Sunday, October 31, 2010

Election Daze

It was 1950 and I was working in radio. In fact, I had the hallowed responsibility of News Director - Copy Writer - Disc Jockey -and a few other less significant tasks. But for the moment, let's address the night I was doing a remote election broadcast away from the studios and was based in the newsroom of a major weekly newspaper.

So far so good. No problems. On occasion the folks in the studio would switch from location to location. One moment it would be from the south part of the county. The next it would be from the County Seat. Another time it would be somewhere up north.
And I would get my turn to provide interviews and tabulations from the most important R.........n newspaper in our whole area of the state. (Understand, the newspaper owner and his editor son were leading political figures at the time and thus earned a major media focus.

The polls closed and the round-robin reporting went off without a hitch. From north, south, east and west the numbers came in. The newsroom was filled with smiling faces
and cheers. Obviously the results were good in terms of the folks in the newsroom.

Finally, as the evening broadcast began to wind down, the broadcast was switched to me for the final summary and closing interviews. Interviews completed I began to do a county-wide wrap-up of statistics. I checked my watch for this was to be a ten-minute segment. However, it began to get tiresome but the time on my watch was within limits. I kept on summarizing fearing that I would run out of material. But the time was still within limits.

Then came the phone call from the studio. The transmitter had been closed down half an hour before the call. The station was closing its doors. My segment, supposedly
to have been ten minutes in length had become an over 45 minute marathon.

My watch had stopped.

Now you know why most churches had two clocks running when I did my ministry sermons. Somebody must have been in the newsroom the night I did the longest election summary in the history of that county. By the way, I don't remember ever being asked to do another election program. Oh, well...nobody is perfect!

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