Every summer, until I was about seven years old, my sister and I would spend time with my grandparents in a little town outside of Albany, Ga called Baconton. Unlike the name, there wasn't much 'bacon' but plenty of pecans, sugar cane, berries and other vegetables my grandfather. I remember dinnertime being a feast. I can taste the Lipton tea sweetened to perfection by my grandmother. Savory pork chop and cornbread that looked like pancakes that many call 'hoecakes' but we called 'dog bread' because that was the food they would feed to their dogs. I remember fondly laughing at how my grandfather would drink his after-dinner-coffee or before-bed-coffee. He managed the longest slurps with every sip he'd take because, well..., "that's how you drink coffee," he'd say.
My favorite memory of those summers spent with my grandparents was sharing the recliner next to my grandfather's chair with my sister. Every evening after dinner we would watch the local and national newscasts. He and my grandmother would watch the news intently. Clinging to every word, every update, every story. Soon after their daily dose of news, we would almost always enjoy an episode of Wheel-of-Fortune. We had fun trying to guess each word puzzle while bonding with our grandfather in a way that would impact my life forever.
You see, my sister and I didn't realize that my grandfather couldn't read or write. He had only completed the third grade, so the only way he got his news was by watching it. And when we would watch the "Spin-the-wheel" show it was because he was teaching himself how to read. So, at the age of seven, I knew I wanted to become a journalist. I wanted to help people like my grandfather and my grandmother, who only had a sixth-grade education, stay informed and be included in conversations concerning the world around them.
I love being a journalist. I enjoy using the camera as my pen to tell stories, and I appreciate the art that is journalism that connects people to the world around them and all the amazing people in it.
If you are reading this -- THANK YOU for visiting my page! Feel free to contact me if you would like to collaborate on any video projects or to share a good laugh over coffee.