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Looking back on 9/11, a 'Cosmo' cameo, columnist hits the Web

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By ERNEST HOOPER, Times Columnist

© St. Petersburg Times
published September 9, 2002


New Yorker Mark Lubell remembers everything about Sept. 11, including the weather.

"What was so peculiar about that day is that New York has five perfect days" a year, said Lubell, who was on his way to work in Manhattan that morning. "Five days where it's not too hot or cold or humid. Sept. 11 was a perfect, perfect day."

That ended with the terrorist attacks, but a year later Lubell is helping us remember. As coordinator of here is new york, Lubell and Hillsborough County public arts coordinator Jan Stein have helped bring a collection of 300 professional and amateur photographs to the lower level of International Plaza.

Stein, who says her role is voluntary, said she was moved when she saw the initial exhibit in a SoHo storefront in New York. International Plaza co-owner Dick Corbett helped fund its Tampa showing and spoke with great emotion about the exhibit when it opened earlier this week.

The photos are on display through Oct. 8 and are available for $25 each. The proceeds will go to the Children's AIDS Society.

The pictures are heart-wrenching, including one in which relatives placed pictures of missing loved ones on a Coca-Cola advertisement that says "Enjoy life."

Lubell said they are meant to build us up, not bring us down.

"We can use the images to give us strength to move on," Lubell said. "The exhibit is about humanity, courage and what the human spirit can overcome."

* * *

University of South Florida student Tatiana Rodriguez is a fun, fearless female. Just ask her. Or pick up the September issue of Cosmopolitan.

On page 54, Rodriguez is included in the magazine's monthly "Fun, Fearless, Female Report." She offers her thoughts on Tampa nightlife, noting that university students love Ybor City's Fat Tuesday (on Thursdays), Pop City and Hyde Park Cafe.

"Jeans, heels, and a sexy top are de rigueur going-out-attire here -- but you're never fully-dressed without a tiny, status-y purse," Rodriguez told the magazine.

How did this all come about? Rodriguez sent her picture to Cosmo and was chosen. She let her co-workers at Rissman and Weisberg find the photo on their own.

"They were all surprised," said Rodriguez, a fourth-year marketing student.

This is one she can put on her resume.

* * *

He recalled what the late Bern Laxer meant to this community, and he reminisced about the great University of Florida-Miami games he witnessed between 1958 and 1987. And it's probably only a matter of time before he details one of those dazzling morning-after breakfasts that became his trademark.

Yes, Tom McEwen is again offering his thoughts about sports and Tampa. The former Tribune sports editor and columnist now has his own Web site, Heytommcewen.com, which has been established by Tampa Digital Studios.

* * *

Yes, we should never forget Sept. 11.

But we also should remember everyone was impacted in a different way, and how they choose to reflect upon the first anniversary may not fit with our ideal. Frankly, I sense the Bayshore salute may be too festive for my taste, but I'm certain it will instill a greater depth of patriotism in many.

My choices will be far more somber on Wednesday. I'll try to find a quiet place to reflect, and I'll be sure to spend time with my wife and kids. Most of all, I'll try to come to terms with my torn emotions: the hope that we never experience such a wretched day and the reality that terrorism may be a part of our lives for a long, long time.

That's all I'm saying.

-- Ernest Hooper can be reached at (813) 226-3406 or Hooper@sptimes.com.

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