"[This book] embodies the Buddhist wisdom about change, life, and the
world more than anything written after the events of that day."
August 2008 Archives
August 19, 2008
PHOTO QUOTE OF THE WEEK
In a New York Times story last weekend, by Alex Williams, Mrs. Laura Horn discussed how she spent a couple of days using Photoshop and, like some Kremlin retoucher from the 50s, successfully extracted her ex-husband from all of the pictures in their family photo album.
“In my own reality, I know that these things did happen,” Ms. Horn said. But “without him in them, I can display them. I can look at those pictures and think of the laughter we were sharing, the places we went to. This new reality is a lot more pleasant.”
...Well, she'll always have Paris.
August 16, 2008
"MY" FALLING MAN, PART II
An email from Susan Malus, of Brooklyn, New York….
My response, via email, to Susan….
Dear Susan Malus,
As far as I can tell, my contacts were never able to find this photograph that you are referring to. Perhaps it was in an early edition. Perhaps it was in the Daily News or Post or Newsday. In any event, let me forward this to the man who was the deputy picture editor of The New York Times that day. He is a friend of mine. Let me see what he says. Sorry for my delay in responding.
All the best, David
Thank you for your help - I really appreciate it.
In the meantime, my grateful thanks for taking the time to follow up on this.
Sorry to report that my friend (who was a picture editor at the Times in 2001) wrote me the following, when I forwarded him your email:
Please do reprint my letter. And thanks again. Maybe someone will shed light on this.
By the way, the Drew photo, which was also on the Esquire website, was a much closer shot of the person; if you knew him, you might almost recognize him. And I believe it's on the Esquire site that the story is told about a family who lost someone in the NY attacks. Some of them did think they recognized him while others were furious at the very idea and the two camps stopped speaking.
So... Does anyone out there have any insight on this subject?
HERE IS THE ORIGINAL BLOG POST, FROM NOVEMBER 15, 2006…
A FALLING MAN, STILL MISSING
After reading my book, Michele C. Lucas of Port Chester, New York, sent a compelling letter about her fascination with a single photo taken on September 11, one that she remembers spotting in a newspaper or magazine shortly after the attacks.
In her "Image of the Falling Man," as she has come to think of it, a figure is shown in freefall, descending from one of the World Trade towers. His tie, she recalls, is fluttering in the air. The picture, as you can read in her letter, has become something of an obsession to her. And after I telephoned her to discuss her letter, she agreed to let me post it on line, in the hope that a reader of the book or a visitor to this blog might know of a place on the Internet or in print that might have published this picture.
I, too, remember having seen just such a picture. In my mind’s eye, it is a still photograph, though I may actually be remembering a videotape. Nikki Stern, whose husband perished on September 11, told me that she remembered a similar photograph, possibly printed in Time magazine, though when I called her, to follow up on Michele Lucas’s query, she admitted she may have been recalling Richard Drew’s famous “Falling Man” image, showing a man—without a tie—plummeting head-first that day. (An account in USA Today, published on September 2, 2002, describes an eyewitness who sees a man falling from one of the towers with “his tie flapping in the wind.”)
And yet, having surfed the Web and having sifted through my shelf of photographs and of 9/11-related books, I couldn’t find the photograph that so haunts the writer of the letter, reprinted here.
Is there anyone out there would can shed light – or point her in the right direction? If so, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter from Michele Lucas….
On September 12, 2001, I opened The New York Times to a picture of a man falling from one of the towers. I had not expected such a picture as I turned the page, and so was stunned and horrified. I stared at the picture, feeling as the photographer Richard Drew was quoted as saying in your book, “He is you and me.” When I closed the paper that day I said that I never wanted to see such a picture again.
Over the next days I searched the Internet, but I did not find him. Everything I saw was at such a distance and nothing matched what I remembered. For months I continued to search, but I never found him. I asked friends, but no one remembered seeing such a man. I felt as though I had lost a relative or a good friend. I still felt a little crazy.
The man was a businessman, you could tell that by what he wore - dark suit pants, a white dress shirt. His hair was dark, his skin was white. He appeared to be young rather than old, though I’m not sure why. He was falling legs down, head up, his body leaned somewhat to his right and his head was turned to the left just enough so you could not make out his features. The most poignant aspect, at least to me, was his tie, which was swooshed up over his left shoulder. I even remember the tie to be striped, though, even if I ever saw such a photo, I don’t know how I could see that much detail.
As time went by and I could not locate My Falling Man, I convinced myself that I had seen him in a dream. After all, we were so bombarded with images on 9/11 and in the days that followed, I could have had a very vivid dream about a falling man and thought that it was real. I had just about convinced myself when I related my story to yet another friend, who told me that she remembered the man, she remembered him because of the tie, and I was back to square one. She feels that she saw him on television, but I don’t know. All the TV shots I saw of people falling were at too great a distance. I feel that the picture I remember must have been taken with the zoom lens of a still camera.
Best regards, Michele C. Lucas
(The writer goes on to say that she remembers encountering me from time to time when we both worked at Life magazine in the early 1980, myself as a reporter, she in the copy department, I believe. But I'm sorry to say that I don't recall her.)
August 1, 2008
PHOTO QUOTE OF THE WEEK
In response to a rash of injuries and scuffles that have resulted when paparazzi packs gather to stalk stars, the Los Angeles City Council has created a task force which convened a hearing this week to study whether new ordnances should be established to limit the photographers’ movements – or, possibly, to require paparazzi to register for licenses.
The chief of the LAPD, William J. Bratton, reacting to the hubbub, called the hearing “a total waste of time,” according to The New York Times. “If you notice, since Britney started wearing clothes and behaving; Paris is out of town not bothering anybody, thank God; and, evidently, Lindsay Lohan has gone gay, we don’t seem to have much of an issue.”