Seventh Generation

523. Christopher Orcutt138 was born (date unknown). Thursday, September 13, 2001

Change of work time keeps man alive

By LARRY GRARD, Staff Writer

Copyright © 2001 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

WINTERPORT — After an hour of anguish, Alfred and Susan Orcutt found out via e-mail — at 9:57 a.m. — that their son had survived the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Two more hours passed before Christopher Orcutt was able to talk to his parents on a cell phone, from his wife's office on Seventh Avenue. Christopher Orcutt never made it to his own office, which is located across the street from the World Trade Center.

Just two weeks ago, the younger Orcutt changed his arrival time at work from 9 to 10 a.m. If he had not, Alfred Orcutt surmised, his son would probably be dead.

"It scared the living daylights out of us, I'll tell you," said Alfred Orcutt, principal of Hartland Junior High and Hartland Consolidated schools.

"He doesn't want to go into any public building or any public transportation. It's wild."

Orcutt and his wife, a secretary at nearby St. Albans School, rushed to their new home in Winterport after hearing about the bombing shortly after 9 a.m. Susan Orcutt said the e-mail informed them their son and his wife were not hurt.

"He wasn't even sure he could make it home (to Mount Vernon, N.Y.) off Manhattan Island," Susan Orcutt said. "I'll be really happy when he gets home."

Christopher Orcutt, 31, works for Merrill Lynch in the building across the street from the World Trade Center. His father recounted eerie circumstances of the past two weeks.

Two weeks ago, Christopher Orcutt changed his starting time from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., after management asked employees to begin work later.

Only Monday, the younger Orcutt told his father he was wondering what would happen if an airplane ever crashed into the World Trade Center towers.

"He said, 'God strike me, I was thinking about that,'" Alfred Orcutt said.

Orcutt said his son is sure the collapse of the twin towers would have taken the entire side of the Merrill Lynch building down, at least. His son has many friends who work in the World Trade Center, Orcutt said.

Christopher Orcutt's wife, Alexas, tried to call him from her office and tell him not to go to work, the elder Orcutt said. But she was not able to get through to her husband's cell phone, because he was in the subway.

Alexas Orcutt finally was able to call her husband when he got off the subway at Grand Central Station.

"If he hadn't changed his hours ..." the elder Orcutt said, his voice fading. "I just hope to God he gets out of the city."

Alfred Orcutt said he is still mourning the loss of his mother, who died Saturday in Rockland.

"To have this happen today was just too much, that's all," he said.

Christopher Orcutt and Alexis were married. Alexis was born (date unknown).