Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Calm Before The Storm

In the event that you've been living under a rock for the last 9 months, allow me to enlighten you to a few historical events you might've missed:  Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 60th year as England's crown jewel, Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse and as a result will spend the rest of his days as a pin cushion for some Bubba in a Pennsylvania Jail, we just landed on Mars... again, and this time next month, the fair city of Charlotte, North Carolina will still be in the earliest stages of recovery from the the biggest political spectacle this city has ever seen... The Democratic National Convention.

Over 35,000 politicians, delegates, constituents, journalists, protestors, celebrities, and even the average looky loo will converge on the city of my birth and nominate Barack Obama as their choice for the Democratic party's presidential candidate.

The locals who are smart are getting the hell out of dodge, and rightfully so, because this thing has all the makings of a classic shit show.

At a presser this morning, attended ONLY by local media, I found myself deep in the throws of the scrum, over 20 cameras deep.  The dreaded pit of camera lenses and make shift mic stands that many photogs refer to as "the suck" is a vile place that I recommend you navigate at your own discretion.

An offense as simple as moving another photog's tripod once it's set, is punishable by water boarding.  One poor soul even found herself ducking beneath my fancy cam and carefully maneuvering between the legs of my sticks to take her post.

 I even came away with a souvenir parking ticket from the city after covering this event.  It would appear that once all the media parking is taken, the sidewalk is not an acceptable overflow area.

And the topic of today's media get together? The Secret Service released the security restrictions and traffic plans for those 4 days in September that will have every news crew from here to Sarah Palin's back yard, turning a 12 hour work day.  Face it: you're going to need some serious credentials to get around uptown and the fuzz is being pretty tight lipped about just exactly where you can "enter the perimeter".

I must admit though, this thing really has been positive for the city of Charlotte.  Roads are being fixed, cracked sidewalks repaired, streets cleaned, construction projects finished ahead of schedule... any type of house keeping you can think of, it's being done and it shows.

The city is starting to look about as sexy as the queen it's named for.

In all sincerity, this is a very exciting time to be in my industry.  We'll have a front row seat for history in the making.  We'll get to rub elbows with the national media folks who blaze down 77 & 85 just in time to set up camp at the intersections of Trade & Tryon.  All things you can appreciate regardless of your political affiliation.  It'll be a time when we can really rack up the overtime, and who doesn't love a little extra money.

And lastly, it will be four days that are a true testament to something I've been saying for a while anytime someone asks "if I'm ready for the DNC?" - Nope, I am ready for the week after.


  1. Great write-up. Best line: ... "the sidewalk is not an acceptable overflow area". That's tight. Me, I kinda dread my time in The Suck. See you there...

  2. The city is starting to look about as sexy as the queen it's named for.... I like this line... 'cause it could go either way depending on your taste.

  3. Love your analogies! Your writing is such good entertainment!