Thursday, September 11, 2008


I wanted to repost this last year but I was in a difficult time in my life. On September 11, 2007 my wife Suzanne and I separated. This was a crazy thing and I was unsure of what to do and what/how to tell you all since I'm in the business of weddings and love and happiness and such. I guess you can say I didn't want to be a downer. I wanted to share in your happiness regardless of what I was going through. I decided to phase out talking about that part of my life on here. I'm over that now. 

I've had conversations recently about this post and whatever had happened to it, the way it made people feel and what they thought about and did after reading it. I never deleted it. It was here the whole time. You just had to dig. 

As I blog on a more consistent basis and realize many of you are now friends and frequent readers, I feel like I can share it again. 

I love this post and the joy it brought me in such a time of sadness. Now, a year after another one of the saddest day's in my life I feel like I can share it again. On this painful yet important anniversary, ladies and gentleman....I re-present to you my unedited Sept 11, 2006 post....

I'm so grateful that almost every day of my life involves capturing a moment in time that someone can forever remember, the happiness, the laughter, even the tears...tears of joy or the smallest of detail sometimes overlooked.

As I sit here editing my latest wedding I'm listening to Howard Stern's rebroadcast from September 11, 2001 on Sirius Radio. It's overwhelming yet I'm riveted. It's also some of the best broadcasting I've ever heard.

I remember that day 5 years ago. I recently moved my future(current)wife from NJ from NC. I had already been here 4 years. I turned on the TV that morning and there it was. We were in shock. We were watching something so familiar to us being destroyed in front of our eyes. We we're RIVETED.

Everyday, while working in NYC, I drove passed WTC. When I worked in Hoboken, NJ at night I drove home each night and as I entered the NJ turnpike I had such a beautifully framed shot of lower Manhattan. The shot was in clear view of The Towers, almost like it was created on purpose. Above the towers was part of the overpass (exit 14c), below it was the median. At night the lights from The Towers shined through perfectly. Above the overpass created the perfect black mat, the median, also blackened with nightfall completed the edge on the bottom. My friend and Jack and I drove by almost every weekend and in a strange instance once said, "Isn't...that...amazing....!" at the same time. Completely blurted out in unison from silence. Man made, indescribable beauty.

On September 11, 2001 so many things went through my mind. Who, what, when, where, why, all in my mind at once, piling on top of one another like the towers eventually did. Man made, indescribable destruction.

I wanted so bad to do something. Like many others I felt totally helpless. I immediately wanted to go home and gather my family together in one room and just group hug while we tell each other all of the things we just didn't day over the years. I wanted to do it for all of those people who obviously would never have the chance to do that again.

When I went to NJ to move my wife Suzanne down we decided to have a NYC date for old time sake. Suzanne and I had 10+ years of friendship that brought us to NYC many, many times. We would visit our favorite record stores (yeah records!), coffee shops, bars, club, shops and all of the glory that is NYC. On our date we took the ferry from Jersey City to World Trade Center. From across the river we gazed from the front of the ferry as we felt the wind in our faces. It was a beautiful day. I remember vividly as I looked at the beauty of WTC, to my best friend and future wife's eyes and the look of contentment on her face. She really truly has the most beautiful eyes and they were all lit up with vision of our wonderful future that would begin with our trek to NC tomorrow. For now it's all about NYC. The NYC we love.

I'm feeling that feeling I felt 5 years ago. My stomach is burning, my eyes watering. I sense a good cry coming on soon. This is a good thing to do right now. Words. More words.

We got off the ferry right at WTC to which we both decided a bathroom break was our first most priority. Boat rides seem to do that to us. We ran in and out of just about every building looking for a public restroom. God love NYC, but it's not cut out for those needing a restroom. We finally went into the food court at WTC at one of the towers. We found a restroom and stopped at Starbucks for a coffee. Starbucks was a treat then, since they weren't all over Asheville NC yet.

I loved standing at the bottom of The Twin Towers and looking straight up at them. The tops of the buildings disappeared into the clouds. Amazing. We did this as we left World Trade Center.

It was July 2001. We went about the rest of our day and talked about how we would have to come home to visit often. We love NYC, and will miss it greatly. I didn't bring my camera that day. I just wanted to take it all in with Suzanne instead of stopping every 2 seconds to snap off a few shots of something. To me that must be annoying to be in a relationship with a constant looker. Even more annoying most be that fact that I stop every 2 seconds to capture a moment forever. Or maybe it isn't?

All of the photographs I have of the Twin Towers are in my head. Although I can totally picture them perfectly, they’re only in my mind. I'm kind of bummed that I don't have a photograph of the towers standing that I took. It's one of those things that were just so common to me I never stopped to take a picture of it. I'd rather photograph the garbage can in front of WTC then WTC itself. Not anymore. Now I shoot constantly. Every time I press the shutter I say to myself "this-will-never-happen-again". It’s so true.

We've been back since they fell. It was harder than I could ever imagine. I didn't want to go back. I didn't want to be a tourist. Instead we went to pay tribute. This time I took pictures. I have had people offer to purchase my photos from Ground Zero. I will never sell them. I look forward to the day where something else will stand in their place.
Click for Ground Zero Images

I could probably go on forever on this post. I hope it wasn't too long. I'm glad I have a place like this to share such a thing. Thank you for reading.

I end with this...get a camera, take pictures, take pictures often of all things familiar and unfamiliar. Shoot grass in your backyard, a funky collection of something on a table top or your partner, child or loved one sitting across from you at the table. Don't be afraid to turn the camera on yourself once in a while, even if you have to do that reach your arm out and lean back to get in the frame yourself. See if there's a timer. Even if you feel you aren't good enough to take pictures you are wrong. Your photographs aren't just about what the photo looks like, but what memories you have of the exact fraction of a second you thought enough to push that button. You won't be sorry. Have fun. Cherish the moments forever.

9-11-2001: We will never forget.

I would also like to wish my beautiful little niece a very Happy 4th Birthday. Courtney was born September 11, 2002. I can't help but think she was sent here to bring a little sunshine to something so dark. I've always enjoyed dramatic contrast and boy do I have it today.


Alan Owen said...

Beautiful as always Mike!
Honest, sincere, and full of feeling.

Verge Events said...

this is great, thanks for sharing...nicole