Lockerbie Calling by ProQuest

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									what’s shakin’
                                                                                          lawrence
                                                                                          mason Jr.



Lockerbie Calling
B
       efore and after unspeakable tragedy              Looking for Lockerbie rep-
       struck Lockerbie, Scotland, the place        resents a culmination of pho-




                                                                                                                      mIChael DaVIs photo
       was and remains a small town. That’s         tographs and articles collected
part of the reason why when you hear                since Mason first traveled to
“Lockerbie,” you immediately think of the           Scotland in 1996. He had thought
day, nearly 21 years ago, when a terrorist          about visiting in 1991, when he
bomb ripped Pan Am Flight 103 from the              taught a semester in London. “I
sky and onto southern Scotland. Globally,           really wanted to go then, though
it’s this sleepy village’s claim to fame.           I didn’t know why,” he said. “My




                                                                                                                                                                                                                   lawrenCe mason Jr. photo
    “We think about New York City and 9-11,         wife asked why I wanted to go but because
and how that city has such a mythology and a        I couldn’t really articulate it she said, ‘Let’s                                                                          Christina’s world:
history that is known by the world, so it could     leave those people alone. Maybe we shouldn’t                                                                         Syracuse University student
take that tragedy and move forward,” explained      add to their troubles.’                                                                                            Christina Kelly meditates on the
Melissa Chessher co-author of Looking for               “But by 1996, my next teaching assignment                                                                   spot where the nose cone of Pan Am
Lockerbie (Worldwide Orange Publications,           in London, I had a better sense of the need for                                                                  Flight 103 crashed to the ground at
Syracuse; 244 pages; $85/hardcover). “I think       closure for me,” he added. So with 15 photojour-                                                                 Tundergarth Mains near Lockerbie.
for a really small place like Lockerbie it’s hard   nalism students in tow, Mason took a weekend
to be known for anything else. For people to        field trip to Lockerbie. “We took the sunshine       might be talking about a book here. I thought              Then it came time to shop for a pub-
appreciate and understand how much more             tour, which is really dark humor, because it was     it would be much smaller, but in the interven-         lisher. “We realized that we couldn’t describe
this place is, than just where Pan Am 103 went      a tour of the Pan Am disaster sites. I came back     ing years I went back with many students and           this book as being like anything else,” he
down, is the most important objective of this       to Syracuse thinking I had seen Lockerbie. I         compiled 40,000 photos, which, in a town of            explained. “It couldn’t count as a travel book
book, and I hope it does that well.”                thought I’d never go to Lockerbie again until I      4,000 people, that’s quite a lot of coverage.”         and it’s not about a disaster; it’s about a com-
    Chessher worked with her S.I. Newhouse          realized I hadn’t seen the whole thing. I had just       Mason and Chessher met in 2000 to dis-             munity. Neither one of us could think of any
School of Public Communications colleague           seen the disaster sites.”                            cuss options, including applying for a grant           book that was remotely similar to this. How
Lawrence Mason Jr. to recruit Syracuse Uni-             Mason got his wake-up call when Alison           from SU to finance further visits to Scotland.         do you approach a publisher with a book that
versity students over several years to visit        Younger, a Lockerbie Scholar studying at SU,         Chessher, who chairs the magazine department           they can’t wrap their minds around?”
Scotland, report on Lockerbie, and ultimately       wrote an essay that he read at the dedication        at SU, lived in Lockerbie from December 2001               Ultimately, the two decided to self-publish
contribute articles and photographs to the          of his photography exhibit that commemo-             to May 2002; it’s one of her four visits. “I was       the book, and use the resources of SU Press
book. “This book is so hard to describe,” said      rated the 10th anniversary of the disaster.          only there a few months,” she said. “It’s a small      for distribution. “We would have had to turn
Mason, for 27 years a professor of Visual and       “She wrote about a Lockerbie that I didn’t           town with a rural history and it’s very easy to        over our manuscript to SU Press a year in
Interactive Communication at Newhouse. “It          see when I was there,” he noted. “It was like        feel like an outsider and quickly realize that         advance of publication, and we just didn’t
was bound to be emotional right from the start      a kick in the head. I had missed it all and I        you would have to be there many generations            have that amount of time,” Mason noted. “We
because of my involvement with eight of the         knew I had to go back.”                              to be a part of the community. Still, I instantly      wanted this to be on the market by the 20th
Pan Am victims. What surprised me was that              In 1999, Mason returned with photography         felt connected to and protective of the place          anniversary of the disaster.” They also wanted
when I took students there who had no con-          students, and all of them stayed in Lockerbie        and the people. It started to annoy me that there      the victims’ families to be the first to see
nection to the disaster it was almost equally       residents’ homes. “We all got a different view       was always a camera crew across from Tunder-           the book, when they met in Syracuse during
emotional for them. I didn’t expect that, but       of Lockerbie based on who we stayed with,”           garth {where the jet’s
								
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