Remembering the Heroes

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Remembering Joe Ferguson

I met Joe Ferguson when we were both students at Ohio University (ca 1985). Joe lived in the same residence hall and on the same floor as I did.

My memories of Joe are memories of laughter and fun. He had a sharp wit that was punctuated with colloquialisms from his southern heritage. In a word, he was sassy. His humor filled the room and permeated the group, wherever he was.

I also remember that Joe loved to dance. He was usually one of the first persons out on the dance floor whenever we had a dance in the residence hall. Madonna had several hits at that time, and her music was a favorite of his.

He had a gift for bringing people together. We were all so happy for him when he got the job at National Geographic. Joe invited a group of us to spend the weekend at his apartment after he was settled there. One of my lasting memories of him is that weekend when he gave us the grand tour of DC.

I remember 9/11/01 as we checked in with family members (cousins) who were living in New York City and Maryland (my brother and his family) to make sure all were out of harm's way. I remember the local news stories about Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, PA--on the top of the mountain near where I live. And then I remember a few days later, getting the phone call from another OU classmate, telling me that Joe had been on the flight that crashed into the Pentagon.

Joe, our group of friends, and I were at OU for two years, all studying in different master's programs. Each of those two years, our group of friends would pick out a spot on campus and take a photo. In each photo, Joe is right there in the center of it all--as he always was.