Monday, August 11, 2008


The year is 2005 and I'm 10 months into a 14 month sentence in Texarkana. My cell phone rings and it's Darrell, the managing editor of the TV station I'm working for. He tells me that, the next morning, I'm to travel to a small Arkansas town and cover the rototiller races.

One day later I head out to Emmerson, Arkansas on a sweltering July afternoon. What followed was an almost surreal scene, as people drove souped-up rototillers down a 100 yard course. The drought conditions that summer kicked up lots of dust and made for some great pictures.

I went back to the bureau and cut together two stories. That night, I scored one of my proudest moments... I made Darrell Rebouche laugh on the air... almost out of control. At 6:00 PM, he had to read the story out loud, but the footage made him laugh so hard that he lost track of the script and descended into a sea of laughter. By this point, Darrell was more than two decades into a broadcasting career, so I considered this quite an accomplishment.

By 10, all he had to to was introduce the completed package, and that proved much easier. While I don't have the air check of Darrell's breakdown, I do have a copy of the package that aired three years ago. Moments after I posted it, someone commented that the video was "the dumbest thing I've ever seen." Here's hoping you feel the same way.

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At 4:44 am, Blogger Darrell said...

I was so very proud. The story was everything I had hoped it would be. We had no one else on staff with the ability to handle it properly.
I know it seemed like a day of breaking rocks, but this is a winner. It holds up, too. I laughed out loud again seeing it today.

At 9:00 am, Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Having once covered some much-anticipated lawnmower races (as both photographer and reporter), I can empathize.

I'll check out the video at home.

At 5:29 pm, Blogger Ellen said...

this is awesome. its these kind of random stories... with the potential for great injury... that people love. that's why america's funniest home videos is so popular.

At 11:31 pm, Blogger Workman said...

While it was extremely hot outside, it actually wasn't torture covering this story. As matter of fact, I love covering stories like this. I was born to cover stories like this.

I want to be Edward R. Murrow, but deep down inside, I know I'm really Jeanne Moos.

At 10:24 pm, Blogger imitate said...

I'm mostly happy about your play on words. That's some good blog headlinin', there, Workman.


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