undoing of a maverick. “John McCain’s ambition overrode his basic character,” says Rita Hauser, who served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 2001 to 2004. But the truth of the matter is that ambition is John McCain’s basic character. Seen in the sweep of his seven-decade personal history, his pandering to the right is consistent with the only constant in his life: doing what’s best for himself. To put the matter squarely: John McCain is his own special interest.

this is a guy who thinks he deserves to be president. not because he’s qualified, not because he has a handle on the issues that are facing – to use palin’s folks-ism- the joe six packs and hockey/soccer moms of america but because he believes its his due.

people should be afraid. very afraid. is this the guy you want as the leader of the free world? do you really believe he is capable of approaching the mounting crises of this nation in a calm, deliberate and thoughtful manner? have we seen a shred of presidential leadership in the past couple of weeks?

get the vote out, people.
obama/biden 2008
it really is the change we need.


t minus 29 days…

today was the last day to register to vote in florida (and in many other states) and the surge of new voters is encouraging. locally, it has some officials very concerned given the sheer onslaught of administrative work required. With the controversies in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, and more recently in some local primaries, they have good reason to be wary.

i don’t think you can overemphasize the importance of this election. I really hope we don’t have a repeat of recounts and disenfranchised voters. i’m not sure the country could handle it. as it is i’ll be spending election night with a bottle of booze in one hand and bottle of pepto in the other.

and now get ready for the fireworks as both campaigns unleash the arsenals of shiny objects in an attempt to distract the voters from the issues at hand. because apparently they think we will fall for this shit. here’s the thing…it’s about the economy, stupid. this has not played to mccain’s favor and the only thing he has left is down and dirty rovian smears. at least obama has learned from the mistakes of those who came before him and is wasting no time in countering the attacks. he has plenty to work with.

it really sucks that is comes down to this. it’s downright shameful that our candidates aren’t fully focused on the continuing free fall in the financial markets (despite the so-called “rescue package”) and its undeniable effects on main street, usa.

but it ought to make for a rather interesting debate tomorrow night.

let’s get ready to rumble!


the photo montage is sublime…even if they aren’t all of spectacular quality.


it boggles the mind

From an article by By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney.com senior writer

Bailout: Will it work?
Experts differ on whether the $700 billion bailout plan will prompt banks to lend and help the economy. But even if it does, it will take time.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The $700 billion bailout plan signed into law Friday may get banks to start lending to each other again. But it remains to be seen how long that will take to jumpstart an ailing economy.

The goal is to unfreeze the credit markets. Financial institutions have become paralyzed with fear and though they have plenty of cash on hand, they’ve been hoarding it. Without this intra-bank lending, businesses are having trouble getting the financing they need even for daily operations, much less loans for longer-term projects.

“Hopefully, this will lend a calming effect to the markets,” said Joe Belew, president of the Consumer Bankers Association. “We need to take a deep breath, relax and start doing business again.”

Don’t expect lending to ramp up overnight, however. It may take weeks for confidence to return, experts said. Or even longer.

You can read the rest here.

Scary times, folks. Scary times.


sarah palin came out last night and the first thing we heard from her was “may i call you, joe?” the greeting between the two was cordial and, for the most part, that’s how i would describe the debate. palin certainly treated her opponent with far greater respect – at least in body language – than mccain did obama. joe biden was respectful and did not treat her with a shred of condescension or sexism. way to behave like grown-ups, candidates.

palin seemed poised and confidant, if a little nervous in the beginning. then she launched into a never-ending mostly nonsensical diatribe of folksiness. Her hockey mom, joe six pack, aw shucks, you betcha, shout outs (!), further emphasized with the winking thing thus turning herself into a lipsticked version of george w. bush. oh, also she’s also a maverick. also.

god help us.

as i said in my previous post the bar wasn’t set very high. as long as she didn’t faint, fall or vomit she’d be considered victorious. never mind if she didn’t answer the questions. never mind that she fumbled through notes to find the appropriate talking points pounded into her at “debate training camp” when she did answer a question. never mind that she often seemed snarky and downright lacking in compassion by failing to acknowledge joe biden’s emotions when referencing the tragic loss of his wife and daughter. (one of his best moments, i thought.)

in the end she did what she needed to do. she managed to stay engaged, hit her marks and did nothing more to embarrass the campaign or john mccain. she reassured the base but that isn’t saying much.

joe biden proved, masterfully, that he is not only fully qualified to be the vice presidential nominee but has the knowledge and experience to step into the presidency should such a step be necessary.

sarah palin is qualified to be his secretary executive assistant.


of course i am speaking of tonight’s vice presidential debate. how much anticipation?

cspan has a debate cam on their web site. (pretty cool, check it out.)The Huffington Post has a great round up of information – commentary, video, comments from the candidates, etc.
The New York Times has a what- to- look- for piece.

And certainly everyone I have spoken to has an opinion on what is at stake. So, let me put in my two cents. It is my blog, after all.

(Immutable Law Of The Universe #2, originally uploaded by JWas).

My opinion of Gov. Palin is that she is a supremely confidant woman who certainly has some political chops but is woefully unprepared for the national stage. Additionally, it has become painfully obvious that she is under qualified for the position to which she aspires. Her interviews have been staggeringly horrendous. Her knowledge is either extraordinarily narrow or completely uninformed. McCain’s judgment has been called into question – rightfully so – many times in the past few weeks. His choice of Gov. Palin is a direct reflection of that judgment. Her future political career is on the line tonight and she also holds the fate of John McCain. The pressure is on.

Gov. Palin has to prove that she’s capable (or at least capable enough) and in doing so show that John McCain made the right decision is choosing her as his running mate.

In contrast, Sen. Biden is clearly knowledgeable and certainly qualified to be the democratic nominee for VP. It’s hard to dispute that whether or not you agree with his poitics. But Sen. Biden is under enormous pressure himself to debate Palin on the merits of the republican ticket without coming across as condescending or sexist.

I’m really not sure what to expect tonight. My sense is that Palin will be better than many expect. If she does perform well (and Biden doesn’t have any major gaffes) it could very well be a draw.

The 90-second answer weighs in her favor: plenty of time for style, little enough time to avoid substance. If we’re being honest, Biden doesn’t exactly have a reputation for brevity. To that point, Biden must be succinct and not let his emotions gain control of his mouth.

Unfortunately, I think that the debate is going to come down to style versus substance which is not in the best interest of this country. Given the current state of our union, we need leaders who can lead, who have a vision, who are ready to put that vision into action in a non-partisan way and, most importantly, put the needs of the country and its citizens first.

The task at hand for the next administration is far too important to allow the ‘I’d like to have a beer with him” or “she’s just like me” reason to vote even remotely weigh into the choice at hand. As my grandmother said to me today, “I want my leaders to be smarter than I am.” She’s a pretty smart lady.

Whatever the outcome of tonight’s debate it isn’t going to change my vote for Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden. However, there are many voters who are just beginning to inform themselves. It is to those voters that the candidates must speak. I look forward to hearing what they have to say.

I’ll be live blogging via twitter during tonight’s debate. Please follow or join in if you are so inclined. (fair warning, i might curse.)

Please feel free to leave your comments. I welcome civil conversations no matter your point of view. Passion is fine but be nice. 🙂

Until later…


Climate of Hate

“The point is that there’s room in a democracy for people who ridicule and denounce those who disagree with them; there isn’t any place for eliminationist rhetoric, for suggestions that those on the other side of a debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary.”

~ Paul Krugman

Climate of Hate – NYTimes.com.