In honor of Susanne Jensen‘s 49th birthday yesterday, I finally digitized the only recording of her that I have.
Susanne’s Last Call – 7/17/1996
She tried calling me from TWA’s Galaxy Club at JFK Int’l Airport before boarding TWA Flight 800 for Paris. I missed her call, and it went to our answering machine. The quality of this recording isn’t great–it has been stored on the machine’s mini cassette for the last 18 years. I tried to reduce the background hum a little without distorting her voice. We were nine days from buying our first house together, and the message is mostly about the impending closing. I mention this recording in my memoir 13,760 Feet–My Personal Hole in the Sky. It’s my last physical connection to her, and then I speculate her remaining moments in the first chapter. Putting those thoughts about the exploding flight on paper was among the hardest things I ever did (on par with speaking in front of 700 people at her memorial service). My memoir’s first chapter was one of the last that I wrote–with the assistance of my grad school program (Fairfield University’s MFA). I couldn’t begin my story about her until after I’d already mostly finished it. In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s my link to the page that contains Chapter 1 as it appeared in Airways magazine in the August 2013 issue, as well as a 15-minute audio version in case you prefer to listen to me read it to you:
Susanne was an amazing and beautiful woman. I know she touched a lot of great people who will never forget her.