“While the City Slept” and Why It’s Important – Part Two

“While the City Slept” and Why It’s Important – Part Two

A three-part reflection by Rachel Ebeling, co-founder of Angel Band Project Part Two   The snow is falling peacefully and the hum of the furnace keeps me warm in my office.  Sitting in this front room, surrounded by windows that let the light of day shine through so that everything around me has stunning clarity, is one of the main reasons why I chose this space for Angel Band Project.   In the next room, Tim Butz is being interviewed by a local reporter for a St. Louis news station.  He is one of Teresa’s 8 brothers.  Tim is a year and a half older than Teresa.  He was the sibling I probably knew the best, because he and Teresa were really tight.   Jean had spent the weekend before the attacks with Teresa in Chicago.  Teresa and Jen stayed with her and they had a fantastic time.  By chance, Tim happened to be in Chicago as well and got to see Teresa at a Cubs game that weekend too.  It was that next Sunday that I had to call Jean and tell her, over the phone, that Teresa was murdered. I wish I could forget that phone call. She still had leftovers in her fridge from carryout they ordered.  It was unreal to her, that this happened.   When Teresa and Jen were attacked, we were shaken to the core and tried in vain to figure out, quite simply, how to go on. Teresa’s immediate exit out of this world left a void in our hearts.  The weeks after the attacks were rather chaotic.  One minute I was...
“While the City Slept” and Why It’s Important: Part One

“While the City Slept” and Why It’s Important: Part One

A three-part reflection by Rachel Ebeling, co-founder of Angel Band Project Yesterday, February 2, 2016, a new book was released by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eli Sanders.  “While the City Slept” traces the lives of the three people whose lives tragically intersected on July 19, 2009.  Jennifer Hopper, Teresa Butz, and Isaiah Kalebu.  This is not a new story for us, by any means, because I had the pleasure of growing up with feisty Teresa in south St. Louis in the 1970s.  We met on the first day of kindergarten at St. Stephen’s Protomartyr Catholic School.  Wearing freshly pressed red plaid jumpers and wearing little ties around our necks that snapped under our white collars, three 6 year olds were introduced into kindergarten by Mrs. Lang.  Teresa Butz, Jean Haegele, and Rachel Rankin.  Little did we know on that first day where our friendship would take us. Teresa was number 9 in a family of 11 children.  In the 70’s, we experienced freedoms that are certainly not a part of childhood in the new millennium.  We walked to school, walked home for lunch, hung out at the quick shop after school without any care that we needed to be home to show our parents we were still alive, wandered the neighborhood like banshees.  We walked to the movie theater on Friday nights, snuck into R movies, hocked cigarettes from older siblings, and held dance parties late at night when Teresa’s parents were out of town.  Not that we were bad kids.  We were normal kids full of curiosity about our world, our boundaries, ourselves. Jean, Teresa and I channeled our tendencies for...