You can't win 'em all...
Hopefully today I won't have to climb another mountain. I eat cheerios and wear appropriate shoes just in case. I already have huge blisters on my instep from yesterday... Water, check. Cereal bar, check. Sunscreen, check. Sunglasses, check. Ok, work, here I come.
I walk through the door ready to face whatever they throw at me...secretly praying I'll be handed an easy story that involves little to no effort. My shoulder can't handle another day like yesterday. Luckily Susan is on the desk, and sympathetic to my plight. She hands me a stack of three vsv's that I'll be shooting by myself. Sweet... I can turn up my music, drive with the windows down and do things on my own time.
I stand up from the desk ready to hit the road. First stop, the local forest service office for an interview about some upcoming public meetings. Not the most interesting thing in the world, but it gets me out of the office. On a nice day like today, I have to admit I'm a bit excited about blaring some bad chick music, and doing vsv's on my own.
Before I can make it to the photog room, I notice a shadow following closely behind me. I turn to see who it is... my heart sinks. Part of me wishes I hadn't looked... just kept walking, started the car and driven away without a word exchanged between us. But no such luck. "Hi Alec... I'm guessing you're with me?" is all I can manage to mumble. I guess the chick music is out... and the serenity of driving around with nothing but the wind in my hair... that's out too.
We climb in and head downtown. When we get to the office I tell Alec to wait outside with the gear while I go nab our first subject. I introduce myself to our interview, and Alec as well... and that's when I'm hit with the bomb. "So, are you like a summer intern or something?" "Actually no," I respond. "Alec is just here for the summer, but I've been a photographer for ch. 5 for almost a year now." I try to change the topic back to forest service roads, embarrassed, and a bit peeved, that I've been asked again whether I'm intern. Three questions later, I've got all the sound I need. I thank our interview for his time and say it was a pleasure meeting him. That's when bomb number two drops... "I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer," he says to me while shaking my hand and looking me directly in the eye. Obviously he didn't hear me the first time... IM NOT AN INTERN!!
I smile, and look away... trying not to let my anger surface. The day is going downhill quickly. I pack the gear and head up north to Briargate. Apple is releasing the new iphone today so I get some quick exteriors of the store and grab another vsv about a gala going on later that evening. By noon I've finished everything except for the b-roll I need to get on Mt. Herman. I tell my overzealous, and annoying intern that we are heading up north... and brace myself for a long ride.
We get to where the road turns from pavement to dirt and my head is about to explode. I swear if I have to hear one more comment about trucks, off-roading, working in a mechanic shop, or minivans I'm going to kill myself. I don't care about his girlfriend who used to live in Monument, or how much he likes country music. I don't care that he grew up in the mountains, and thinks that he knows where we are going and what we are doing. I'm a normally loud person... but right now silence would be golden.
I vow to shoot my b-roll quickly and get the hell out of there... back to civilization... so when a woman pulls up as I'm finishing and tells me a I should stick around for a paraglider who is about to jump off the mountain, I all but laugh in her face. No way in hell. I'm outa here.
The drive back is one sided... meaning Alec is talking... and I'm continually nodding my head trying not to listen. Finally we make it to the station... I walk in the door to scurrying people and scanners blaring. Something big is going on... That's when I hear Mt. Herman through the fuzz and chaos. What happened on Mt. Herman I wonder? I was just there...
Then it hits me... the paraglider. Turns out the guy crashed into the side of the mountain and died... and I was right there. Had I been a bit more patient, I would have had a great story. I can't help but kick myself for not waiting... just five minutes to watch the guy jump. Why didn't I stay? Why didn't I wait?
Another photographer jumps in the SAT truck to head up north, my head hangs low. I know there was no way for me to predict what happened, but my competitive nature is killing me. I could have been there... I was there! And I still didn't get it. Luckily it's just one story, just one day... tomorrow will be new and nobody will remember what great opportunity I missed. And as I leave, I remind myself one last time, that even the best don't win em all.