Friday, June 30, 2006

The mind blocks out trauma

So if you've got time to write a blog about nothing, Bob, why aren't you going to be writing Polinaut for the next two months? No particular reason other than I'm taking a couple of months off from work, and for the most part, that includes politics. I kind of want to remember what it's like to write again. I went back to some of the stuff I wrote from the two conventions in 2004 and they weren't half bad. I want to get back to "not half bad" again.
These "look backs" are not always an accurate assessment. For the longest time, I regarded a lead I wrote while covering election night at the 1980 New Hampshire primary in Manchester as the "best thing I've ever written."
I was an editor at the old WHDH Radio in Boston, which back then was a terrific station - #1 in the market. I finished my afternoon shift and then drove north to Manchester, where the coverage crew had set up. My job was, basically, writer. They thought I could. I thought so too.
I got lost and the polls had closed and the big announcement of who won would be made at any moment. I finally found the place, ran in, found my crew, took off my coat, lit a cigar and wrote:
The forecast was for thunderstorms in Boston, but lightning struck in New Hampshire tonight and it's put a charge in the campaign of Gary Hart.
See what I mean? What garbage! I ripped it out of the typewriter, threw it at the anchor who read it. As he did, another reporter walked out of the studio, not knowing I was in the hallway, and said, "I guess Collins has finally made it here."
At the time, I took it as a compliment. Now, it's one of those things you think about while walking the dog and find yourself muttering "oh, God, why did I do that" in sheer embarrassment, causing the neighbors to poke each other and say, "there's goes that crazy muttering Collins guy again."

2 comments:

GML4 said...

Leaving orbit of the world of politics... lands in an empty nest... then travels "side roads" because of some ancient TV program...

I'm not sure about this.

Bob Collins said...

God Lord! I'm Jerry Brown!