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News: DID A COMET CAUSE A FIRESTORM THAT DEVESTATED NORTH AMERICA 12,900 YEARS AGO?
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9/11: The 73 minutes that changed my life

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Author Topic: 9/11: The 73 minutes that changed my life  (Read 1738 times)
Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2011, 08:03:49 pm »

He says he felt different from other children - he later realised he was gay - and was bullied.

After high school, he attended a small, conservative Christian college, where he majored first in Bible studies, then in drama.

He moved to New York in 1977 with the dream of becoming an actor but after struggling for 10 years to get sustained work in the theatre, he gave it up. The clerical work that had been a supplement to his income became his main and only job.

As a young man, he'd had a difficult relationship with his parents and throughout his adult life he had seen them only three or four times a year. It was not until he moved to Pennsylvania, two years after the attacks, that his relationship with them, in his own words, "fully healed".

"I didn't know what it would entail, moving here, but eight years later, my relationship with my parents is incredible. It has a depth and appreciation it has never had before."

When he arrived in 2003, he didn't have a job, an apartment or a car, and he left many long-standing friendships behind in New York. And there was no-one who could relate to what he had been through.

After the bright lights of Manhattan, the small city of Lancaster - with fewer than 60,000 residents and a homespun, rural charm - struck a tranquil note.

Van Why withdrew socially, spending a lot of time in what he calls his "cave", a room where he would just watch television endlessly at weekends. Even when he was coaxed out of his isolation by colleagues for a coffee, he was lost and distracted.
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