If it's been a while since I last took you along on my daily slog, there's a good reason. Summer sucks. News-wise, that it - the past few weeks have been so devoid of general interest, I've found myself sleepwalking through three out of four assignments. My training helps. See, I'm a graduate of the Walter Mitty School of Not Really Paying Attention. If I hadn't misplaced my diploma seconds after receiving it, I'd show you - but just know that I can record every word of a public speaker and not hear a damn word he said. You sit through a thousand droning monologues and see if you don't tune out while you zoom in. Besides, how much gray matter do you need when you're playing back-up on another region's scandal? Not alot, from where I stand.
But then again, where I stood was familiar ground. Exactly a week ago, I loitered outside the Federal Courthouse in hopes of filling my screen with one Charles Raymond Childers - the Landis, N.C. police chief facing child pornography charges. Were I writing the screenplay, I'd bring things to a tidy close with Chief Childers wrapping his walrus moustache around his service pistol and testing the trigger. Alas, I am but a cameraman so all I could do was skulk about the courthouse and wait for the alleged predator to shuffle out in shackles. This is by no means difficult duty, but it can make for an achingly long afternoon in 90 degree weather. Luckily, my gaudiest of tropical shirt allowed for maximum breeze circulation. That, along with unexpected company, made an otherwise dismal gig downright bearable.
Meet Jennifer Moxley. A one-woman-band from News 14 Charlotte, she journeyed from her Salisbury bureau to share my sidewalk perch. Okay, so she really came to town to chase the disgraced police chief; it didn't stop her from striking up easy conversation with yet another scruffy photog. Of course, I quickly got the feeling Jennifer struck up conversations with everyone she met as we dished on the joys of parenting and lamented the pitfalls of solo newsgathering. But the curbside camaraderie soon vanished when a passing print reporter dropped the knowledge that the man we were expecting to pile out of a county van at any moment was already deep inside. With that, Jennifer scurried off to get a courtside seat and I gathered up my gear, delighted to have a new ally the next time I find myself stalking some half-baked imbroglio down Salisbury-way.
In my business, that could be any day now...