The money wasn't good, the hours were horrible, but all that aside, there were other reasons I chose not to go forward in my journalistic career.
I remember it was November 1st and I parked my car and walked a block to get to where the television cameras were. A man stood outside his house, tears running down his face, washing the soot from his cheeks. Four or five reporters were present along with three camera crews.
"What are you going to do now?" asked one reporter, nodding toward the burned out husk behind the man.
"I don't know, " he said. "Everything I owned was in that house. I don't what I'm going to do. I just don't know."
"You didn't have insurance?"
"I had some, but not enough. Not enough."
"So what are you going to do?"
"I don't know."
"Is there family that can help you out?"
"Do you have any idea who would have set the fire?"
"What did the police say?"
The man sat down on the sidewalk, wrapping his arms around his knees to rock back and forth in his misery. The questions kept coming, the cameras moved closer. I started to walk away, but stopped, turning to one of the reporters who was struggling to make out the address on the burned out building.
"Got to get the address right," he said. When someone is victim of a crime, the newspaper usually prints the address and the person's name. The person who commits the crime usually hides behind a wall of anonymity to protect his civil rights. The reporter finished scribbling the information and shut his notebook.
"Got it," he said.
"I'm sure that's information no one can live without," I said.