Supervising Producer for “All My Children” on September 11, 2001
I was producing at “AMC” at the time. The morning was perfect. I remember walking down West End Avenue and thinking ‘this is the most perfect day’. The sky was the most beautiful blue and the temperature perfect for New York in September. I was in my office with the ABC feed on when the first plane hit. I remember thinking it was a horrible accident when one of our PA’s came in and said “that was no accident.” I went up to the control room to start taping and was sitting there, talking with the Technical Director about the plane that went into the first tower when the second one hit. That’s when everything went haywire. People refused to keep working — they had loved ones down there and couldn’t focus. My Executive Producer was away on a rare vacation and because I was in the booth that day, I was in charge of the day. I called everyone to the floor and saw fear — felt it myself — and I suggested we join hands in prayer. I don’t remember what was said in that vein. I know there were tears and people were shaking. But we were together. I told everyone not to leave the building as we didn’t know what was waiting for any of us outside.
So we hunkered down and by around 5-6pm, we decided it was safe for everyone to start heading home — everyone from the city, that is — as the roads out of Manhattan were all closed. I seem to remember having a few people stay at my apartment and everyone who lived in the city offered their sofas/floors/rooms to those not living in the city as well. But since we’d all been through such a trying day, I thought it would be a good idea not to hide in our apartments but to be, as many put it during that time, New Yorkers — meaning that we wouldn’t shrink from this but instead would join together and find comfort in being out among our neighbors. A group of us did just that by having dinner at Isabella’s up on Columbus Avenue — and the place was packed. Eating and talking and laughing and being together — all of us — not just from “All My Children” — but New Yorkers, refusing to let this horrible tragedy keep us down. It was a day and night I will never forget.