Back when I worked at KNAZ, my small town news station, reporters and news personnel alike, ran off of burnt coffee and a good lead. Unfortunately small town news really isn’t that exciting. You could cover the latest traffic fatality, or the big topic in the community at that time were “Big Box” stores coming in and taking over the Mom and Pop businesses, or town elections. All exciting, but has its melancholy moments of “been there done that.”
Now forest fires were an entirely different thing. Living at 7,000 feet surrounded by Ponderosa Pine, forest fires happen! Forest Fires are equivalent to California’s Earthquakes, the Midwest’s Tornadoes or the East Coast’s Hurricanes, maybe it doesn’t cause as mass a devastation as the first and the latter, but nonetheless, a home can be gone in seconds from a forest fire blaze.
Take the Rodeo-Chediski fire, or Last Year’s Wallow fire for example. The Wallow fire outdid the Rodeo-Chediski fire and grew to over 495,016 acres, making it the largest wildfire in Arizona history.
Anyway, where there is a fire storm, the newsroom is hopping! This is the kind of lifestyle I wanted. I wanted to be a reporter. I wanted to run toward the danger and report from the front lines. I wanted that daily excitement of not sitting behind a desk all day. I wanted that thrill.
I read stories now about how horrible people are to each other. I read about children in Syria used as human shields. About mass shootings at Movie Theatres, about children going missing and winding up dead in a landfill or field miles away from home.
It’s not just a news story anymore. I can’t detach myself like I used to.
They bother me.
They keep me up at night. I think about what kind of world my kids are growing up in. How can I protect them, but let them live and enjoy life at the same time? I do realize not all this stuff is happening at my front door, it’s not even happening in my city. I live in a great city. A great city to raise children in.
But it’s still out there.
How have you internalized the news and the world you’ve brought your kids into? Has it changed you?
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