The Ol' Polisher began his first Big Raggedy dayshift Monday, finally giving me a chance to go head-to-head with him on a story. Unfortunately four young people died to provide our subject matter.
Saturday night six 18-year-old guys were out for a late-night ride. A few miles from my house they left the roadway, and four of them left this earth. Today DH and I rolled out to Denham Springs to find what we could on this story, since we didn't have any scene video with which to work.
We began at Denham Springs High School, where three of the victims were Seniors, and the fourth had graduated in the spring. A short chat with Principal Butch Wax gave us a starting point in our search to find out who these young men were. While we were there, Polisher and his 'porter arrived, alerting me that I needed to be even more on my toes than usual. After leaving the high school, we made a quick stop to grab some sound.
At this point DH was thinking that we would center the story around this tragedy's effect on the community.
"Should we get some town video?" she asked me.
"It can wait 'til later," I said. We were going to search around for some classmates who knew the young men, but my sixth sense was urging me in another direction first. "Let's go to the crash site," I suggested.
There we found a group of students gathering to form a prayer circle. I have to say that two thoughts formed in my mind: grab the camera and get close enough to pick up what they're saying, or set up on the tripod across the street and use my lens to let them mourn in relative privacy. It is a snap decision, and anyone who knows me can guess my choice.
In the end I feel that I did the story justice, and in doing so, gave the friends and family left behind something to honor the memory of their loved ones.
I'll try to get this story up on the website as soon as possible.