Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Wizard of IZ

Mehringer in the IZWhile I spent the morning chatting up Hip-Hop C-lister Fonzworth Bentley, an old cohort of mine picked his way through a war-zone. Steve, a mild-mannered newscast producer, is in Baghdad. Apparently life in a Florida newsroom wasn't stressful enough, so this young family man followed a whim and applied for a position with the US Embassy in Iraq. Much to his surprise, he got it and after some training, found himself huddling on the floor of a sleek black chopper with a couple of nervous new cohorts as the sand-blasted rooftops of Baghdad hove into view...
The Blackhawk drops into the LZ (landing zone) like a stone, but lands like a feather. We scrambled to heft our luggage to the ground and move quickly away from the whirling blades of the chopper. We were all wearing 35 lbs. of body armor and helmets and trying to lug a year's worth of gear across the tarmac. The Blackhawk lifted off again and the thud-thud-thud-thud-thud from its rotors faded into the sky.

As the silence washed around us we started looking around the LZ. It was just a giant paved parking lot surrounded by tall cement barriers (T-Walls). So there we stood. We'd come halfway around the world in 4 days. We finally made it to Baghdad and there was no one even waiting for us. Never one to overlook the obvious I said, "Where the hell are we supposed to go?" There were no guides, no one to ask for directions, not even a sign with a big arrow saying "This Way ===>". So we moved toward what looked like an opening in the T-walls and hoped for the best.
Read the rest of his unnerving arrival in Iraq at his already amazing blog. The Steve I know is clever and capable. I trust he'll keep his wits about him and make it back to the states safely. While he's there though, I 'll look forward to every one of his trenchant missives from a most perilous locale. Just be careful...

2 comments:

newmediajim said...

I've dropped "like a stone" into that LZ. It's the ride from BIAP that gives you the pucker. Now they're hitting inside the Green Zone and that's scary. I hope your friend stays safe.

Tinman said...

Brotha Man! I see you are still a master artist at every level. Please send me an email, I have to ask you a simple favor. tvtripper@yahoo.com Thanks!