Very few day’s go as planned. Some, like today, begins as a light and easy one with only 3 local assignments scheduled but as they often do, go sideways fast.
I was up on Upper Street in Turner Saturday morning shooting a photo for Monday’s paper about a young boy from Turner who has won a bunch of awards at fairs showing his 10-month-old Holstein Paddy.
It was a quiet and uneventful drive and a quick and easy shoot. I scooted back to the office to process before heading to my next assignments.
Just as I was finished uploading the cow photos, a call came over the scanner for Auburn units responding to a possible attempted abduction. A Lewiston canine was called to track the perp. It was an uncomfortable situation with the police talking to the victim as the police and Ice, the dog, fanned out.
After patiently waiting and “lurking” around, there was a momentary lull when I approached the police supervisor on scene. I explained that I was ready to push some photos to the web…..breaking news…..but he said to hold up. “We are not sure there is even anything to the story.” Off the record he relayed to me some information that it may have been a young girl that had a fight with mom and ran out back in the woods, coming back with this story. He recommended holding off. I obliged. He promised to let me know if it turned out to be valid. I have not heard a peep, so it was good I held back.
The weather was beautiful, the free food was delicious and the table was set for a great afternoon of football as Bates took on Trinity for their homecoming game. Fans packed the stands and ringed the sidelines. It got ugly real fast for the Bates team and fans. Before the first quarter was over, our Bobcats were down 31-0. I had a couple pertinent photos so I headed toward the armory. My best move of the day was finding a parking spot between the field and the armory. Both were packed and spaces were at a premium but I lucked out with a spot in front of the middle school.
I love it when I have an assignment that has visual potential. And this one did not disappoint. It was so good, I had to shoot a short video. I have thousands of dollars of video equipment that has not made it out of my trunk in a long time. Most days I just leave it at home unless I have something planned. My iPhone fits in my pocket and for YouTube videos, it is often sufficient. Click here to watch the video to decide and be wicked entertained. As I worked on my video, my stomach began to rumble. It was dinner time, but my stomach turned a different way when I heard the sad and concerned voice of the 911 center dispatcher sending units to Pleasant View Acres in Lewiston where a young child had been run over. She said they were performing CPR on the scene. Not good.
As I rolled up on the scene people were gathered in small groups here and there, obviously distressed and sad. As I got out of my car, somebody called from across the street. “Russ, you don’t want to be here!” Got that right. I told her “some day’s I hate my job” and started taking photos. I had no intent to shoot video, especially live. Even so, I could feel the daggers in my back as dozens of spiteful eyes glared at me, some people making vulgar comments directed toward me. It is not uncommon to be physically harassed or have items thrown in my direction. Fortunately, that did not happen today. But it did not ease the pain for anyone.They have no idea how much I didn’t want to be there, but it’s my job, like it or not. I didn’t spend much time as the wails of the friends and relatives of the young girl began to haunt me. Different voices today but the all too familiar sound of despair I have never been able to get over. They are all different, but the same. Grief, anger, despair. Bad news but important news to report. I won’t pontificate about the merits of being there, but if I didn’t believe it was important, I would never have put myself through it.
I came back to the office where we had a lengthy debate on just that and in the end, the consensus was that it should be published. While the higher-ups debated the subject, I went back to editing my comic expo video. I finished it up and while it was exporting and uploading to YouTube, I composed this blog after which I will head home for a much-needed cold beverage and a quiet walk with my four-legged girlfriend before I call it a night. Before I know it, the sun will rise again and it’ll be a new day with a fresh start.