It started out like a normal Friday.
I showed up at work a little later than normal, knowing that I had to cover a high school football game that night and would be up a bit late.
I had a 10 a.m. appointment, so I arrived about 9.
The appointment went longer than expected, but it went well. Then the first surprise of the day hit me. There were photos due for a special insert on Monday. No biggie, just something I hadn’t planned for, but my staff and I got them done in time.
Then I called Alexander City, the home office of our parent company, to see if they had an extra laptop I could use. They did, so I went to pick it up, thinking anything better than my old sticky keyed laptop would help.
On the way back from Alex City, laptop in tow, my truck started cutting out. It felt like I might be running out of gas, but, no, I had plenty. I began to wonder if I would make it home so that I could swap-out and use my wife’s car to go to Vincent, where my ballgame was being played.
My wife wasn’t happy about the swap and me basically leaving her without transportation, but, in the end, she understood. So when it came time to go to Vincent, I left in her car, comfortable in the knowledge that I would make it back home that night.
Vincent, Alabama is 15-20 miles north of Highway 280, located on Highway 25 north of Childersburg. It’s not a terrible drive from here, mostly 9 or, if you choose, 231, and 280. But, other than a couple gas stations and the schools, there is nothing in Vincent. As a sportswriter or someone covering a night-time sports event, you’d like to see a McDonald’s directly across the road from the school. They always have wifi and the closer to the game you’re covering, the better.
That wasn’t the case Friday night. The closest wifi was at McDonald’s all the way back down 25 on 280 in Childersburg. So I booked it there, got out the laptop I’d borrowed from Alex City and started to get my thoughts together to write.
Or, in this case, try to write.
I’m still not sure whether the laptop is just generally on the fritz, running a new Mac platform with which I’m not familiar, got too cold in my car during the game or exactly what the problem was, but nothing was working right with it. My cursor was jumping, windows were sliding off the screen to the side for no apparent reason. It was a mess. And, all the while, my deadline neared (Oh, yeah, the game had already run late).
I called Alexander City and our only option was for me to pack my stuff up, jump in my car and book it to the Outlook office to write my story.
Few cars in the history of travel on U.S. 280 have likely ever driven as fast as I did on that stretch between Childersburg and Alex City Friday night. I had to have made it in record time. I didn’t even stop to grab a candy bar – and I was starving!
So, I get to Alex City, get my story written and by the time I get back to my home in Equality it was 1:30 in the morning.
Made for a long day.
At least, I thought, my new sports editor starts Monday.
Well, about five minutes after I arrived at the office on Monday morning, my phone rings. My new sports editor wasn’t coming. He’d been offered and accepted a managing editor’s job at another newspaper. Can’t really blame him, but you know what they say about when it rains.
Finally, to end on a semi-positive note, I got my truck fixed. Only cost me $150.
Here’s hoping you have a better week than I did a weekend.