September 11, 2001, In memoriam: Barbara (Bobbi) Arestegui
September 11, 2001, 7:59am, United Flight 11 leaves Boston's Logan airport.
In just a few short minutes, Barbara (Bobbi) Arestegui, 38, of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts would be one of the first casualties of that day. Assigned to the First Class cabin, Bobbi and fellow attendant Karen Martin were attacked shortly after takeoff.
In less than 40 minutes, the rest of the crew and passengers of Flight 11 died in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
There are no public posts from friends or family on Bobbi. Two stories were published about her and her boyfriend Wayne. From them, the information below is shared.
"The first thing I noticed, of course, was that she is absolutely beautiful," he said. "We had a nice talk, probably for about 15 minutes. I asked her if it would be possible to get her phone number."
She told him sternly: "No, I don't give out my home number."
Wayne shrugged his shoulders and walked away, thinking: I gave it my best shot. She stopped him with one word.
"But," she said.
"I'll give it to you."
She was living in Washington, D.C., the middle of five girls from a California family with Spanish Basque roots. Two of the girls would join the tight-knit community of flight attendants.
Her typical schedule was three or four days on followed by three or four days home.
She turned their house into a cozy retreat with a garden out back. They made a habit of walking the cranberry bogs, picking blueberries and having breakfast at the Mills Restaurant. She loved to cook - she dreamed of attending culinary school.
Bobbi picked up three stray and abused cats: Olive, Bruiser and Pumpkin. She'd loved animals since she was a kid in Hawthorne, a suburb of Los Angeles.
"She was a gentle person, yet tough when she needed to be," said Rosie Arestegui, who gave her daughter Barbara the nickname Bobbi. "She knew her job so well. She could do two or three people's work, plus hers, and it would be done perfectly."
Colleagues of Bobbi repeated that praise when Wayne met them in Boston on Friday. He talked with more than 50 people who knew his girlfriend through work. They remembered her as energetic; a huge heart in a 5-foot-3-inch frame.
Bobbi was not scheduled to work Flight 11 that day. But she had accepted extra flights; she was saving up her earned vacation to take a trip with Wayne at the end of September.
She got up about 2:30 that morning and within a few hours was out the door.
"Usually she wakes me up when she leaves. She didn't wake me up this time," he said.
But she did keep another of their rituals: At 6:45 a.m., he got a phone call from the airport.
"She told me that she was just about to board. She was waiting for them to finish cleaning the plane," he said. "She was in a wonderful mood, better than normal."
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