Yesterday I went geocaching for the first time. I didn’t actually do the hunting myself, as I was with seasoned cacher Greg Redding and his twin daughters, Gwyn and Evie, at the Lew Wallace Study and Museum for a story I was working on. I’d heard about geocaching from my editor, who came back from her vacation a few weeks ago talking about this activity her daughters were doing everywhere they went. I was intrigued. For those of you who know me, you’ll know Indiana Jones is a hero of mine. So modern-day treasure hunting that you can do virtually anywhere sounded pretty appealing.
To write this story I created an account at Geocaching.com and contacted a random person on the message boards who I’d noticed had created a few caches in Crawfordsville. The very first person I contacted turned out to be Greg, a Wabash College professor who has geocached with his family in 30 states and across the ocean in Germany with his students. He was an incredibly nice fellow and was happy to show me the ropes. His daughters were curious little creatures and have latched on to geocaching as any inquisitive young mind might. Click anywhere on this sentence to check out my story that ran in the Journal Review.
Keep in mind, this is at the General Lew Wallace Study, the same General Lew Wallace that led the 11th Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War — the regiment that the Indy Eleven pro soccer team have just named themselves after. Pretty cool tie to Crawfordsville, I’d say.
I just shot a house fire, or at least the tail end of it, a couple of hours ago. We’ve published one photo on www.journalreview.com already, but here are my edits. More feature-y style stuff we don’t really have the space to run in the newspaper.
I had the unfortunate task of covering a house fire last night immediately after the IU-MSU game. Luckily when I get there it appeared to be contained and the first responders were wrapping it up. However, the fire rekindled at 4:15 this morning and destroyed the entire house. The owners were unharmed, but they already know they’re going to have to knock it down and rebuild. Hit the jump some photos of the incredible damage.
… And made my little brother sit in for me so I could play around with it. I can tell this is going to be a lot of fun.
This Sunday I covered an awesome event — the Special Olympics Wabash College Basketball Tourney. Fifty teams from 12 different counties all traveled here to compete in an all-day basketball tournament. I’ve been an athlete my entire life and I can’t remember seeing so many athletes — winner and losers — as happy as all 200 of these athletes were every second that I was there. If you ever get a chance to volunteer with the Special Olympics, I urge you to take advantage of it. Sure, you’ll be helping them out, but I guarantee you’ll get just as much, if not more, out of the experience.
Most of the time when your editor tells you to drive around and get some art for the front page, you come back with something pretty boring. Luckily, I came across this group of 12-13 year olds scootering at the local skate park. They were a cool group of munchkins, just having fun in the great outdoors, enjoying their last day of winter break. For the past few days, they’ve taken turns chipping off the snow and ice and practicing new tricks. Here are some portraits I took and beneath them my favorite action shots. Shot for the Journal Review in Crawfordsville, IN.
Today I spoke with a Vietnam War veteran who has commissioned and been paying for a statue to memorialize all the veteran’s of the war. He’s poured $20,000 of his own money into the project, but needs to raise about $22,250 more.
We talked about his service, his time in Vietnam, how he received a purple heart and we talked about his homecoming. I’m sure we’ve all heard stories about soldiers being mistreated when they got back, but this man was actually spat on and called a baby-killer the moment he stepped back on U.S. soil. My heart broke and I couldn’t stop telling him how sorry I was that he had to go through that.
Now he’s put his heart and soul into this statue and the finish line looks awfully far away. I’ll be writing up a piece later this week, and hopefully I can help make a difference. Some days all I care about is how big my paycheck is going to be, but days like today remind me why I always wanted to do what I’m doing. I have a real chance to help someone out and make a real difference. I’m going to do my damndest to get that done and help him meet his mark.
Yesterday I played bingo with the sweetest old lady ever in the world. Betty Hoover is 88 years old and plays at least once a week at the senior citizen center. I asked her if I could watch her play and take some photos and she just goes “oh heavens yes, I’d like that very much.” Such an adorable lady. Check out my story that ran in the Journal Review today right here.