Citizen Staff Report
THE FINAL EDITION
One of the funniest things that ever happened to me was when I met the Dalai Lama.
After the press conference he walked straight over to me, pinched both cheeks and asked me in a whisper, “Are you from Mexico?”
I responded, “NO, I’m from Arizona.” He then whispered something else in my ear.
As I looked around I noticed every camera in the room had turned on me. I made every newscast. My family in Casa Grande even saw it.
When a reporter pulled me aside and said, “Oh, my God, you must be blessed. What did the Dalai Lama say to you?”
I responded, “He said I was the darkest Mexican he ever saw.”
It’s odd for the “highlights” of my career to be marked by tragedies. Major news events on deadline put a journalist to the test – the times you look back on and marvel at how so much got done in so little time and how well it was done. I can see exactly what I was doing at work when the first shuttle blew up, when the tragedy in Bhopal was revealed, when students were killed at Columbine, when we went to war in Iraq and, of course, on Sept. 11, 2001. I remember so clearly saying, “Paul, did you see that (Associated Press) bulletin that a plane flew into the World Trade Center?”
Despite 24-plus years of cynicism and deadline pressure for nearly every working hour of every working day, I’m going to miss the whole thing.
Newsrooms are odd places. They are places where daily discussions – of grammar and design, politics and current events – involve everyone within earshot and we never agree.
Journalists are odd creatures, many overflowing with sarcasm, cynicism and vitriol. I love them!