Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Small Town Reporting and End-Over-End Car Crashes
There was an end-over-end car crash in the tiny town where I worked on Fridays. The small town newspaper I wrote for would loan me to their affiliate one day a week. It was biggest news since someone had fallen off scaffolding right in front of the newspaper office (he was uninjured). My editor called and told me to go to the scene and take a picture, but since I was in the small town I'd only worn jeans and a hoody, and I'd spilled coffee all over my chest the moment the phone rang. I told him I didn't have a camera, which was true since the newspaper only had one digital camera and it was in his car. Over the phone he directed me to a bottom desk drawer that contained a pristine Polaroid Camera that looked like it came out of a 1979 Sears ad. I was instructed to go to the scene in my fire-engine red Chevy Cavalier and take a Polaroid of the accident, which we would later scan. The weirdest thing about small towns is that no one says anything when a guy with coffee spilled down his chest hops out of a Chevy Cavalier and starts taking Polaroids of a car accident scene. In fact, I wasn't even the only one doing it.