In TV News, we're not afraid to tackle the tough issues, like "Hey, what's up with that old trailer on Freeman Mill?" For days, intrepid reporter Eric White has asked himself that very question as he passed the abandoned mobile home sitting in the breakdown lane just North of downtown Greensboro. Today he dragged me along on his journalistic quest, and can I say, 'we owned that story'.
9:45 Whitey and I arrive on scene, circle said trailer and guess at its vintage. While I push the glass, he works the phones.
9:57 Random cyclist pedals by. We jump out from behind the trailer and threaten to jam a stick in his spokes if he doesn't give us his opinion on camera. Seconds later, the 'Record' light shines.
10:13 After shooting more footage than we need, we abandon the manufactured home once again in search of more sound.
10:18 A half mile away, convenience store wino corners us in parking lot with conspiracy theory and halitosis. We shake him and find a trucker who'll talk, even though he didn't 'have all his teeth in'.
10:25 Trucker sound on disc, we jet back to the stranded trailer and wait for the cops to come meet us. As Whitey makes for his 4,367th phone call of the morning, I doze off behind the wheel.
10:28 I awake with a start as strange men drag heavy chains by trusty Unit 4. Realizing they aren't with the police, we jump out to document their intentions.
10:30 After hovering over the men as they wrapped chains and twisted wrenches, the leader of these trailer-transporting truckers consents to an interview, never questioning why a camera crew is hanging on his every word.
10:32 Leader explains that since they couldn't truck a trailer at night, they'd ditched the old mobile home for the weekend before resuming the trip to Laurinburg today. Unconcerned as to why we care, lead trucker hocks up impressive wad of tobacco spit and waddles off.
10:37 As Whitey and I stand traffic-swept and befuddled, trucker gang pulls onto Highway 220 with trailer attached behind it, taking any need for an investigative follow-up with it.
10:38 Once trucks and trailer drive out of sight, Whitey and I put our toys up and turn our attention to early lunch plans, having worked up a real appetite from all that intensive journamalising.
At least we know we're making a difference...