Cops, EMS, Firefighters, Lasso-toting Cowboys, Children and a Grandma rallied to track down a heard of cattle that escaped their captivity.
The assignment was to investigate a report of a hand grenade found by children in the a backyard. The hand grenade report turned out to be bogus, but serendipity of that moment led me to a much better – and much more fun – spot news story.
Cowgone is one of several in a series of stories that allowed me to win an Emmy for best TV News Photography.
A reporter for WSPA in Spartanburg, S.C. was attacked while covering a murder investigation.
According the the WSPA Websitereporter Charmayne Brown and was standing on public property when a group surrounded her and started punching. Brown says she was across the street from the victim’s house when family members began yelling at her to leave.
Brown says the group was also yelling racial slurs at her and her photographer. She says one of the women in the group then rushed at her, punched her and dragged her to the ground. She says at that point it’s hard for her to recall what was going on, but WPSA’s satellite truck operator Ray Daubenspeck says he also saw the woman punching her. He called 911, picked up a camera and began recording video. Charmayne says at least two other people joined in on the attack as her photographer tried to pull them off of her. Source: WYFF & WSPA
Bamn! It’s just been kicked up three notches. No, not a spice-injected fried turkey or zesty meatballs, my life. Although, metaphors for the first two could probably be fashioned.
My lovely wife is pregnant and feeling it hardcore. Must have something to do with her pregnancy category, that of advanced maternal age so says the physicians general. Then there is the fact that today, July 27, 2007, is her last day of work. She starts a new job on Monday.
In addition, I’ve just returned from my 20-year class reunion. This is where I figured out that I’m finally too old to hang out with the boys for four days in a row. They’re too old also. It didn’t stop us; the after effects just tend to linger longer.
I saw on several accidents my 9-hour drive home. Being in a sentimental state of mind, I started thinking about all of the lives affected by such tragic events. Will those people live or die? Will they be brain damaged or have a full recovery? Do any of the accident victims have a pregnant wife?
Any of those accidents could have involved me. Who knows, really, if or when it might happen? It’s not something about which that I concern myself by thinking. However, the question that I pondered most was that of memory. Will the victims remember what happened?
I want to know, so I’m going on record right now with a request. Should something –anything- tragic happen that leaves me unconscious or unresponsive in a hospital, I want my friends and/or family to document everything. I want photos. I want video. I want interviews with family and friends during the process. I want tears and stories and laughs. I want physician progress reports to the family video taped. I want a video camera by my bed so that any visitor can pick it up at any time and document what’s happening.
If rehab is involved, shoot it. If I have convulsions, shoot it. If I’m drooling all over myself, shoot it. Interview my friends and family at my bedside, in the waiting room, or taking a smoke break. Do not ponder any questions of integrity or morality or scruples. If you have such discussions, shoot those too, but do not haggle over what seems right or wrong. It’s my life, and I give you unwavering and unquestionable permission to document any and all progress (or lack thereof) and/or state of being.
The only person who can request that you stop documenting is my wife; not my mother, my brother, or anyone else, and only if you, the shooter, believe it’s detrimental to her present well being. The next day, start shooting again.
Should I die, give all documentation to my brother, first, or my wife, second. My eldest child, at the appropriate age, should be given possession of the documentation to do with as she/he pleases. Should my wife want possession, all documentation can be given to her with a promise that she doesn’t destroy it.
Why? That’s easy. When I recover, I want to know what happened. I want to see what I looked like, sounded like, acted like. I want to use my experience to help others, if possible. Memories during such emotional states are simply unreliable. Videos and/or photos don’t have such issues.
Yes, I know, it seems like a morbid, slightly strange request. The funny thing is, I’m in a great mood. So many positive things are happing in my life that I can’t even begin to explain. However, I can’t seem to get these thoughts out of my head.
A good portion of my life revolves around documentation. It’s my gift. My documentations of the lives of others could easily tell a significant portion of my life story. So it only stands to reason that when I can’t document what could possibly be a major hitch in my stride, should it ever happen, I need my family and friends to do it for me. It would be the greatest of favors.