Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Leah's Last Stand
Brad Ingram was snapping photos of a favorite coworker the other night, when he caught the essence of the late shift live shot... a swath of blacktop and a lens, a brackish mix of street lamp and moonlight. Anyone who (still) thinks their local news reporter has a glamorous job never babysat a parking lot in a dodgy part of town. Leah Beno has. For two years she and an El Ocho photog have crisscrossed the Piedmont, pixelating intrigue long after I've locked myself in my upper lair. Any general assignment shift can wear you down, but nights - with its morass of meetings and sprees of inner city subterfuge - can erode your social skills and eff with your head. Which is why I've (and others) have always been so impressed with Leah. Capable, poised and striking, this Michigan native has maintained her decorum while dealing with city politicians, fresh felons, and - UGH - TV news shooters. Through it all, she's brandished the manners of a delightful garden party guest - albeit one who'd grill you if the punch tasted funny. After tonight however, Leah Beno will no longer be with us. Instead, she'll address viewers closer to home, a big city move that leaves some of her more ardent in-house fans seeking therapy. Me - I'll remember the day in Durham during the Eve Carson case, when we jumped into Unit 4 and I backed into that telephone pole. Your reaction was priceless, Leah and unlike mine, obscenity-free. Good on ya!