Wednesday, September 30, 2020

PBS NewsHour (again?!)

Add to the list of things I didn't know I'd be doing when I woke up this morning: appearing on the PBS NewsHour tonight. I just got off a Skype call with producer Jason Kane (left) and correspondent Stephanie Sy, who wanted some perspective about the new fires from a survivor of an old one. You may recall that the NewsHour and correspondent John Yang came to town last year and did a terrific piece on A Fire Story the very day Karen and I moved into our rebuilt home. 

I don't know when in the NewsHour I'll appear or how much they'll edit me down (and of course I may not appear at all depending on how the day's news goes), but we talked for a good while. I was impressed again by the professionalism and compassion of the NewsHour folks. Funny: while Stephanie was interviewing me, I got a text from Kira Wakeam, who co-produced last year's story but doesn't even work there anymore. She just wanted to see how we're doing. 

PBS NewsHour hires good storytellers and better people.

EDITED TO ADD: Just watched it online. I think they used three quotes of mine. It's a good piece that unexpectedly used some video from last year's story, which included Karen. Nice!

The story starts at about the 39:14 mark. I show up around 42:24. You can watch it at the link, or catch it on your local PBS station tonight!

I appreciate being included.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Flashback Friday!

Flashback Friday! Karen was cleaning out her office when she found this notepad in the bottom of a box. It's from my days as a newspaper reporter for a small California daily. The first two pages look like notes from a City Council meeting about allocating $292,398 to build a transit garage. The next several pages look like notes Karen took while she was in training to be an entry-level social worker. I imagine I handed it to her when she was heading to work and didn't have anything to write on.

It's circa 1985. Today, Karen is preparing to retire from her 35-year career in social services, capped by leading a department with 900 people and a budget of $300 million. I've written a lot more stuff and had a few books published. This notepad is a physical artifact of when we'd barely started on those paths together. It kind of symbolizes . . . everything.