Sunday, September 27, 2009

Got Hitched

Not since Luke & Laura or Victor & Nikki has there been this much fanfare for the pending nuptial for the Big Raggedy alums, Avery Davidson & Lauren Mendes. He rose through the ranks of producer, to reporter, to manning the weekend anchor desk. She went from student to part time employee to full time producer of the news. This union had to have followed a rundown sheet of emotion. Go to work, produce some newscasts, start dating, crank out some live shots, pop the question, work on some sweeps stories, she says yes, write some teases, he jumps for joy, edit some bumps, and send out the breaking news alert of love.

Alas, the invites were sent and the day has come. Time for two lives to become one. I knew this was going to happen. I had to be there especially since there were no fancy cameras allowed within a 20-mile radius of the place. However the memories of this day will last a lifetime, everything was beautiful.

To Mr. and Mrs. Davidson, I was honored that you allowed me to come celebrate one of the biggest events of your lives. I wish you both nothing but happiness in the future. Always be there for each other and everything else will take care of itself, did you know?

Cyndi LeftCoast

I have had the privilege of meeting many people during the decade of legislation however, this is the first time I had to say farewell to someone twice.

Intelligent, beautiful, fun loving, and a good storyteller. Those who know, and have worked with, my west coast gal Cyndi Nguyen can insert a number of good adjectives to describe one of people on the planet and in journalism. It was 2003, when a young caterpillar landed in a north section of the Boot called Monroe, talk about a culture shock. From the sand & surf of Cali to a more conservative structure way of life. I’m sure she had no idea what she was in for however she continued to perfect her craft. Cranking out stories for the local station while waiting patiently for her next step of her career. Soon she played her cards and was able to cash in an opportunity to join the staff of the Big Raggedy. Now she was on her way.

By 2004 that caterpillar had morphed into butterfly ready to handle the challenges of the Raggedy. Her charm and her left coast wit added a new flair to the asylum. Still adjusting to her surroundings, she made new friends who enjoyed making good television while having a good time doing it. Whether it was a weekend travel story or the time we lost one of our men in blue she did everything she could to make the story memorable. There was never a shortage of love, admiration, and bunch of jokes with her. Fortunately some peeps down in the Big Easy took notice as she was whisked away to break new ground on the anchor desk down there. The folks in that newsroom got a great addition. Bringing the same fire and passion down there despite having to wake up early. I would see her occasionally especially when they were shorted staffed and needed her to dawn the reporter hat. Nothing had changed, same old Cyndi. Always pleasant, always run up to hug, always giving her best in what ever she did. Like I said she played the cards she was handed and she played them nicely.

Fast forward to present day, Big Moo gets a call then hands me the phone it’s Cyndi on the other end. When get to talking for a little while then she asks am I coming to her going away party. I knew she was leaving to head home but this caught me guard. I asked when the party is and she tells me that it was Friday night & that she’s leaving for the left coast the next day. I have to tell her that I worked the night shift, I can tell she’s a little sad but she understands the cards I was dealt. However I play to win.

So after doing a live shot and shooting a couple of high school football games I make my way to the Big Easy. It’s NOLA, no party ends early down there. I find the guest of honor and seeing her smile made the trip worth it. Her bodyguard she dubbed me, I had to protect her from the masses of inebriated while shooting the endless number of tailgating stories. Despite a long workday with a quick turn around I was not going to miss saying farewell.
Cyndi I can’t list the infinite number of adjectives to describe you. Please know this your will forever be my friend and I will never forget all of the good times that we shared while you down here. I wish you nothing but happiness as you write the new chapter of life. Take care and God Bless you, kiddo.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tragic Bond

During my younger days, I was told by some network news hound that, “It we're have a good day that means someone is having the worse day of their life”. Translation, some poor soul is dealing with a traumatic experience right now, usually someone close to them. A father, mother, brother, sister someone has cross paths with something cruel.

Those cruel acts now bring a bunch of stranger together. Their only connection is the grief they share of losing a loved one to senseless acts of violence. Every year there is a service to remember those lost by someone cruel act. Every year families remember the good times spent with those they cherish. Every year they have to remind themselves that they are in a better place. Every year they remind themselves that they are not alone.

I know we are in the business of storytelling but this can wear on you especially when you feel that the circle is becoming more and more enigmatic. However, maybe just maybe by putting a face on that victim and showing that person has a family that loved them so much perhaps that circle can be broken sooner than later.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get Off The Bus

I can't explain this at all. First there was a brave kid in Yazoo, Ms who wrestled a gun from someone who wanted to reenact the scene from Speed. Now there is the brawl that makes the UFC seem like quiet time in the library.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Boots Made For Shooting

You need a weather forecaster to know what’s coming. This time of year, you’re going to run across some wet weather in the Raggedy. Normally this would call for any assignment that would garner a climate controlled scenario. Unfortunately, we are into the second week of college football and both teams, Southern & LSU, have home games.

Did I mention that both stadiums are outdoors with the chance of rain I the category of “it’s not a matter of if but when and how much wet stuff is coming down”? In addition, both have fields that can get sloppy real fast. This isn’t a good time to get sick, especially when swine flu is continuing its tour across the globe. Rain is imminent, so it's time to suit up.
Camera cover, check. Shamee for the lens, check. Rain jacket, check. Rain pants, check. Boots? Here’s my dilemma normally I prefer a pair of old running shoes but they’re going to get soaked and having wet feet is just awful. Even though there aren’t as lovely as the Daredevil’s pair at least my feet will be dry.

So I work the sidelines capturing highlights for the late news and I run into one of the grips for the TV broadcast. “Man I was going to wear my boots but I didn’t want to be the only one”. I told it’s alight besides I wasn’t here to win a fashion contest anyway.
Mission accomplished, got some good plays for the news and everything stayed dry. Now if you would excuse me, I need check out the seven day forecast.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just A Reminder

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, we would be into day five of hurricane mode with the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav laying some serious problems to the Big Raggedy. Trees would still be all over the place, the power would be out for most of the viewing area, and the constant voices would flood the phone lines of the newsroom.

Fast forward to today, and all is calm. I am thankful for that however, complacency is also, what caused many problems four years ago. As Betty Nguyen, pictured above with her CNN photographer, shows us that we are still in the heart of hurricane season. Moreover, this season does not have an all star break. Looks like the folks down in Mexico are getting the brunt of Mother Nature’s windy children.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the serenity out in the gulf but I want to remind everyone that things can change in the blink of an eye or with a giant blip on the radar.