Monday, August 13, 2007

Bama Blog Aug 1

August 1, 2007

Greetings all--

First off -- Most of you asked that I stay in touch during this year of graduate work in Alabama. But some of you may not have meant that you wanted to receive my periodic ramblings. That's OK. Just email me and I'll take your name off the list.

Second -- Don't feel you have to reply. Although, if you do, I'll relish hearing what you've been up to. I may or may not be able to answer. Can we both be OK with that, knowing that some communication is better than none.

So this morning's Star carried a feature story – front page first section – about the local bookmobile. Written by one of my fellow interns. She rode the bookmobile Monday and wrote about her experience. Described the bookmobile librarian in this manner: “She's spry at 56.”

Now I don't know about you, but “spry” is a word you use to describe people who are 96 and still maneuvering on their own two feet. Being only a couple of years shy of that ancient age of 56, I'm trying not to totter too much in the newsroom.

As you may have guessed, my fellow interns are mid-20s. Matter of fact, so are most of the staff writers. My editor is 31. One nice young man who asked me today about freelancing is in his “second career, too” – he recently got out of the Marines. Yes, I'm bemused by it all...and enjoying every minute. Each of these young people are not only intelligent, they're also skilled at dealing with people. The future is in at least as good hands as it's ever been.

So far I've written about teen museum volunteers, weather-related traffic fatalities, a police academy graduation, a three-part series on Calhoun County libraries, two stories on a local charity golf tournament, a school board meeting, and am working on dress code changes, a 5K run, and an AIDS event. Plus a couple of other shorter write-ups. I'm learning to deal with photographers who have their own policies and procedures, with the phone system, with computer routing my stories, and with deciphering various accents.

Outside of work, I'm fairly settled. Still don't have much in the way of furniture, but it makes it easy to vacuum. No TV, but I don't miss it. Have gotten a couple of movies from the library and watch them on my laptop. Banks and libraries close early around here. Other than that, there's a 24-hour WalMart not far up the street.

Got a letter from the local Emergency Management Association. And there was a note taped to my door about free tone alert radios. They warn in case of tornadoes. And there's a siren that has malfunctioned at least once since I've been here – for two solid hours between 1 and 3 a.m. warning of a non-existent disaster in the making. The other time the siren would go off – there are four different tones all together – is “in the unlikely event” of a catastrophic event at the Anniston Army Depot where they are in the decade-long process of incinerating hundreds of thousands of chemical weapons. I think my life expectancy in such an unlikely event is about three minutes.

Aside from that, the area is quite beautiful. The Star's offices have lots of windows. My desk when I am a student will look out toward a woodsy area. I'm told the deer come up to the windows sometimes. Hope to do some exploring soon and take some pictures.

Some of you may not have gotten my new address:

P.O. Box 4005 /Anniston, A 36204-4005

Phone is 256-xxx-xxxx

I love and miss you all.


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