The Flash...and a Runner Down

E-mail Harrigan

Nov. 3, 2005 7 a.m.
New York City

"I saw the flash," Fumbles said. He said it again, pausing just before the word flash, then dragging it out, emphasizing it, FLAASH, as if it were something he still was unsure about.

I knew that since the explosion Fumbles had been running inside. I called him up to tell him about Central Park, that the sky was blue and some trees were already red, that it was warm and that the six-mile route was free of suicide bombers.

I had run with Fumbles several times around a one-mile course that a Brit had marked out with a pedometer and included several hundred yards of monotonous backtracking. I was trying to determine exactly where Fumbles was on the route when the attack happened.

"I was 30 meters away," Fumbles said, and again they did not roll off like normal words in a sentence, but came one at a time, each standing alone in a one-line summary. The line slowed down towards the end. After a while I figured out exactly where he was, on the ramp down towards a loading dock, perhaps the safest part of the run in terms of flying debris.

After he saw the flash he found himself down, thrown down by the first explosion, but the bigger one was still to come. Here Fumbles' descriptive powers failed him. Just three words, with a long gap before the third.

"It was...awful," he said, and that was it. I didn't say anything for a while either. After the three explosions you couldn't see anything and they opened up, small arms fire everywhere. I sat in my hotel room and imagined the cloud and men shooting where you couldn't see anything.

Related Story: Hotel Attacked
E-mail Harrigan

Loved the blog-after fourteen years of soccer Saturdays and all the participation trophies and orange slices at half time-I wonder why we bother. Kids can't get dirty, have fun rolling in the mud or settling squabbles without a parent riding to the rescue. A generation of afraid to go beyond the poles and constantly seeking aid for their problems. Think about it...


Love your stories from home too. Your Wiffle Ball World Series reminded me of our neighborhood games. We used trees as bases and had to stop whenever someone yelled "Car!" Then of course, we had to have a do-over.
And we really did have a grumpy old man who scared us into making sure we never set a toe on his beautiful, manicured lawn. We were too scared to even look at his house, because MAYBE HE WAS WATCHING FROM THE WINDOW! He had a Great Dane, whose name I can't remember, but the dog was not nearly as frightening as the owner.
Thanks for the memories. Keep 'em coming...
Jane from Colorado


I just read you last blog and the last paragraph on your whiffle ball games. My brother Doug and I thirty years ago would play that game in our back yard until 10 pm. Yes, in Michigan it would not get dark until 10 during the summer. Gary, Kevin, and the great times. Had over 350 home runs in my whiffle ball career. We played it with a standard thin whiffle ball bat, and a tennis ball with the air removed. As Bob Hope would say, "thanks for the memories," and parents who would just let us play.

San Diego, CA

Steve - As I am writing this I am hoping you are enjoying a well-deserved respite from the dangers both here and abroad. Keep keepin' it real.

Beverlee from Lehigh Acres - SW Florida


Delighted to read your October 26 blog. The way things were flying and you were dodging I was concerned for your life and safety. How did you get out with all the rising water? The reporting was outstanding.

Jacksonville, FL

I'm so glad you were in Everglades City, Florida and broadcasting. It helped me more then you will ever know, because my parents, brothers and cousins still live there. I currently live in Atlanta, GA, so you were my only way to see or hear what was going on Monday. Thank You
and God Bless.


Each new blog is great and wonderfully written. I look forward to reading more. Please take great care of yourself and stay safe.


What a delightful surprise to turn on the TV and see you down the coast a bit! Katrina – Iraq – Wilma...hope you have a nice vacation planned soon.
Venice, FL

Watching FOX from New Zealand; "Wow" is pretty much what sums it up. I saw the bits of roof flying by you, when you were getting tussled around in the street; Take care and be safe.

New Zealand


Do you ever rest? Did you fly straight from Iraq to Fl? I'm glad to have you here covering our newest disaster. Good job ducking the flying roofs! Stay safe and see you for the next one.

Tampa, FL


Glad to see you on TV this morning. Your reporting on the hurricanes is wonderful.

Houston, TX


We love your hurricane broadcasts. After Hurricane Katrina, you are still referred to as 'Goggle Man' in our household. Are you nuts broadcasting from Everglades City? Hope you brought fins to compliment the goggles. While Jim Cantore from the weather channel vacations on Key Largo during Hurricane Wilma, you're out there dodging flying alligators. Keep up the great work!

Jupiter, FL Fans


Welcome back to Florida. It seems like you are always around when the stuff hits the fan. I'm just up the road in Cape Coral. Better pull the straps tight on that lifejacket. Good luck.



Monday Oct. 24, Hurricane Wilma — I'm in Central Florida and I've been watching you all morning. I have to tell you that I wish I could find the courage that you have when covering these
Hurricanes and coverage all over the world. You are unbelieveable and on top of that, you have a sense of humor that is priceless! Do me a favor time, please remember your safety glasses. Stay safe Steve.

Dear Mr. Harrigan,

You are a great reporter. I won't forget the job you did in Iraq. However, what purpose does it serve to stand in a hurricane? Without safety glasses?

Please come inside and don't put yourself in such unnecessary danger again.



Around here we call you "Little Steve," didn't realize you were tall until I saw you on "FOX & Friends." You are the reporter we always watch. Love your insight, but you do scare me at times. Pray for you and your family. Keep up the good work, wherever you are.

Bob & Dot

Keep up the good work. Please be careful. Your reporting represents what is excellent, but uncommon, in journalism. I have the utmost respect for your work. I no longer subscribe to cable, but I gather my news from the internet via as well as other sites. Reading your blogs is a regular part of my day. Have you been to the great state of Tennessee lately?

Take care and try to stay dry!

Greenville, SC

E-mail Harrigan