I've met quite a few characters in my seven years as a photog, but I'm finally getting to meet some people of true notoriety; two in one week, even!
I didn't get into this business to meet famous people, that's just one of the perks. A family member once asked me, after I had begun working the studio cameras at my first TV job, if I had met anyone famous. I asked her what she meant by famous: anchors and reporters, of course. They didn't count, in my book, but these next two guys certainly do.
Two weeks ago I was on call. Occasionally this requires me to stumble out of bed and drive to some calamity at an obscene time in the darkest hours of the night. Usually it just means an early detour on my journey to the station. This week found not one but two such incidents.
The first was a trip to Capitol Middle School, where the students were hearing from a guest speaker. This was none other than the man who put the DMC in RunDMC. I felt bad for Gus, who was supposed to be covering this event as the morning photog, but he was diverted to more urgent news.
Listening to DMC speak is a treat, and I recommend it if he's anywhere near you. He held the students and adults attention for a solid hour, which is no easy feat. Even harder to do is to keep me rolling after I've gotten the standard sequence of shots, but I happily rolled a full tape on his speech.
Afterwards I had the task of interviewing him solo. It's not really a big deal after seven years of shouldering a lens. Some of you might scoff at relinquishing the mic, but who am I to keep the mic out of the hands of a true MC? He was even cool enough to pose for pictures with most of the adults there, including yours truly.
So that was Wednesday, and I thought I'd had all the excitement for the month. Friday I swapped shifts with one of the night crew so he could leave early for vacation. Even though I sent an e-mail about the change to everyone in the newsroom, I still got a call from the desk at 8 AM to swing down to Gonzalez to shoot a check presentation at 9 AM. Since I wasn't due into the station for another five and a half hours, I wasn't too pleased. My mood got worse when I found that the morning photog was diverted to a structure fire that was 12 hours hold. To make things worse, it was only about 10 minutes from my home; a 25-30 minute drive for him.
Heading North to the station from Gonzalez I was told that I would be picking up a reporter and turning around, traveling back South to New Orleans, where we would interview this guy:
Bob Woodruff is also a class act. I guess getting blown up will do that to a guy. He was speaking to the Acadian Ambulance Paramedic of the Year banquet. He's coming right along with his therapy. I didn't notice any speech impediments, and he said that reporting is the best therapy he can get right now, because it forces him to exercise his brain, allowing him to recover his speech.
The rest of the day was mostly uneventful, except that I had to stay on until 10:30 PM.
I got one more call before the week was over, and I found myself camped out at Metro Airport, waiting for Roscoe to arrive. His name is now Mike VI to millions of LSU fans, but I like Roscoe better, so that's what I'll call him.
Maybe he'll catch those Duke boys one day. Ooooo-jijit!