Post Production
Page 25


The Cypress T-shirt design

Wednesday  September 12, 2001

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We are still reeling from the events of yesterday, but all in the Cypress family are safe. I tried to get to work, not understanding the full extent of the disaster that was unfolding. Almost immediately after the first plane struck the North Tower, subway service was interrupted, so I walked home. Just before I arrived, the second plane slammed into the South Tower.

I spent the day mostly watching the events unfold on television, just like the rest of the world, except for the reminders that it was here in my city, my home: the ambulances in the streets and the fighter jets overhead. There was (and still is) most of all a stunned silence. People in the streets walked quietly; there was no traffic to speak of. A friend who watched at our house because he couldn't get home tried all morning to get word about a good friend of his who worked in the North tower, to no avail. I feel lucky that I didn't have a close friend or relative who worked in the towers, but I have already spoken to a couple of friends who did and haven't yet heard that they're safe. They are all in our prayers.

Here is Joel Goodman's eyewitness account of yesterday's events (Joel is our composer):

By now - you have all seen what happened. Here is my account.

I got to work early this morning - 8:30am. My studio is 10 blocks north of the Trade Center. The window of my room had a clear view of the North tower. As I remember it, around 8:45 I was eating my cereal and heard a boom. The windows shook. Now, a "boom" is not often a reason to lift ones head in NYC. So being the New Yorker that I am, didn't miss a bite and kept right on chewing. About 15 minutes later, I heard another one and then the phone rang. It was David's wife. Apparently neither of us decided to even look up from our desks. David called with urgency and I ran to his office. We could not believe what we saw.

On the top 12 stories of the North Tower flames were shooting out the windows. Black smoke was billowing out of the top as if the Trade Center itself was a super-sized industrial smokestack. We tried to get our TV monitors to get reception, but to no avail. 15 minutes or so later we decided to go up to the roof. The roof offers an unobstructed view of both towers.

I was not prepared for what I next saw. The south tower was hit at what looked like the 60-70th floor. The north tower, as mentioned before, near the top. Flames coming out of both buildings and smoke, smoke, smoke. It was an absolutely beautiful morning today. Perfect weather - in fact, it doesn't get much nicer around here. The contrast was remarkable. I was first struck with memories of the film Independence Day. How could this be?? I thought, this is what war must look like.

We met some of our neighbors on the roof and heard others' accounts of hearing the plane and the boom. One woman kept saying over and over again - this is Pearl Harbor! all of us - in utter disbelief. Cell phone reception was not good and I moved to another part of the roof to get better reception. As I looked back at my neighbors they began to scream and contort their bodies as if they were being hit. We ran over and saw the end of the south tower collapse. My knees felt like rubber and I couldn't stand anymore.

After a short time more on the roof I went down to the studio to return some calls from concerned friends. While on the phone with one friend I was watching the smoke and fire. The North Tower has a very large torpedo shaped antennae on the roof. This is the building I was looking at. Then, right before my eyes, in what appeared to be slow motion, the building just started to go down (collapse). As if you took a knife and put it directly into a cake. It's something I will never forget.

One of the most awful memories is hearing the screaming that happened as each building collapsed. It was all you heard. Obviously not those in the building, but the thousands of people watching.

*    *    *    *    *    *

This afternoon my wife and kids and I all rode down the West side on our bicycles to a pier on 72nd Street and the Hudson River. There we caught our first glimpse of the place where the twin towers used to be. A huge plume of smoke still filled the sky above the wreckage. We stood in silence with thirty or forty other people, who also came to witness and begin the process of accepting that what used to be there is no more.

Lovisa is at the Chelsea Piers on 23rd Street helping people seeking information about their missing loved ones.

My strongest reaction is that yesterday was the saddest day we will ever experience in our lives. What happened to cause people to be so angry that they thought this horrible act was righteous and worthy of celebration? That it was done can only enrage us, but what can we do? The world changed yesterday and thinking of what the future holds for us is frightening.

- Joseph Pierson

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