Portraits of Grief, The New York Times
‘Where Is Your Rock?’
Antonio Rodrigues painted what he liked and he liked the water, so he painted scenes of the beach and of boats. He grew up in Portugal, in a town perched on the coast. When he married and settled near New York, he and his wife, Cristina, chose Port Washington, on Long Island, because they wanted to be near the balm of the water. Their two children, Sara and Adam, had no complaints.
Mr. Rodrigues, 35, had been a transit officer in New York but joined the Port Authority police force earlier this year. He designed a T-shirt for his graduating class, with a logo on one side and caricatures of graduates on the back.
He had been stationed at the Port Authority bus terminal, and when the attack occurred, he and 14 other officers commandeered one of the regular commuter buses and raced down to the trade center.
Much as he relished painting, Mr. Rodrigues had not done many canvases in a few years. Instead, he drew cartoons about his job. “He found a lot of things funny with his job,” Mrs. Rodrigues said.
For instance, she said, one of the other officers at the academy was assigned to carry around a rock and take care of it. It became a running joke to inquire of this officer, “Where is your rock?”
So Mr. Rodrigues drew a cartoon about the officer and the rock. In sorting through the cartoons, Mrs. Rodrigues has decided to give some of them away to officers she feels would appreciate them. The officer with the rock is getting his.