I need to check my calendar

The years are gone but not the calendars.
The years are gone but not the calendars.

As someone who’s wanted to be a journalist since middle school, I’ve never been much at keeping journals. Too much of a commitment. Who am I writing for? Myself? My biographer? My therapist?
Still, looking back it turns out I’ve accidentally kept a pretty good journal: almost 25 years worth.

Typical month in 1993. By now had four-day, 12-hr schedule.
Typical month in 1993. By now had four-day, 12-hr schedule.

When I started at WAGA in January, 1990, our newsroom secretary Jody had already handed out the calendars for the new year. So my first desk calendar came in 1991. Being the new kid in the newsroom, I tried to follow the lead of the veteran guys. One reporter used his calendar to write down the story he did each day. So I did, too. That reporter probably threw his calendar away the next year. For some reason, I did not.

I’ve kept them all. Twenty-four so far, 23 of them currently shoved behind my desk. At the end of each day I wrote the story I covered, the newscast it aired, whether I was reporting live in the field or on the set, and the name of my photographer. I also sometimes wrote down the hours I worked, even though reporters don’t get paid overtime. I like numbers.

March 13, 1993 -- First day of week-long assignment in Rome for Blizzard of 93. Missed my young daughters' first snowfall.
March 13, 1993 — First day of week-long assignment in Rome for Blizzard of 93. Missed my young daughters’ first snowfall.
October 5, 1991 -- Got to watch my Braves go from Worst to First. Then got to watch them lose four WS games in Minnesota three weeks later.
October 5, 1991 — Got to watch my Braves go from Worst to First. Then got to watch them lose four WS games in Minnesota three weeks later.

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the stories I frankly do not remember at all. “Nurse Probe” sounds painful, but doesn’t ring a bell. Even “Louisville Bell Stolen” doesn’t ring a bell. Clearly I covered it. I wrote it on my calendar.

After five years as a general assignment reporter, the station moved me to the nationally-renowned investigative unit. I’ve been with the Fox 5 I-Team for 20 years now.

And I remember those stories.

February 16, 1998 -- Undercover series catches Douglas County workers soliciting bribes from community service workers. Two wound up behind bars themselves.
February 16, 1998 — Undercover series catches Douglas County workers soliciting bribes from community service workers. Two wound up behind bars themselves.
February 6, 2001 -- Audio recordings made by GA prison personnel while they watched every execution since 1983. Months after this series aired, GA Supreme Court ruled electric chair unconstitutional.
February 6, 2001 — Audio recordings made by GA prison personnel while they watched every execution since 1983. Months after this series aired, GA Supreme Court ruled electric chair unconstitutional.
May 6, 2003 -- Hidden camera series recorded Gwinnett judge downing 20 beers or shots in single afternoon. He drove home despite our call to 911. He later resigned from the bench.
May 6, 2003 — Hidden camera series recorded Gwinnett judge downing 20 beers or shots in single afternoon. He drove home despite our call to 911. He later resigned from the bench.
July 19, 2012 -- Story of animal shelter director secretly ordering deaths of animals then pocketing donation money later spent on casino gambling trips. She was eventually convicted on all counts. Story goes viral.
July 19, 2012 — Story of animal shelter director secretly ordering deaths of animals then pocketing donation money later spent on casino gambling trips. She was eventually convicted on all counts. Story goes viral.

There are so many more. In this digital age, seeing my poor penmanship marking the days of my career is as old school as it gets. I like old school. As I get older, I like it more. A lot more.

First calendar given to me at WAGA. Most of the month spent covering troops at Ft. Stewart heading off to Desert Storm.
First calendar given to me at WAGA. Most of the month spent covering troops at Ft. Stewart heading off to Desert Storm.

Our news unit manager Lily Jaramillo will soon post a signup sheet for 2015 calendars. My name will be there. After all, I’m a journalist. We’re supposed to write stuff down.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s