Fire, Lawyers, and Journalism… oh my

It was a strange night. Not at all what I expected when I woke up this morning.

I’ve been struggling with my first major assignment for this semester’s journalism class. (Have I mentioned that I’m not a journalist?) I’ve got a story about veterans due tomorrow, and prior to this morning I had not made contact with even one potential source.

When I finally talked to a veteran’s organization in Albany this morning, I was thrilled. It was that call that led me to a panel discussion at Albany Law School about the legal difficulties facing our veterans.

As I rushed out the door after dinner, I wondered if it would be worth it. After all, I was heading out to the land of lawyers. Would there actually be veterans in attendance? For that matter, would I even be able to find a parking spot? When traffic slowed to a crawl at my exit off the New York State Thruway, I began to dread being late. That’s when I noticed the reason for the delay: an SUV on the shoulder with flames pouring out from the engine block. I swear that I could feel the heat. I sure smelled the smoke.

I was relieved to see emergency personnel on the scene, and it did not look like anybody was hurt. But really, could this day be more unusual?

Ultimately, I made it on time. And I learned a lot. Much of it will be helpful for my upcoming journalistic efforts.

More importantly, there was an excellent crowd in attendance, including a significant number of veterans. I spoke with some of them. Meeting with them was inspirational. A great ending to a strange day.

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