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Grandson of local man still listed as missing

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

The attack by terrorists on the twin World Trade Center towers in New York City directly touched the life of at least one Platte County man.

Kenneth Sloan of rural Platte City says his grandson, 28-year-old Paul Sloan, was working on the 88th floor of the 110-story second World Trade Center tower that was hit. He has not been seen since the attack and remains on the lengthy list of missing persons, now believed to contain more than 5,000 names.

"He watched the plane hit the other building. He called his mother, father and brother then we lost contact after that," Sloan explained.

Paul talked to his mother in California, his father in Texas and his brother in Los Angeles in three separate conversations before the second plane hit the tower where he worked in the investment business.

"We still haven't given up hope that he's alive," a misty-eyed Kenneth Sloan said Monday morning.

No survivors have been found in the resulting rubble from the collapse of the towers since last Wednesday.

Paul had worked at the World Trade Center less than a year. Prior to that he had worked in San Francisco.

Paul is the son of Ronald Sloan. Ronald grew up in Platte County. He attended Immaculata High School in Leavenworth and graduated from MU, where he had played as a lineman for Dan Devine's teams in the late 1960s that earned berths in the Gator Bowl and Orange Bowl.

Paul Sloan, who is not married, grew up in Novato, Calif., about 25 miles north of San Francisco.

Paul followed his Dad's lead as a college football player. Paul played at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He also followed his Dad's profession lead. Ron is in the investment business and works for a firm that has offices throughout the United States. Ron, in fact, at times works out of the same World Trade Center that Paul was in at the time of last Tuesday's attack.

Ron was in his company's office in Houston, Tex. last Tuesday.

Kenneth Sloan said his first thought when he heard about the attack was about Ron.

"I thought, 'where's Ron?' I had forgotten about Paul working up there," Sloan said.

Kenneth Sloan said Ron and his wife, Patricia, are having trouble talking about the tragedy. He has stopped calling trying to get any new information.

"They finally told me they'd call me when they learn something," he said.

Sloan said he last saw Paul about four years ago when he went to watch Paul play his final football game for Brown.

"People in Platte County know me, but most don't know these kids. They've basically been a California family," said Kenneth Sloan, who was instrumental several years ago in preserving the old Platte City High School into a community center. The building is now a Civic Center that will eventually house all of the City of Platte City offices.

Kenneth Sloan still has a clipping from a publication from Paul's senior year in high school. In that publication, Paul was honored as being "An Outstanding Novato Student."

The article refers to Paul as having "a quiet confidence and friendly demeanor that tells you his strength of character matches his physical prowess. The San Marin High School senior is one of two Marin County athletes named to the National High School Hall of Fame.

"Paul has been recognized as a scholar/athlete in addition to receiving Marin County Athletic League first-team honors for both offensive and defensive play."

The article continues: "His dedication to football has not kept Paul from his studies. He has managed to maintain a GPA close to 4.0, and his courses have included advanced placement classes in English and calculus. He is a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation and vice president of his senior class.

"Outside of school, Paul has been employed by the Novato Department of Parks and Recreation, coaching basketball and supervising day camp. He has also performed community service through his church.

"Paul will be at Brown University this fall, exploring many areas of interest—economics, business, political science—and playing football. He is looking forward to the East coast experience, seeing new places and meeting new people."