Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Soooo, you’ve been assigned to profile a state park and on the day you go there, the place is deserted. What to do? Simple: strap a microphone on the nearest park ranger and hope he packed his personality. That’s exactly what the ever fetching Nicole Ferguson and I did last week when we traveled out of market to Raven Rock State Park - a wide spot on the Cape Fear River neither of us had ever heard of. Upon arrival, we realized Tuesday mornings were a lousy time to catch up with campers, as the property was devoid of any life forms larger than a woodchuck. Luckily, the guy in the Smokey Bear hat wasn’t afraid to chat. When he wasn’t reeling off bird names like Rainman on safari, he was cupping his hands around his mouth and mimicking a certain species’ mating call. At first I wanted to join in with a Gomer Pyle inspired “Hooty-HOO!” - but since I promised my daughters I’d never again do that in public, I held my fire and silently thanked the News Gods for providing us with at least one character. As a result, the piece we put together didn’t suck at all - even if we did shoot it in under ninety minutes. Will it bring home the Oscar? Probably not, but it did make for an enjoyable morning ... hernia, bird calls and all….