Something you might not know about TV news (besides the fact we do our own make-up) is that often times we’re at the mercy of public restrooms. 99% of the time, we file our stories in the field. My photographer and I will head to a scene, gather the elements (get video and interview witnesses), then meet up with our live truck to review the video, write the story and edit together the piece. During the day there are always nice restrooms at city or county buildings but during the evening hours (I often report for the 10p and 11p news) it becomes a bit tricky. Recently, I made sure to document a few of our ‘pit’ stops. You’ll notice a couple of things; we frequent Dunkin’ Donuts and I have a penchant for paper towels. I also want to thank all of these shops for letting us use their restrooms (sometimes without making a purchase) and all of you who’ve offered your homes when you see us camped out on your street for a story (I kept private homes out of this blog post for obvious reasons). Sometimes knowing there’s a nice restroom in a city where we’re gathering a story can be a such a relief!
The Watertown Housing Authority had a very clean bathroom.
This Shell on Main Street in Tewksbury was surprisingly clean but didn’t have any paper towels.
Here at the Rt. 24 rest stop, the restrooms were decent but in desperate need of an upgrade.
The restroom inside this little coffee in Rockport was clean and the place poured a nice cup of joe.
This Papa Gino’s in Brighton had a very nice restroom.
Lynn’s Wal-Mart’s restroom was clean but there were no paper towels.
I had high expectations for this Lexington rest stop. But there were no paper towels.
Fitchburg’s McDonald’s was clean but there were no paper towels.
Hungry Heroes in Fairhaven had very clean restrooms but no paper towels.
Dorchester’s Burger King was clean but there was barely any water pressure at the sink to wash your hands.
New Bedford’s Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t have any paper towels.
Concord, NH’s Cumberland Farms was clean but had no paper towels.
This Charlestown Shell station’s bathrooms were ok on the clean scale.
Bridgeport, CT had a clean Dunkin’ Donuts.
Bill & Bob’s Roast Beef in Woburn had nice clean restrooms.
Attleboro’s Dunkin’ Donuts was clean but didn’t have paper towels.
p/s help a reporter out… tell me about your favorite clean public restroom!
Like the NASCAR tailgate itself, I think I might have over done it with this blog post. I’m constantly trying something new but this time it is possible I might have gone into over-kill mode. Though I suspect, if there’s ever a time to do anything in excess, it’s when the situation involves NASCAR.
On Memorial Day weekend – I spent Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway with hubby and 17 friends. We met at our friends’ Katie and Mike’s house at 10:00am sharp. We loaded into our 15-passenger van, packed 2 SUVs with supplies, and headed up to Concord. With my secret route in hand, we arrived at our lot at 10:30am. Time roared passed us like a stockcar rounding its last turn and before we knew it, a crackling voice came over the loud speakers for the drivers to start their engines. We didn’t make it into the race until sunset. The video will illustrate what we did to kill time and contains the much-anticipated definition of the portmanteau: yupnecks.
Monday was the anniversary of the “Shot heard ‘round the world.” The phrase, I’ve learned, is from the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn.” The poem describes the significance of the battle in Concord, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775 and how it became the beginning of the American Revolution. The words emphasized how one critical event triggered something of global importance. Just reading about it gave me chills. It was a turning point in our history, a bloody one; one that is at the pinnacle of the freedoms we enjoy today.
It made me think about the Second Amendment in our Constitution, adopted as part of our Bill of Rights, the right to bear arms.
You see the last time I was working in Boston, at the Fox affiliate at the time, I did a story on a class designed to teach women how to handle a firearm. Before that day, I had never touched, held or handled a gun. I knew them as weapons. I saw them in holsters, in the hands of criminals on TV, and had been dispatched (too many times) to scenes when they were in the wrong hands. I really didn’t like them and hated the damage they can inflict.
I went to the class with so much apprehension. I didn’t want to be swayed by the NRA guy giving the class. I just wanted to get the information, interview the different women who were taking the class, find out why, and be done with it.
I arrived and found there was first a lengthy safety class, then four different stations; introducing women to different guns at each. There was skeet and trap shooting. Both utilized shotguns and both targets were clay discs. There are many differences but for simplicity, in skeet the clay pigeons are released from a tower, in trap they’re released from the ground. (Serioiusly, there are way more differences and if you want to know more click here for more details.) There was an indoor shooting range for handguns and then an outdoor range for semi-automatic rifles.
I went in, convinced I would not be touching a firearm, but my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to know what it was these women were handling. I wanted to know how they got over their apprehension. I didn’t want to be just a spectator, I wanted to report on the experience. And what a better place than here and now.
What I learned was that guns are not weapons until they’re used to inflict harm. I can appreciate the thrill of sport shooting and was appreciative of the gun safety I learned. I still can’t understand the need for semi-automatic guns and I’m not sure anyone can change my mind on that one.
But most importantly, I realized, the same constitution that gives a citizen the right to bear arms is the one that allows me to report the news. I’m a staunch advocate of the First Amendment and it’s how I figure those with guns feel about the Second Amendment. That “shot heard ’round the world” reverberated the sounds of democracy. It birthed our Constitution so I celebrate it.