September 9, 2011

~ Where were you? ~

Where were you when the world stopped turning....on that September Day.  
That first line of the Alan Jackson song gets me every time.

I remember in High School History class we had an assignment.  Go home and ask your parents where they were when JFK was assassinated.  It was an assignment to show us how vastly something like that impacts us, knocks us off our feet and embeds into our minds forever.  I don't remember my parents answers, but I do remember they could tell me moment by moment where they were, who told them and what they had done seconds before and seconds after the news.

I'm wondering if one day my kids will come home and ask me, Mom where were you on September 11th, 2001?   I definitely think I have one of the more unique answers.

Kids, I was on the phone with Carrotop, yeah, this carrotop.

I worked in Radio and Television long before I started a photography career.  At the time I had 2 jobs.   I was working for the Steve and DC morning radio show, then racing across downtown St Louis to make it to KMOV-TV  Channel 4 for the rest of my day.

We were suppose to be interviewing Carrotop live on the radio that morning.  As a producer of the show it was my job to prep the guests before the interview.  The celebrities are always half asleep in a daze as they are usually 2 hours ahead of us in LA up at some God-awful hour to do radio interviews.   But they are usually pleasant, as Carrotop was as well.  I had been in the studio when the first plane hit.  We broke in with the news as we had a huge TV in our studio to monitor national news.   

At this time everyone was just confused, having no idea what was going to unfold 8 minutes later with the second plane, we all just sat baffled trying to explain to the radio audience at home just what we were seeing.  "How do you get a plane out of a building?" I asked out loud.  

My husband, who was the executive producer of the show (then my boyfriend) sent me back into the phone room to tell Carrotop we were going to run a few minutes late because of the breaking news.  I was still explaining this to him on the phone when the second plane hit.  My brain could not process what I just saw with my eyes.  I calmly put him on hold and walked back into the studio.  Wide eyed like a deer for the first time in my life I was speechless.  My husband was the one who actually got back on the phone and told Carrotop to turn on his TV that we were being attacked.  

Between both jobs I worked 17 hours straight on September 11th 2001.  Working in the media for that day in history was nothing short of insane.  I was exhausted, mentally and physically.  I just remember how badly I wanted to be at home with my Mom and Dad.  How at 22 years old I saw for the first time how terrible this world could truly be.  And for the first and only time in my entire life I remember thinking...I'm not having kids.  No freaking way and I'm bringing babies into this insane world.  Lucky for me, that thought was fleeting.

I had heard my parents talk about JFK,  I've been to Pearl Harbor,  I've taken history classes and studied every major catastrophic event down to its last detail.  But to live it is something you have to feel to understand. 

By the way if any of your are friends with Carrotop of facebook, or follow him on Twitter I would LOVE for you to send him this story.  After all, when someone asks him "Where were you on September 11th 2001" he will tell you...on the phone doing radio interviews with this girl in St. Louis