When “IT” happens…

Early morning assignment. I’ve got the directions, I’ve made the phone calls, I leave 15 minutes early to make sure I’m there on time — but the journalism gods have other plans.

The Navy public affairs guy said that I’d see them all standing on the side of the street, but I don’t seem them anywhere. I turn around again and again on the half mile stretch of road lined by aircraft hangars and parking lots. Where are they?

My 15 minute head start evaporates. This is supposed to be a groundbreaking ceremony on a 100,000 square foot training facility, how in the world are they hiding from me? If I miss this ceremony, my editor is going to kill me. I’m writing the story, shooting the photos…everything.

Finally, I spot them — hear them is more accurate. They are on the far side of a fenced off field, hiding behind a huge pile of dirt. Sheesh!

Ten minutes late, and slightly panicked, I sneak through a construction gate and strike out through the ditches, dirt mounds and construction equipment.

I get there just in time to write down the last line of the general’s speech, then snap the standard white-helmet-and-golden-shovel photo.

Whew. What a morning. I think I feel some gray hairs coming in…

This job is way more stressful than my last job, which kind of came full circle today, because I used to be in the Air Force. I got a little bit nostalgic today…

For me, there’s nothing quite like feeling the flight line under my feet. “My Airfield, My Domain,” was the slogan of my career field. I used to help organize events like this.

Seeing the camaraderie out there was also kind of nice. Me and my active duty friends used to always kind of roll our eyes at “mandatory fun” events like this, but looking back, there really was a spirit of teamwork and cooperation that I’ve missed out here in the real world.

After I snapped these shots, an airman came up to me and asked if I could e-mail them the photos. I wish that I would have gotten there a little bit earlier and taken some better ones…

Finally, one last thought for the day. I’m not a photographer, but I try hard to think about photos and take good ones. Which of these “golden shovel” photos do you feel would be best for the newspaper: smile for the camera formal, or hard-hat confusion personality…

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One Response to When “IT” happens…

  1. sarah says:

    i like this one better.

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