TDJ’s Dad saves the Day! PT. 2 – The Interview

Okay, ok…

I jacked this from, which is one of several places that have been stealing our leading Lady, TDJ, away from this blog and making your favorite section, Sex & The Chocolate City, virtually extinct! But I did figure that this would be the perfect follow-up to my last post about her dad being the clever New Yorker who discovered the now infamous failed Car bomb in Times Square and became a hero for alerting the authorities. Besides, she’s our own. In this article, she not only interviews her father herself, but she shares her own thoughts on the happenings. Here’s her take in her own words…

My Dad has been working under the Planters Peanut sign on 45th and Broadway for more than a decade. He’s my official landmark whenever I’m in the city. I practically grew up in Times Square with him. I’ll never forget the day he came home talking about some man playing a guitar in his underwear and a cowboy hat. He was barely fazed by it. People know him as the “Mayor.” The other vendors, from the t-shirt guys to the caricature artists to the hot dog stand owners, know me as his daughter.

Dad rarely overreacts about anything and it drives my family insane. No matter the situation, he seems to always stay amazingly poised and relaxed during the most dire of circumstances; whether it’s rushing a child to the emergency room or an ash cloud barreling toward him on 9/11. He’s always said, “If you see everyone running in one direction, just stand still. Observe, think, then react.” This advice has saved me on many occasions. So, I wasn’t surprised by his reaction to the potential car bomb, a mere eight feet away from his normal spot.

When I saw the pictures of the truck and the explosives inside it, the only thought that crossed my mind was “Wow, I could have lost him.” The explosion would have been unavoidable. Losing him would’ve crushed me.

I know everyone now considers him to be a hero along with the other vendors and policemen, but he’s always been my hero. He instilled in me, at a very young age, to be an independent woman and self-reliant. Teaching me how to drive when I was thirteen, how to balance a checkbook, and how to iron a crease that could cut someone if they stood too close. But whenever I need him, he’s there. He’s rescued me on several occasions when my car broke down in the middle of the night, and he’s chased away a few spiders. I realize not many women have had that experience growing up. For that, I am more grateful that I have him in my life.

He, of course, doesn’t see himself as a hero. He considers himself a normal guy. He visits my 101-year-old Grandpa every Tuesday to give him a shave, plays 18 holes of golf, and is the President of the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter. People are now stopping by his stand, buying purses, taking a picture, showing him so much love. Words cannot express how proud I am of him, but then again, that’s nothing new. I’m just glad everyone is catching up to what I’ve known all my life.

DUANE JACKSON: Hey, sweetie.

TIFFANY: You’ve been a New Yorker forever. People generally tend to mind their own business and rarely speak up. You did the opposite. Do you think that your action will encourage more to speak and act? Is this something that should be taught and promoted more?
DUANE: It’s a combination. I saw something that looked suspicious, told a police officer, and fortunately the bomb didn’t go off. Some folks who were there walked by and saw what happened and thought that they could’ve have been hurt if that bomb went off. In the short term, I think there will be more of a sense of awareness, not only in New York but around the country. In the long run, we need to teach and preach the idea of being aware and not taking anything for granted. You should always be aware of your surrounding in a commercial space.

TIFFANY: Do you think your military experience had anything to do with your reaction?
DUANE: Definitely. The military teaches you discipline, how to be cautious, and how to react in certain situations.

TIFFANY: Got any words of advice?
DUANE: I say “If you see something, and feel something, tell someone. And don’t fear having a friendly relationship with the police, fire department, even teachers. Those people are always on guard.”

TIFFANY: Okay, thanks Daddy.
DUANE: You’re welcome, baby girl.

Tiffany Jackson is a Video Producer and Writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Follow her on Twitter @Writeinbk

Read more:

TDJ’s Dad – the man who discovered Times Square Mystery Car Bomb – Saves The Day!!

Dad meeting with Diane Sawyer #timesquare

Yep Kiddies!

Our own estranged resident renaissance woman, TDJ, has a Bonafied HERO for a dad!

While I was out of the Country, the city I call home was all a frenzy.

I was able to catch a glimpse of CNN coverage in my hotel room on the happenings in Times Square surrounding a mysterious Black SUV that was reported to have suspicious contents. These contents included all kinds of explosive and flammable agents and materials seemingly deliberate in their purpose to go off and cause panic in the epicenter of NYC commerce, density and most importantly, recognition.
I felt the same way as I did when 9/11 happened, or the way I felt when the 2003 brown-out/black-out took place. Distant.
I wasn’t fully informed on the threat enough to feel the threat of it.
I also, Like this time, wasn’t in New York or anywhere near it. All I could do was watch and wait for the series of events to play itself out. And I’m still waiting…
Maybe it’s the natural New York skepticism, or inherent lack of surprise that comes with the territory. Or my mistrust of anything deemed “terrorism”.

But this time around, there’s no denying the Craziness or perceived intent behind this. There’s no other way to slice the heaviness of the situation. The news crews won’t be leaving this alone anytime soon, and you can guarantee this means all kinds of increased Big Brother tactics coming our way in T-minus 16 seconds…

What I didn’t know, and what makes this particular story so much more interesting and incredible, is that the man responsible for alerting the authorities just happen to be the father of my close personal homegirl. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Duane Jackson, a Vietnam Veteran – and husband of one of the coolest moms ever, 2 Christmases ago, and his presence is as warm as he is tall. A true hustler, he’s been an official Vendor on the Busy and bustling streets of Times Squares for years now, so you can rest assured that he’s seen plenty of things in his day. But it’s what he saw this fateful saturday that has him garnering all of the media attention that one man could handle at a dizzying pace. Blame it on him being a stand-up man, or an experienced New Yorker, or a good samaritan, or a combination of all things, but he responded the most sensible way he knew how after noticing the vehicle.

I don’t even know the full story myself, and I’ll be sure to get the firsthand account personally from Mr. Jackson himself next time I see him and pick his brain, because nothing’s more interesting than hearing New York stories from real New Yorkers. What I do know is that after a day full of shaking hands with the President, the Mayor, Diane Sawyer, Gayle King and almost anyone else with a camera, Mr. Jackson will be unforgettable and has earned some rest and quiet time in the City that never sleeps. I know TDJ was there every step of the way today, playing multiple roles as loving daughter (mistaken by a few for his young wife) as well as his make-shift publicist. Her mom and little brother were there too throughout the hectic day of press. Good look for the black families, Jacksons!! I see you!

Don’t know how long this link will last, but just in case you missed it, here’s the Good Morning America clip, co-starring ms. TDJackson herself.
We’ll get on her later about the absence of her column, for now, it’s not her moment. That belongs to the man who no doubt deserves all of the attention and acclaim for being on his P and Q’s, thinking and acting fast and logically. The man who today is a hero.
This one’s for you Mr. Jackson!