ONLY THE BIRDS

by Joe Jaszewski
Photojournalism Student
University of California at Davis

It's gray outside. Is it really early in the morning or is it just cloudy? It's both. The phone is ringing. It's an assignment, I think. Another last-minute effort to get me to go somewhere and shoot something. I was enjoying my vacation between the internship and school starting, so I let the machine get it. If it's important I'll just pick up:

"Joe! Wake up! Wake up, Joe! They bombed the World Trade Center. They bombed the Pentagon, man. Turn on the fucking news, alright?" Fellow UC Davis photojournalist Matt Laquer explained through my answering machine.

I picked up: "What?"

Before I could fully comprehend what was happening, Matt and a couple of his roommates were over watching CNN, MSNBC, NBC, FOX News, etc. at my apartment as they didn't have a television in theirs. We all sat around, able only to utter short thoughts like "God" "I can't believe this" "Is this real?" "Shit" and "Unbelievable."

As the clock rolled around to 9am pacific time, we became more anxious about a rush-hour attack on this coast similar to the one in the east. Thoughts bounced around the room: Was San Francisco or Sacramento next on the list? What about LA? I should call my mom. Did the hijackers fly the planes? Is there a hijacked plane headed our way? What should we do?

After four hours of straight TV news, I needed to get away from it all. My roommate and I decided to go hiking in the hills 40 minutes to the west just to clear our minds and think about something different. The clouds had passed and it turned out to be a beautiful morning, strangely oblivious to the events taking place 3,000 miles to the east. The rocks, the grass, the trees, the squirrels didn't have a clue about The Horror. The only indication that this day was any different from the others was the birds had no company in the sky.


UC Davis Alumnus Duncan Henry bows his head durng a campus convocation on September 12, 2001.
Joe Jaszewski 2001

The 14th annual Eggplant Festival in Loomis, CA on September 15, 2001 featured a booth for donates to the American Red Cross .
Joe Jaszewski 2001

Joe Jaszewski

joeja@ucdavis.edu

 

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