Wednesday, March 22, 2006


No NCAA tournament for me, which leaves me open for much less desirable assignments.

As some of you may know, the Deuce decided not to cover the men's tournament. Instead of hyping the hi-jinx on the hardwood, I'm spending my time in criminal court. Actually, I'm not in court, but sitting outside. Last week I was covering a child molester who was married to another child molester and they were molesting children together. This week I'm covering a murder trial in which a police officer was killed while working extra duty at a Wal-Mart by a guy who was shoplifting disposable cameras.

Between these two gripping sagas, I spent the weekend at home. I took a trip down to Cameron to see how the clean-up was progressing, and to help my parents for a day. We didn't do any work on their house, but one of God's houses instead. The First Baptist Church of Cameron got hit pretty hard. The sanctuary is a total loss, but it's sacrifice saved the other two thirds of the building. Dad and I reclaimed the A/C units that were recently installed, and were spared a baptism by floodwater.

Just about the time we finished that project, a semi arrived from Kentucky. The four guys who climbed out of it had just completed a 13 hour journey, but showed no trace of fatigue. That was, of course, before we began unloading the 53-foot trailer packed with pews and chairs. Twenty-five pews and 50 chairs later the truck was empty and we were just about spent. I gave the guys the abridged walking tour of the newly-abridged town on the way to the newest restaurant, the Hurricane Cafe.

We might not have been in paradise, but that cheeseburger was as flavorful and filling as any that I've had before. After we ate the guys climbed aboard their trusty steed and set off for home. We tacked up some blue tarps to make it a bit less inviting for anyone looking for some new furniture, and made our way back to my parents FEMA trailer. I was surprised that I could straighten my six-foot three-inch frame inside, with about an inch to spare, which is plenty of room compared to the cramped confines of a news truck in a hurricane. The only place I wasn't comfortable was in the shower, which has four or five inches less clearance, but I wasn't in there long.

After a good night's rest I bid adieu to my folks and headed back to the Big City. Not only did I get to do something real, but I also came back with a couple of killer story ideas that might do more to help than I can do on my own.

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