Amy Bowers TV Talk



Tuesday I watched it on tv. All those souls dying so horribly. I didn't know what to do. I asked the affiliate if I could help. "Come on down," said Carlos. I answered phones at "Action 7 News."

My daughter Hope called her Dad from school, called me, called me again. I brought her to KOAT-TV where she answered phone calls about school closings, mall closings, prayer services, blood drives and rumors of inflated gas prices.

Hope's high school open house was cancelled. My daughter Emma rang my cell phone a half dozen times. Emma seldom calls. We decided to go home.

I watched TV, the teenagers got on the phone and the web.

Wednesday night I drove with two tv crews to southern New Mexico, to do live shots with the wife and stepson of a flight attendant who died on United 175. Trucks hauled west as we traveled east on a wet road with no center line. Lightning flavored the air with ozone. Late that night I talked with a dear friend reporting from the WTC. "How was it?" "It was okay." Usually he answers in long descriptive paragraphs. "How are you?" "I'm tired."

Thursday it poured all day in Alamogordo, a town so small the Wal-Mart is listed in the Yellow Pages under "Restaurants." Half-flown flags were "sobbing wet." Our satellite signal was sometimes weakened by the torrent. "Rain fade," the truck operator called it.

"Are you a producer?" asked a stranded employee from Lockheed, in the lobby of the Best Western. "Yes, could you tell because I'm on the cell phone?" "I could tell because you're pacing."

Rebecca Marchand and her 20 year old stepson Joshua talked about Al Marchand, the husband and Dad they will never see again. Al was a rookie flight attendant, his second career after a lifetime of service as a well-liked cop in Alamogordo. Matt Lauer interviewed Becky and Josh live from New York in the morning. Tom Brokaw spoke with them in the afternoon. We tried to set up a shot with Brian Williams. We couldn't connect by phone to the New Jersey control room. We had to come "down off the bird" and return on a different satellite but it was going to take awhile because of the phones. Becky said, "I want to stay but I have to be somewhere." Somewhere was the funeral home.

We drove home that night, stopping at the Owl Café for a green chile cheeseburger "heart attack in a sack." Life is short.

Friday after the headlines I turned off the television. My neighbor gave me two very cute black kittens that crawled under the hay pallets in the shed. I went to the football game at Manzano High where Hope plays in the marching band.

Patriotic banners dissolved in the rain. It slowed to a drizzle in time for the pre-game parade of decked out shopping cart "floats." "2B= or not2B/= What is the Question?" proclaimed the freshman float. The band played the school song, and there were fireworks from the parking lot above the end zone. A color guard presented the flag while the band delivered a punched up national anthem. We sang.

While Manzano played West Mesa High one or two planes crossed the sky. Everyone noticed but no one remarked. When the pep band played "Jungle Boogie," there was a part written in the piece for a four-bar scream. My daughter does the scream because hers is the loudest. Friday I dreaded that long high piercing vibrato from my child. She screamed, my eyes stung, the band played, the stadium rocked. ROTC members did push-ups after every home team touchdown, pom poms twirled, fireworks fired, cheerleaders back-flipped and kids in the grandstand danced to the school song. At half-time the marching band marched, the homecoming court was coronated, and the sky cleared. The home team returned to the field to win the game.

We picked up pizza and went home. Our little dog Little-y was missing. We didn't even look for her.

Saturday Emma went to her job in the mall.

Sunday I went riding with buddies from the neighborhood. We saw a coyote, a red-tail hawk and a tiny southwestern reptile called the horny toad. I felt my shoulders sunburn.

My kids took their Dad to dinner for his birthday.

Monday I made matzo ball soup and a braided bread for the Jewish New Year. We lit memorial candles for each of the flights.

The dog is still missing.
I know nothing.

Amy Bowers
Contributing Writer

Write a Letter to the Editor
Join our Mailing List
© The Digital Journalist