Brian Mayle, a New York resident from Boardman, thought the reopening of Broadway came too soon after the attacks.
By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
In the process of realizing his dream, Boardman native Brian Mayle was witness to a nightmare.
Mayle, 24, who plays trombone in the Tony- and Emmy-award winning Broadway production "Blast," was wakened Tuesday morning by his roommate, who told him planes had hit the World Trade Center.
Even though their sixth-floor apartment at 25 Avenue at Port Imperial on the Hudson River is four or five miles from the Trade Center area, Mayle said he and Tim Tuit had a clear view of the burning skyscrapers.
Mayle and Tuit, of Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pa., and a former Youngstown State University student, walked down to the edge of the river and watched in disbelief as the two buildings crumbled to the ground.
"It was kind of a haze. I really didn't know what was going on. I felt we were at war. It absolutely didn't seem real. There was pandemonium. People couldn't fathom what was happening. I think what I saw will be etched in my mind forever," Mayle said.
Lights of Broadway: He said full realization didn't come to him until he went to Manhattan on Thursday after New York's mayor ordered the lights back on Broadway and the productions resumed.
To get to Manhattan, Mayle and Tuit took the ferry then walked 38th, 42nd and 8th streets to the theater at 53rd and Broadway.
"The eeriest thing about Manhattan is seeing no one around; just a man in military fatigues whose boots were covered with ashes and a few people on bicycles, their faces covered. It was like 2 a.m. on a Sunday," he said.
Reopening Broadway was a decision with which Mayle said he didn't necessarily agree. "No one really agreed with the decision, but the order came from the top. It was real hard to try and perform, but you step on stage and you just do it," he said.
They were to perform Friday, Saturday and Sunday and next week before the show closes Sept. 23. Mayle said an arrangement of "Amber Waves" was incorporated into the Fantasia-like show as a tribute to the victims of the attacks.
City in shock: Despite Broadway's reopening, he said the city is still in "full-blown shock. There is a lot of fear. There were 60 bomb threats Thursday."
But along with the fear there is something else. "It feels as though the city was taken advantage of, and me and a lot of my friends are extremely angry, along with being hurt," he said.
Also, he said, people are regaining some faith. They are just people trying to be Americans and New Yorkers and supporting one another. In the financial district, you can't volunteer; there are just too many," he said.
As soon as he realized what was happening Tuesday, Brian called his mother, Rosalee Mayle of Boardman, and left a message on her telephone answering machine to let her know he was all right. Rosalee had stayed at her job at Gorant Candies and tried to remain calm. About noon, she talked with Brian's girlfriend, Courtney Clementi of Austintown, who had spoken with Brian and was assured her son was safe.
"I was worried about Brian and so sorry about New York. It is so devastating. You never think something of that magnitude could happen here," she said.
Rosalee said she is anxiously awaiting Brian's return in a couple of weeks so he can continue to pursue his dream of becoming a music teacher and band director.
Boardman High graduate: Brian graduated in 1995 from Boardman High School, where he was in the band and orchestra, and studied music at Youngstown State University for five years before going on the road. Now he plans to complete his education degree at YSU.
Besides his mother, Brian has a sister, Tina Mayle of Rochester, Mich.; a brother, Tod Mayle of Boardman; and a half-brother, Tywane Mayle of Austintown. His father, Texan, died when Brian was a senior in high school.