Painting in Prague on 9/11

I was painting on top of the hill in the palace gardens on 9/11/2001, when the twin towers were hit. We didn’t hear about it until we returned to the hotel. The management had special electricians come to the hotel and hook our rooms up to CNN in English so we could stay informed.

It was a horrifying, surreal time for all of us, so far from home and not able to fly back. All flights were grounded.

What I remember most is the kindness of the people of Prague when it happened. We walked in the rain the next day to the American Embassy and saw hundreds of memorial bouquets, teddy bears, heartfelt messages, photos, ribbons, every sort of expression of sympathy.

There was a special service for Americans in the huge cathedral in the old city the next evening. It was packed with thousands of mourners.

Some of the watercolor paintings on the sofa here were works done during that time. The strange little Bohemian hotel room was our safe house the next day as we all stayed close to our television sets.

The smile on my face in the photo was because that’s what you instinctively do when a camera is pointed at you.

Although memories of beautiful Prague are wrapped around this horrific event in our history, all the memories of that time, good and bad, burn bright.

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