(Right to left) 9/11 Survivors Eric and Renee Brown, Johnson Products, with company founder George E. Johnson
Airdate: 09 11 11
Written by Isidra Person-Lynn
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THIS WEEK ON SUNDAY MORNING LIVE:
The Nine Eleven Show
Where were you on 9/11? What has changed? We will air an eye-witness account from Eric and Renee Brown, currently owners of Johnson Products, interviewed by Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn. Tune in@10 a.m.!
10:00 Intro–Review of the Week with host Isidra Person-Lynn
10:10 Candid Moments with Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn Eye Witnesses to 9/11. “We Survived 9-11” Eric and Renee Brown, currently owners of Johnson Products Company, formerly with Proline Corporation
It’s time for the Fall Semester of Dr. Kwaku’s Afrikan World Civilizations class. Sept. 23 it starts with a free class! Bring a friend. www.DrKwaku.com
10:40 Tech & Pop: Hannibal Tabu
10: 50 Interview with Renee Brown by Isidra Person-Lynn: What have Eric and Renee Brown been doing in the past 10 years?
11: 20 OPEN PHONES Please share your comments on anything you’ve heard or your own memories (619) 996-1674
11:35 FINANCES: Excerpt from Brass Knuckle Finance, the Audio Book by Jarim Person-Lynn www.BrassKnuckleFinance.com
10:45 Darlene Donloe’s Low Down (Entertainment) is ON VACATION!!! So, with permission, we play “Jake The Movie Guys” interview with Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor (Director of “THE HELP.” Thanks Jake! Follow him here: http://youtu.be/bFOPpdYPMIw
12:00 Recap and sign off!
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About Our Guests:
Eric and Renee Brown
As the world remembers Sept. 11th, 10 years later, Johnson Products remembers too. For three of our company members, they barely escaped that day with their lives.
- (Right to left) 9/11 Survivors Eric and Renee Brown, Johnson Products, with company founder George E. johnson
An interview with Renee Brown
Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Johnson Products, Dallas, Texas.
by Isidra Person-Lynn
Host, Sunday Morning Live 9/11/11 @ 10 a.m. PDT 1 p.m. EST
This interview will be aired at this link in full audio:
As you know, on the legendary 9/11, Dallas-based Renee Cottrell-Brown, her husband, Eric, and their sales and marketing team at Pro-Line International (the company founded by Renee’s father), barely got out of New York City with their lives while staying at the World Trade Center Marriott Hotel. With just a hotel robe on her back and flimsy slippers on her feet, Renee and her husband fled on foot, and had to depend on “the kindness of strangers” to get to safety and ultimately get back home to Dallas.
Ten years later, the spirit of giving to strangers rings true more now for Renee than ever before. Today, as the Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for Dallas-based Johnson Products Company (which her husband Eric led the effort to purchase and bring back to the community it serves), Renee and Eric have given over $50,000 to local and national nonprofits in the U.S. Moreover, next month, in support of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Renee will lead the third year of the company’s initiative on domestic violence called “No Excuse! Stop the Abuse!” This year, the campaign will stop in Washington, D.C. and Johnson Products Company will co-sponsor a congressional briefing on federal domestic violence support for children and women in association with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Eric and Renee’s horrific experience ten years ago will never be forgotten. And, the generosity shown to her is now being shown to others through her professional and personal commitment to making our society better for all.
For the complete audio interview, visit Sunday Morning Live at http://tobtr.com/s/2258953. It will air live on Sunday and be available for archive shortly after Noon PDT, Sept. 11, 2011.
Here are Assorted quotes from Renee Brown about that fateful day and the 10 years hence:
The Jolt that Started it All
My husband Eric was dressed and about to leave for his flight to Washington DC. I was pondering going up a floor to the gym. Surrounded by glass, it was beautiful to work out while gazing upon all of New York from that floor about 27 stories up in the hotel dwarfed between the Twin Towers–the World Trade Center. Just then we felt a jolt that would rattle us to the core. Debris began falling. I had slipped on a robe and slippers while Eric went to look out and see. I assumed that there had been an implosion that we did not get the memo for. That’s when he sprang into action. He said “let’s go.” He grabbed our laptops, I grabbed my purse, really wondering if all that would be necessary. We walked down the flights of stairs–a real feat considering my uncooperative knee and ankle which had been injured years before. When we got outside, firemen and policemen guided the growing numbers across the street.
Watching the Planes Hit:
When I looked up, this aircraft with a total grey underbelly, was flying so low I could see its windows. It happened so fast. The realization that the first explosion heard had been another airplane was just sinking in. And then when the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower, there was pandemonium. People were running, screaming and crying trying to find a safe haven wherever they could.
When they all came tumbling down
Nobody knew while firemen and policemen were rushing into the scene that the next scene would be to see these massive buildings collapse on top of one another and create a volcano and avalanche of dust and debris that overcame many people. Fortunately, since all I had on was a robe and some slippers that morning, I did have on my night scarf and it may have saved my life, because when all that debris came, I wrapped it around my nose and mouth to keep all the suffocating debris out of my respiratory system.
Don’t Look Up!
They were warning us not to look up because at that time they knew there were jumpers and they didn’t want us to see that because they knew that would stop us in our tracks. But once the Firemen and Policemen got us across the street we turned around, there was pandemonium. We tried to run, and thought we’d found a taxi but as I was getting in, a stranger pulled me out and jumped in. The police were encouraging everybody to move out of the immediate area so we ran and we ran down to Battery Park (several blocks away. We found a bus but they did not want to let me on at first because I was so dirty. We made it to the downtown area and then over to the ferry to New Jersey.
Kindness of strangers
I always like telling this part of the story: Even in bad situations there is always some good. When we got to the ferry, a pregnant woman took us in, allowed us to come to her home in New Jersey, gave us food and took me to get my medicine for my bad leg. She knew nothing about us but she did this and a whole lot more for us. We could not have made it without her.
My sales and marketing team for Pro-Line was scattered everywhere
My husband and I were in NY because of a meeting with Pro-Line’s sales and marketing team with Uniworld, an advertising agency in New York. Some fled to Harlem, others went in other directions. My husband, is usually running a bit behind but in this case I was not mad at him because he encouraged me to leave the room after the first plane hit, which I had not considered since I was not dressed. I am really thankful we were together for all of this.
How did you get home?
“Remember all planes were grounded, which meant all trains and buses were packed. In a few days, the owners of our company chartered a tour bus (like the entertainers use) and it was driven up from Florida to pick up our team and get us back to Dallas.
How did all the other Proline survivors fare?
We all had issues after 9/11. When you are that close to the event, you do have psychological shortcomings after seeing people jump to their deaths. It is very difficult to manage psychologically. I was able to fly again relatively soon, but still am uncomfortable with heights. For one of our brand managers Deline Cormier, flying was very difficult for her.
Still, everyone is doing relatively well. We all keep in touch, especially on those anniversaries. We will always remember those who were not as fortunate as we were. We count our blessings, and send each other little prayers or greetings to let everyone know we are doing. Everyone else has their own things going. Most stayed in Dallas.
Believe it or not, my husband and I acquired a new brand from Procter & Gamble, Johnson Products Company, and brought it back to the African American community from which it grew. Dee, who now lives in New Jersey, continues to work for us now. As the years went by, I think the significance dwindled somewhat. The media was really on top of what was going on in the lives of those who had been there that day, but now I think with the 10th anniversary, it brings back the memories more vividly.
On Talking About it Each Year:
Sam Putney, Dallas morning news director, called me a year later and woke me up in the wee hours of the morning to talk about it. We have done many interviews. This year it probably touches me more than it has any year in the past. Maybe because there is so much media blitz there is a haunting memory. When I think back to that morning it is something I try to erase out of my mind. It was a very horrifying morning. I don’t think my adrenalin has ever been that high. I ran so much that day –I would dare to say maybe about three miles–that the next day when I woke up I couldn’t even move a muscle because everything was so tight and so worn out from the day before.
When Bin Laden was killed: (Read More at the Johnson Products Website.)
Other 9/11 Links of Interest
Muhammad Ali http://youtu.be/bhGX8f7vEqc
Next AFRIKAN WORLD CIVILIZATIONS CLASS starts Sept 23: www.DrKwaku.com FIRST NIGHT IS FREE!
Michelle Obama at the US Tennis Open (PICTURES!)
Thank God for 43 Shows! Thank you, everyone, for listening, reposting, retweeting and spreading the word. Especially thank God and my family, Darlene Donloe, Hannibal Tabu, Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn, Jarim and Jaaye Person-Lynn for guest hosting. And thank you, too!
(Interesting links I found during the week)