Sunday, May 1, 2011


The Rosie the Riveter poster turned out to be a factory recruiting tool not a war effort morale booster prop. J. Howard Miller drew it from a photo of a worker, a lady that had lasted just two weeks at the factory. A more muscular arm replaced hers. And for decades she was oblivious to her WWII icon role.

"We Can Do it" turned out to be the only non-fictional part of the poster. But in this crazy world of ours we cannot hold such fiction against Rosie the Riveter. The difference between fact and fiction is that fiction must be believable, per Mark Twain, that and whether "we can really do it" is all that matters.

At the World Trade Center Plaza I used to lie face up with Gabe, a baby, on top. To look up at the towers and the sky in dizzying admiration. I visited Ground Zero and read the notes left by visitors, I saw with dizzying admiration how none was written in anger.

I saw hectic work on rebuilding the site when I visited two months ago. I envision five smallish buildings in a ring to mimic small redwood trees growing around the big mother tree after lightning struck her. But nobody asks me what to build where...

A stranger was doing high fives today at the gas station. His old beat up pickup truck radio at full blast with the news. I should have taken his picture. Then draw a poster of Robert the Pickup Trucker on his "We can do it" moment. We can do what? Revenge or Rebuild? That is up to him, and to the reader.