The voice of the past still haunts the journalist

Their lives would make a good script for a Hollywood movie.

A woman wields a chainsaw; a man lives with a ghoSt; a veteran delivers American mail on horseback; a Shetland Sheepdog rides a bull named Blackjack; a royal veteran shines shoes for 90 years, a retired railway worker catches rattlesnakes for summer sport.


The list is lengthened increasingly.

All starté when I went to the cinema.

I met a friend walking down the street.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“To work,” he said.

“Work where?” I asked.

“Diary,” he replied. “Come up there with me.”

Five A few minutes later, I’m standing in the newsroom where an editor struts through the aisles of reporters like Genghis Kahn. “Are you the new kid?” he barked in my direction.

“Yeah,” I stammered. “I suppose.”

“So take a camera and follow this gentlemanFr.

“Understood, boss!”

“Don’t call me chief.”

“OK boss.”

A few days later, the editor sent me on an assignment he wanted to perform in the Sunday edition. I had to go out and find a walker. The man in question had supposedly walked the tracks for at least 30 years. His job: to clear debris from the rails and make sure the rails have not been disturbed.

“This is a real barn burner of a story,” the editor remarked as I left the building.

It was a great idea. But how was I going to find an old trackwalker which could be anywhere along the railroad system which extended for at least 20 miles in Fayette County.

I had a plan.

One day I will walk in one direction. The next day I would go the other.

Bingo! I was bound to bump into the watchful trackwalker as he strolledsed along the rails.

Only, I didn’t know the trackwalker was practicing his talents in the neighboring county – Summers to be exact.

I had no idea where I was going or how far it was.

I thought the mission was within walking distance, though.

But after two and a half years days of sabotaging sleepers, I went back to the log – minus the story. Big mistake!

You are not supposed to go back to the newsroom without the story you were sent after. If you fail to get this story, you are expected to come back with a better story, or at least one with comparable merit.

When I tried to explain to the editor that I had worn out a pair of wingtips and had to leave them at a local cobbler to be half insoles, he was not the least sympathetic. And he did not seems to be in loved with none of my lame excuses.

“Why do you think we pay you, you idiot!” he yelled, his jugular vein bulging under his ear like a cobalt-shaded water balloon. “Haven’t you thought of driving your car to the station and skiingng dispatchers about the man you were looking for? »

He got me there.

“You said he was a walker, not a truck driver,” I blurted, wiping tiny drops of spit from my forehead that had squirted from the oppressor’s foaming esophagus. “If you wanted me too drive…” That’s all I got with that logic. The man abruptly turned around and sped out of the newsroom as others gaped at my obvious mortification.

Reporter with a semester of journalism at WVU under her belt buried her face in the afternoon edition and pretends not to notice the explosion.

About that time, a seasoned sportswriter with gray sniper eyes walked up to me and said, “Don’t worry about it, kid. We all make mistakes. We all learn at the same pace. Some of us just started earlier, that’s all.

The next day I walked into the newsroom and who do you think was sitting in a chair next to my desk and an old LC Smith typewriter?

You probably guessed the trackwalker, right?

No sir.

This was the sports journalist. “Let me show you how we do things here,” he began. And that was my first lesson in journalism.

Morning top!