As the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11 approached, retired firefighter and current chocolatier Robert Tschudin recalled a stunning piece of art created by a family member in fabric after the World Trade Center disaster more than a decade ago.
It took four hours to make and fully assemble "Crying Tower/Crying Flag," the two-foot-tall work of art, says downtown Middletown's owner, his confectionary rendition based on a piece by his artist cousin.
Eight strokes of red-tinged chocolate paint, which drip like they are weeping or bleeding, alternate with pure white chocolate horizontal stripes to form the Stars & Stripes of Old Glory. The blue canton portion is dotted with white "stars."
The original fabric work is part of the September 11 Digital Archive.
When the 10th anniversary approached, Tschudin, of Glastonbury, says, he created a flat panel inspired by her piece. This year, with the addition of a solid chocolate core, he was able to take her "weeping flag" to a third dimension.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Tschudin, who's also a lawyer and retired from firefighting a year ago, was at a small TV studio in Rocky Hill. "My job was to turn people away from the border," of Ground Zero in New York. "Within hours," he said, "it was clear there weren't going to be many survivors," so he was charged with persuading people "with good intentions" to stay in Connecticut. "There were too many resources going down there," Tschudin says now.
As for "Crying Tower," Tschudin says, he'll keep the piece up on display for about a week, "until it gets too dusty." It's not necessarily for sale, Tschudin says, and people can stop by during regular shop hours (click on for information) to take a peek.