Saturday, September 11, 2010

MY PERSONAL 911 STORY by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Sept 11th sticks out in my mind because it was on that day that I was starting, for me, a "new life" artistically speaking. I worked for years as a freelance artist doing illustration "the old fashioned way" by hand at my drawing board laboring for hours. I grew accustomed to working that way because it was what I was taught, what I'd always done, and it worked. I began to notice that I had my head stuck in my drawing board so long that the world had changed and now EVERYONE was doing stuff on computers using programs like Photoshop, and Illustrator.

I swallowed by pride and enrolled in an 8 week course that would bring me up to speed and make me competitive in the marketplace. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. Gorgeous BLUE sky, and Cloudless. It was the perfect backdrop for a new beginning, and as I got off the bus in Boro Park, I waiting patiently for my connecting bus.

I looked up into the sky and noticed something peculiar. Seemingly out of "No Where" I saw what looked like, at first glance, confetti falling to the ground. It reminded me of a ticker tape parade Mayor Giuliani would throw each year for the Yankees after winning the World Series. As the paper hit the ground and became more visible I could see that they were 8X11 pieces of paper Seconds later,. a man ran up to me holding a sheet, exclaiming, "look at this!" I examined it and saw that it was a page from a larger business document, but how did it get HERE?

I looked to my left, and that's when I saw it. Thick black smoke in the sky coming from the direction of the World Trade Center. I didn't know WHAT to think as I boarded my connecting bus and when to my school.

When I arrived the TV set was on, and that's when I knew that we were under attack. I watched the broadcast in shock along with my teacher and other classmates not knowing what to do, and lacking words... NO ONE knew what to say... Incredibly my instructor broke the silence. "Let's go ahead and have class," he said, so we all sat down at our computers as he gave us our first Photoshop lesson.

I am now very proficient in Photoshop and would be lost without it in my daily work. I don't even REMEMBER the instructor's name that taught me, but will always remember him having the insight and the BRAVERY for going on with the class in the face of this tragedy. For a few brief hours we all were made to forget what happening outside as we focused on the lesson, and for ME at least, it helped to focus me for what I would be facing that day.