I’ve sat on these photos for 15 years. After leaving school late in the morning, I got my parents’ nice film camera and my sister and I documented the day as we saw it. At the time, I wanted to be a journalist, and I had a lifelong fascination with history and photojournalism. I felt this day needed to be captured from all perspectives. My sister Kelly had just turned 13 and I was 14, a month away from 15. Each of these photos is captioned for more information – just hover over them. Some are poor quality or don’t show much, but I included them anyway.
For context, I left school around 11 am that day. My mom came to pick me up, worried that all hell might break loose here in Indianapolis (I was embarrassed by that) and thinking we should go see our dad since his father was in Manhattan and no one had heard from him. He was a producer at a local news station. We were there for several hours, then went home, and my dad joined us at home later that evening. We came home to an answering machine message from my grandad, who had been in his Midtown apartment and awoke with all the commotion. He was on the first train out of the city once they began running again that afternoon, he said, and was back with my grandmother in the suburbs of the city. I’ll expand upon all this in the next entry.
My dad, a New Yorker, at work as the evening news producer at WISH-TV 8, then the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis. At this point we did not know where his father was. My grandmother thought he had an appointment in Lower Manhattan that morning.
Afternoon newsroom activity. The woman with a white cardigan in the background is named Agnes.
More newsroom activity. The background woman in a dress is a family friend, Shannon
Jim and my dad consulting. I believe that’s reporter Anthony Calhoun in the background.
Kelly and I went outside to capture cars with headlights on.
The headlights were to honor the tragedy. Many businesses closed early, so there was a bit more afternoon traffic than usual on Meridian St.
Everyone had their radio tuned to the news. I don’t remember if music stations were even playing music. The weather must have been just as beautiful everywhere else in America that day, because everyone still remarks on that. It truly was beautiful outside.
My dad was unbelievably stressed this day. He didn’t have good coping mechanisms at this time, and was consumed with managing the news and the situation with his parents in NY.
There was a panic over gas availability, and many gas stations doubled or tripled gas prices. This was the Shell at 16th and Illinois.
The Indy Star printed a special edition in the middle of the day. I’d never seen that before, and never have since.
Employees sold the paper to passing motorists.
We pulled over and bought one.
Newspapers were soon to be hit by the rise of digital news. The internet had told my isolated classroom the barest of breaking details, though. Most of our information came from the TV, and the newspapers helped us process it and made it feel truly real.
Our dog Lucy.
I told my sister we should pose with the paper.
I probably got the idea from hostage photos where they hold up newspapers. I felt somewhat silly about it, and it was weird not to smile for a photo, but I thought we should take these for history’s sake.
My sister thought it was weird but agreed to do it. We were in her bedroom.
Back in my bedroom.
The dust settling and my grandad finally accounted for, my dad was now worried about the stock market crashing. And probably more, but he didn’t say it.
“Something happened to me last Tuesday night.”
Special thanks to my mother for scanning these.