Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Telling Other People's Stories

Cal Breed of Orbix Glass helping Shannon create an ornament.
I've been at my job at the newspaper for five months now, and while some things (e.g. council meetings) don't have me sighing with dreamy contentment, there are a few people who have.

Back in the olden days - meaning about 10 years ago - I worked as a summer reporter in The Villages, Fla. Yes, the huge retirement community that airs commercials during weekend golf tournaments. I covered no news. Just fluff.

Beautiful, airy fluff.

I covered square dances and Dirty Uno matches, quilting clubs and writing clubs and bridge clubs. But once a week, I got to write a feature.

And some of the people I came across were magnificent.

There the woman who'd been a Flamenco dancer in Europe back in her 20's. And the couple whose son ran with the bulls each year, and whose granddaughter had decided to join in that year, as well. They were fully supportive. I would've been terrified.

The man who'd mentored as a Big Brother to more than a dozen kids, and they surprised him with a reunion because he'd meant so much to all of them.

Those are the stories I remember. The people I remember.

And now, blessed be, I'm finding them again.

There were the men who fought for the Forever Wild Amendment. They were so passionate when they spoke about it.

The glass blower, who was incredibly patient with my daughter while she made her own ornament, and so polite to me on the phone when I asked questions for my article.

The metal worker that explained the process, step-by-step. Who showed me pictures of his greatest work, and walked me through the entire shop, dumbing down his explanation so I'd understand.

And most recently, the most charming Scottish woman, who invited me into her home, showed me her collection from her travels and experiences from all over the world. I admire her strength, her courage. I left her house and simply sighed with contentment. As much as I'd love all that adventure, I'll never live that life. I've accepted that.

But at least I get to write about it.

And that's a perk about writing - reporting - that I'm starting to understand. I'll probably never travel as much as I'd like - I most certainly won't experience everything I want to experience. But I can find the people who have. Who do. And I can tell their stories.

All the while, I'll certainly continue to tell mine. And it will be richer by those I continue to meet in this crazy, wonderful profession I've chosen.


The Mechams said...

Very true. Glad you are getting to do something you love!

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