Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: The Best of Viewfinder BLUES

Sure, Twenty-Ten is all but finished - that doesn't mean I can't milk it for (at least) one more blog entry. Pathetic, I know, but we all have our little tics. Some folks wipe down each doorknob they touch; I drape the day in platitudes. If that sounds obsessive, it really isn't. Most nights, I forget what I've written before I ever hit the pillow. Still, there were a handful that didn't make me cringe too bad the following morning:

The Unforgiving Scrum 2When it comes to still cameras, I'm little more than a tourist, but on a totally frozen February One, I snapped a frame I'm still quite proud of. The scrum was thick that day, my friend and I was determined to bring back something for the blog. When one mother of a mosh pit formed around scissors and a ribbon, I saw my chance and risked missing the snip for a shot of The Perfect Swarm. The rest, I believe, was history.

Gerald K. Hege, Esquire 2For a brief shining moment this year, it looked as if former Sheriff Gerald K. Hege might actually pull off his comeback. It was not to be. But when the fallen lawman swaggered before the cameras looking fabulous enough to both win back his jurisdiction AND drop-kick Steven Segal, well - the fashion critic in me swooned. Black jeans, a matching Henley, a high-waisted motorcycle jacket... this gas-bag has panache! In an instant, I knew how to cover the controversial constable, not for his hillbilly-ninja history, but for his Back in Black apparel and para-military flair! I'm just glad he didn't win his constituency back. Johnny Cash fashion aide, dude's a loon...

Weed SafariJust when I thought I'd mined my past for every possible parable, an old mentor appeared out of nowhere and dropped a time capsule at my feet. Woody Spencer has always been an American Bad-Ass. Through his tutelage, I sharpened my street level news gathering skills early, long before I assumed the position of curmudgeon in the making. In Scenes From A Pot-Pull, I actually got to see a younger me in action - and thanks to my lack of balance , I can honestly tell you, it was a trip.

The Late Great Roy HardeeWe all have individuals in our past who left us better than before. In my case it was Roy Hardee, legendary News Director of WNCT-TV. Gruff yet lovable, this pioneering newsman took me under his considerable wing and infected me with his wisdom. I've been chasing current events ever since, though it took me years to process all that Roy taught me about guts, hustle and chopper struts. When he succumbed to illness early in the year, I felt compelled to Remember Roy Hardee. When his son Lee asked me to share my impressions at Roy's memorial service, I was honored. To be honest, I still am.

Deep Freeze MeIt was damn near the hottest day of the year when I came up with a little counter-programming. 'Hey, I know - let's go find the coldest job out there! How about those cats who pack boxes at the ice cream factory?" The Bosses bit and before I knew it, I was headed over the dairy with visions of wide shots in my mind. Too bad I didn't have a parka in the trunk. At Twenty below Zero, I could have used it. But then again, I wouldn't have come up with Frosty the Moron had I properly prepared for combat that day. Three weeks later, my spleen finally thawed.

Presser Stupidity 3Ever had life jump up and slap you silly? It happened to me in August, when, while wondering what I might blog about next, I noticed the answer forming before me. Some companies have a dastardly habit of blocking the sun. No sooner have the dogs and ponies been unpacked, than they usher everyone underneath one of these rented Tents of Resentment, where a little show and tell with what looks like gangsters on the run plays out far from the glare of that oh so shiny sun. Meh - it may make for comfy CEOs, but it results in lousy television. Made for a good post, though.

Small but heartySpeaking of dark spots, things looked pretty bleak back in May, when the El Ocho elders ripped the Fancycam from my grip. In its place they gave me a slimmed-down Panasonic that shot glorious Hi-Def, yet felt like an empty shoebox on my shoulder. If that weren't enough, they also upgraded our edit suites with the tough but clunky Final Cut Pro. What followed were a few painful weeks in an old dog learned to make TV by turning a few new tricks. Wracked with uncertainty, I eked out a thesis Questioning my Weaponry. Since then, I've grown to love Final Cut, but the FetusCam still feels like something ripped from the womb too soon.

I didn't do it.Luckily, I was still rockin' a full sized rig when tornadoes turned High Point into one Twisted Vista. Good thing too, as I needed every inch of glass to capture the madness of Guilford County's newly dented motor fleet. 148 mile an hour winds will stir-fry even the nicest of neighborhoods, which was certainly the case when an EF3 tornado skipped over the trailer parks and took a not so righteous dump on the suburbs. Moments after this picture was taken, I flew counterclockwise loops around the planet until everything wrecked was once again upright and whole. I don't like to brag, though...

Bill Cosby Death StareHey, ever had America's favorite Dad dismiss your on-camera query as 'fundamental'? None other but The Cos himself did that very thing to me back in the Summer and I still wanted to high-five him for it. What can I say? The man had a point and obviously I didn't. Chances are I was still chuckling over his presentation. He'd just told a room full of Bennett College belles not to act like a bunch of hoochies and, being a dad of daughters myself, I was kinda taking notes. Who knew when I finally got a chance to bend his ear, he wouldn't really dig my MushMouth impression?

Me and Betty LynnSpeaking of celebrities, you're better off NOT meeting them. All too often, they disappoint, never living up to your delusional ideals. A glaring exception is Betty Lynn, that national treasure better known as Thelma Lou, Barney Fife's faithful date. When I first met her a few years back, I was taken with her gift for gab a good half hour before I realized who she was! So you can imagine my displeasure when I heard some jackhole stole her purse. He's already been caught by the time I caught up with my favorite septuagenarian - so I smeared his ugly mug across the airwaves and stopped for a hug with my favorite gal-pal. Yep, that's Betty and Me...

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