These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, January 22, 2007

calls abut stories i've written

interesting message left on my answering machine tonight. i was showering and dawn was asleep. she barely heard the phone ring. later she woke up and said somebody's called.

i checked the machine and it was diane daniels from channel 3. she wondered if i could help out with some info. on the shooting from the day before. the tv news stations didn't really get anything until sunday night (tv 8 talked to the two people i didn't talk to last night taht were at the house).

i thought it was interesting that chennel 3 would call me for something like that. i wondedr if they read the story and then decided to go through the phone book to track me down? who knows.

would i have helped her if i'd gotten to the call? yeah, i guess so. i mean, i already had the story for sunday's paper and we had a folo for monday, but the info they would have wanted we already had in print sunday. but it didn't quite work out. still, i have to wonder how they got my number. i'm not even sure i'm listed in the book with my full name. let me see...well, i guess through aprocess of elimination, they would have gotten it.

so that got me thinkig about who reads the paper, my stories and my name in print. no, not a glory ting, actually. it's more of a scary thing. i got to thinkin that these folks in kalamazoo read my article, possibly critiqued it, hopefully not laughed at it.

that got me thinking of other calls i've received in the past concerning other stories i've written. some are interesting, on is very weird and a little scary.

i did get a call about a year and a half ago after i wrote an article on pumpkin seed spitting in zeeland. this woman from indiana called me and wanted to know more details, thoughtit might be interesting for her kids, or students to try in a contest.

i received a phone call from this woman in ohio who was dating a man who was lost at sea (lake) back in 1980. i did a 25 anniversary on it and she contacted me. she said a couple from the area sent her the article i'd written on it. she'd met the couple years ago and she gave them her card (she's an attorney) and told them whenever anything came up on the boat and the men who were on it, to call her.

one topic drew attention with both e-mails and a phone call. i'd written a piece on the ku klux klan in michigan. it was a work two professors had made. i got an e-mail from a college student in the northeast somewhere asking me for direction to the profs. i also got a phone call from a teacher from the east side of the state wanting to know if her students could attend a lecture or documentary on the klan.

than, one night, my phone rings and i get this call from a high ranking official of the klan in arkansas. i'm chatting with this guy for something like 30 minutes. i asked him if he wouldn't mind talking to the profs about the documentary and about the klan. he refused, saying he'd only be ridiculed and let have his peace. he was not threatening, though, it was pretty intense nonetheless. i didn't hear from him again.

and so those are a few of the calls i've received. i'm sure there are more but i can't recall them.


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