THE FINAL EDITION
Former staff member
Drug trafficking was really starting to heat up along the Arizona border in the early ’90s. I spent a lot of time with the U.S. Border Patrol.
I remember walking through the brush with two agents on a moonless night and being forbidden from using my electronic flash to take pictures since we were being watched by drug runners. I slept in the back of a beat-up Border Patrol truck for four hours while agents tracked drug runners by moonlight, no headlights or tail lights.
I had the privilege of covering the Arizona Wildcat football and basketball teams at home and on the road for six years.
My first NCAA Tournament trip was to Denver in 1989. I walked into The Associated Press darkroom and said that I needed film processing services. The AP photographer running the lab, an intimidating 6-7 bearded fellow, stood over me and yelled at me for not calling ahead and following procedures. I was speechless. Another wire service photographer put his arm around me and quietly pulled me out of the room. He helped smooth things over so I could process film.
During this trip, I roomed with columnist Corky Simpson. I finished transmitting photos at 3 a.m. after the game – it took 30 minutes to transmit each photo in those days – and crept into the hotel room to sleep. At 6 a.m., the drapes were thrust open to daylight. I bolted from bed to Corky proudly proclaiming that he was going out to run. I knew it was going to be a long, sleepless tournament.
I worked some strange hours to cover for P.K. Weis, the photo editor, when the Citizen was a true afternoon daily.
I woke up at 2:30 a.m. each day one week to make it to work at 4 a.m. to cover P.K.’s shift. Then-Managing Editor Dale Walton strolled into the newsroom about 4:30 a.m., with coat and tie and ready to tackle the news day. By the news meeting at 5:30 a.m., the tie was loosened and he looked completely disheveled and exhausted.
It was then I knew I never wanted to be a managing editor.
The same day, I fell asleep on the shoulder of the sports editor during the afternoon meeting.