As soon as I found out my contract wasn’t being renewed I began to reach out to TV stations in-and-out of Connecticut. I knew I’d be in Florida and California (two places I’d enjoy living in) so I ‘carpet bombed’ news directors in those spots hoping for a nibble. Sure enough I soon got this:
What day works for you?
It was from a news director at a station in San Diego. I was excited… very excited until he added in a later email
Monday Jan 17th at 1pm is good – what is your cell?
FYI I do not have a position for you but would love to meet you.
I did the math. This would be five hours of driving from L.A. with no upside. I started to think of excuses to pass on the invite.
I mentioned this to a few friends and they all said the same thing, “Go!”
I did. They were right. It was one of the most uplifting TV days I’ve had in a long time!
Helaine and I decided we could shorten my drive by spending last night with relatives in Orange County. She’d never been to their home (which she now considers perfect for us… can we move in there now… there’s a vacant unit down the block) and, as it would turn out, it gave her a day to spend with my Cousins Melissa, Michael and Max.
Google Maps said my trip would take a little over an hour. Nicely done Googleboys.
I would have been even earlier, but there was a scenic overlook on I-5 north of San Onofrio inside Camp Pendleton.
Of all the scenic places I’v seen in the last week this was the least! The stretch of Pacific Coast was pedestrian. The view to the east was worse. The most interesting feature was something that should not have been! Just beyond the “Do Not Feed The Squirrels Or Birds” signs was the largest scurry¹ of squirrels I’ve ever seen!
I got back in the car and headed south.
I’m not going to name the station nor the news director I saw, but at this moment I would crawl over broken glass to work for him. I am assuming he does not read the blog, so this is not a suck-up… though I am not above that if I thought it would help.
He was supportive of his people, embraced technology and never once cried “woe is me” over the sorry state of TV in general or TV news in particular. He was genuinely proud of what they were accomplishing on a daily basis.
The news facility was recently built from the ground up. It looked comfortable. Being in San Diego some of what went on-air was actually being done outside. There was even a chromakey wall out there large enough park a convertible in front of. It looked like a drive-in theater!
He pointed to an area where the reporters worked in close proximity and talked about collegiality. Be still my heart.
Do I wish there was a job? Yes, of course. Even without one my visit restored some of my boyish enthusiasm which has been partially ground away over time.
To my friends who suggested I go–thanks.
Postscript: Not one cloud all day. Not one.
¹ – There is some dispute whether there is or should be a name for a group of squirrels. Experts say they are solitary animals. It didn’t seem that way to me. Scurry is the accepted word by those who are willing to look past the solitary nature of most squirrels.