About This Issue

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This article was prepared for the September 11, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

In times of crisis, routines are helpful, and for newspapers,

they are unyielding. Once again, routine has helped U.S. 1 through

a difficult time, this time the September 11 strike on the World Trade

Center. That Tuesday morning, as we were preparing to send an issue

to the printer, we fielded Port Authority executive Bill Fallon’s

first call to his wife, our co-worker Brenda Fallon. Ten days later

the funeral was standing room only.

Not only did Brenda Fallon go through an ordeal of personal loss,

but it was also a time of national and international turmoil, so her

phone rang constantly. The Fallons have a prodigious global network

of friends and strong local ties. Everyone in the church and community

volunteered support — dinners, phone answering, and overnight

stays. Charities offered help. Every person who had ever crossed her

path wanted to talk to her, and many wanted to talk through their

own fears and be reassured.

Yet, as many who suffer from grief have found, it was the workplace

that could offer stability for a suddenly changed life. Fallon knew

that she could come to work as soon or as late as she needed to. Sooner

than might have been expected, she did come back, for just an hour

or two at first.

Meanwhile everyone in this 12-person office pitched in to handle her

duties, which include billing, accounts receivable, and administration

of our delivery system — a complicated planning patchwork based

on which deliverers can work which routes for which week. Not every

office can be so flexible, but taking on the extra work was our way

of helping, the workplace equivalent of baking casseroles.

We also had another role, to sometimes pretend all was normal and

sometimes lend a listening ear. Noting what our own reporters were

writing about how to deal with grief, we learned how to listen to

her and each other.

It is exactly one year after that Tuesday morning. Like everyone else,

we know more about dealing with grief in the workplace than we did

before. Like everyone else, we have found new ways to savor each day

and to appreciate new strengths within our organization. And we continue

to find solace in routine.

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About This Issue

Robert Beck’s painting "Vestige" and the other

artworks featured on our front and back covers are from the exhibition

"After September 11," at the Bernstein Gallery of the Woodrow

Wilson School at Princeton University. In addition, three cover photographs

from the streets of Manhattan are from a series taken last fall by

Jay Plett, a computing systems administrator at Princeton University.

They came to our attention when Plett shared them with U.S. 1 photographer

Craig Terry, as the two discussed the question of switching from film

to digital. Plett, the spouse of arts editor Nicole Plett, took the

photographs with a Nikon D1x.

Most of the editorial space in this issue is devoted to the Preview

section and stories showing how writers and performing artists have

responded to the events of September 11, 2001. As always, your comments

are welcome.


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