My Dad was the local newspaper photographer when I was a kid, for the ‘Narragansett Times’. Later when a big out-of-state company bought it, he and others left to start the local ‘South County Independent.’ Occasionally when a big story came around (like the North Cape oil spill in ‘96) I would sit in a room somewhere with him and members of the Associated Press. It was big excitement, everyone from different places, chatting over free coffee and donuts, press passes hanging around their necks or clipped to pockets. As a kid I was free to dash around a bit, say hello to folks from out of town, listen to conversations for possible unknown news details (or so I always hoped), climb chairs until someone told me to stop it, grab a donut—and once PIZZA! The North Cape oil spill again… there was a McDonald’s breakfast laid out in the morning and more boxes of pizza than I’ve ever seen in the afternoon. That was the day I first tried pineapple on pizza, a lifelong love whatever anyone says, lol!!
It was a stressful, frustrating story for the RI coast and many of the RI newspaper veterans and Danny Dunn’s kid were eating their feelings in egg McMuffins and hash browns in a room filled with folding chairs by the sea. It was a quiet, anxious day, more serious than other times the Associated Press members rolled into town. What I remember best from that time and others was the camaraderie between reporters during long waits for new information. Sympathy to locals anxious to learn the impact to their coast line, asking if anything new had been shared since a bathroom break, gallows humor over styrofoam cups.
Today’s last panel is my version of the BCN associated press (in 1991, Baba Mouse’s Day). Bringing the news back to their own stations; hedgehog news, snake newsss, beaver news, Blue Jay news (bird news is nuanced and complicated and split between breeds), and others. In town for how long it takes to get the story, flashing press passes and pouring coffee!
February 26, 2016