I DO, I DO.Quite naturally, I want to be a millionaire. Now, lest you get the impression that money means so much to me or I'm obsessed with it, I must counsel that money is usually the last thing on my mine. Which is probably why I have so little of it and could use it so much.

And so, in the pursuit of the American Dream, EASY MONEY, when the syndicated TV game show, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" recently posted a call for contestants, I immediately went to the website and filled out the application.

Several weeks later, a confirmationa and audition date arrived in my email inbox. I could start the process by going to New York City, and showing up at 30 West 67th St on Thursday, August 7th, no later than 1:45 PM.

You're nuts if you think I'd pass up on the chance to get rich quick, and since this is the 21st Century, the likelihood of it happening on a game show is significantly higher than it would be if this were the 12th Century.

I caught an early train, and arrived at Penn Station at 10:20 with plenty of time to spare before the audition. So I hailed a cab and requested "Ground Zero" as a destination. A long drive down the west side of Manhattan and a short trip of a few blocks through a tangle of construction vehicles and I was dropped along the eastern side of what was the World Trade Center.


A shimmering backdrop of blue-mirrored towers forms a sharp contrast to the cement walls below them, that retain the waters of the Hudson River, further west. Other buildings, many of them somehow familiar from the extensive coverage

of the attacks and the excavation that followed, ring the whole of Ground Zero.

There were a lot of people there. All around the site there is a sturdy metal fence through which you can view the work that's being done, and there were people all around the fence. Not thick crowds, but consistent.

There were displays with a small handful of dramatic photos and others with the names of victims of the event. People photographed the photographs.

To be honest I did see much of the "This is me in front of Ground Zero" type of photos being taken. Mostly photos through the fence.

The mood was subdued and reverent.

There's a haunting feeling when you're there, a subtle surge of emotion. In your mind and mood you're aware of the immense tragedy that took place here, the horror and the heroism. It is now, and will probably remain so for all time, hallowed ground.

I spent about a half-hour there, walking around the perimeter of the site and then hailed another cab and went uptown to West 67th Street to scope out the area where the audition would be conducted. The cab dropped me a block west of Central Park, right at the corner of 67th and I started walking up the block toward number 30.


I had only walked a few yards down the block when I noticed a small crowd of people gathered along the sidewalk ahead of me. As I drew nearer a TV camera came into view as well as a few people in headphones