Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What was I doing during 911?

I'm a day late in posting this, I know. But I'm up against a deadline and probably shouldn't be blogging at all. Yesterday, as I worked, I revisited 9-11. I thought about what I was doing when the news broke.

Actually, that day, I had slept in late for the first time in several months. The day before, I had finished the final paintings for SUMMER SUN RISIN', and had express mailed them to Lee & Low Books. My wife was due to have our baby son any day, so I was feeling good about having finished this project before she went into labor.

When I woke up, I discovered the horrible news right along with the rest of the country. A plane had hit one of the World Trade towers, and it was burning. My first thought was, what hell those people must be going through. At the time, the fire seemed small relative to the entire building. I couldn't have imagined what would happen next.

I sat down at my computer and Googled 'World Trade Center'. I'm sorry to admit, my only recollection of the buildings were from the 1970s movie, King Kong, when the ape climbed the twin towers. I found a very cool website that offered a 360-degree view of downtown New York City from a restaurant atop one of the towers. I imagined what a nightmare it must have been for a diner at that restaurant, that morning. That's when the news media started showing people jumping from windows. And thats when the second tower was hit by a plane. Soon, both towers fell. Viewing the scene from television, it seemed that all of New York City was under attack.

Oh my gosh, where is my artwork?! Considering the massive loss of life that was taking place, that was probably selfish of me to question. But I had spent all summer painting this book, and my imagination began to take over. I thought, maybe, my artwork was abandoned in the middle of a street by a FedEx driver running for his life. I had no idea where Lee & Low was in relationship to the twin towers, so I quickly shot off an email to Louise May, my editor. Louise quickly returned a response, stating that the situation was very scary, that she was working from home that day, but that Lee & Low's offices were some distance away.

My art, of course, was fine. And my son was born exactly a week later.

Anyway, I could go on, my thoughts are many. But I'd probably better get back to this book.

How was your work affected by the day, if at all?

1 comment:

rindambyers said...

What I remember most is the absolute dead silence of the city where I live, Bremerton, Washington. Usually, there are the children's voices playing, dogs barking, cars, trucks, people's voices on the streets, but everything just seemed to go completely dead and silent. It was very erie. Of course, we are a military town with the submarine base so close to us and the Naval shipyards, so I think the tension was very intense. People were just not sending children to school or running errands that sort of thing, just staying inside, watching the TV. I found it very hard to work, hard to eat, hard to sleep. It was difficult for my husband to see as he has been in New York.