Sunday, July 27, 2008

Death Before Coffee

Monday morning blog.

I've given up coffee.

It wasn't a good morning for it.

I'm behind a few stories for the Small Metropolitan Newspaper I write for in my spare time. Those are due this afternoon or early tomorrow morning. The paper goes to press on Tuesday afternoon. Cutting it short, but it was nice having some time off to catch up from my vacation last week.

I love vacations but it's hell on my schedule. I'd like to say I could just go without a schedule but nothing would ever get done.

Fortunately, the new mystery book is in good shape so I don't have to think about that.

I drive around thinking what I'm going to write about and who the lucky person will be to fill in that gap for me. Could be a county or city official. They're easy targets because they want to talk as long as you say what they want their constituents to read. Could be someone with a really big watermelon or whose storage shed was torn apart by something the Weather Service doesn't want to call a tornado. We call these Micro Bursts now. I haven't had a complete definition for this, but I'm sure there's a story somewhere.

I'm passing coffee shop now. I managed to get out of the house without one but will I make it into town with only water in my cup? It's a challenge.

The Mayor calls me about a possible story but it won't make it past the editor. Everyone knows the Mayor has a way of stretching the truth. Better luck next call when a driver calls me to say a man is trapped in a ditch under some heavy equipment. If I get there right away, I might be able to catch it for the paper.

I reach the scene and ditch my car to walk between the dozens of medics and EMS trucks along with fire fighters and police officers. I see a friendly face and ask about the man in the ditch. We walk behind the barricades and I can see where they're digging. The tunnel where the man was working collapsed on him. There's an apparatus that could've been used but they didn't want to take the time. No one knows who the man is yet or no one is saying.

I'm there at nearly the end of the project. The man has already been underground for too long. By the time he's brought up, he's pronounced dead at the scene. All that's left is to talk to the police chief then the construction supervisor. No, he didn't tell the man to go down without the proper equipment. Of course not.

I talk to everyone I can at the scene and take a photo of the man on the stretcher under a blanket as they make room for him to be moved. I take another photo of the trucks and cars beside the open hole which now marks where this man died, in case the editor is too disturbed by the first shot.

I wanted a story and I got one. Maybe not the one I wanted. I head back to the coffee shop before I go on to the office. I'll try to give up coffee again tomorrow. Maybe.

Joyce Lavene


Lynette Hall Hampton said...

Great Picture, Joyce. I'm sure you needed the coffee after finding your story. This could be the start of your next mystery..

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Not to sound like somebody's mama or anything, Joyce, but won't you get a headache if you go cold-turkey-no-coffee? When I tried to give it up (didn't get far), I did half decaf, half caffeine and boy, I still had the headache from Hades...

Love the picture!

Judy5cents said...

A tendency to stretch the truth must be an unwritten qualification to become mayor. That and loving to see yourself talking on television. The mayor of Wilmington will talk to anyone about anything.

©Hotbutton Press said...

The new blog looks great! My favorite colors, too. :)