Time to get back to basics.
It’s been a hectic and, in many ways, interesting year so far.
Nationally, election of a political neophyte and vapid former television reality show host to the Presidency raised eyebrows and blood pressures, brought hoards of protestors into the streets across the country and increased worries about the future of the nation.
Locally, the Floyd County School Board finally acted upon a string of abuses by the the school system’s acerbic, combative superintendent and fired him with two years remaining on his contract (although they will keep paying him for one more year).
A popular football coach found himself suspended for a short time for vague minor infractions that were never specified.
Lots of intrigue, not only in the country, but here in what was once a quiet area of Southwestern Virginia.
As someone who reports the news and shoots photographs for our local newspaper, I find myself writing about many of these things. I also write commentary for a political news web site as well as a local blog.
It wasn’t what I expected 12 years ago when Amy and I left the Washington, DC, area 12 years ago and moved into a what we thought would be a quiet, reflective life here in the mountains.
I should have realized that it was not be be when a phone call from a Washington assignment editor early in the morning of April 16, 2007, dispatched my cameras and I to Blacksburg to help cover the massacre of 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech.
Over the last dozen years I have appeared on cable news network shows to talk about various national and political issues, provided news video footage to CNN and MSNBC on national figures like Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and a son who attacked his state official father.
I turned down an offer to go on the road for 13 months to photograph the bizarre 2016 Presidential election because it would take me away from my local reporting activities and also because I did not want to be dragged back into the national political scene.
But I found myself writing about the election anyway for one national political news web site and for some other publications. I turned down a request to appear on a national televised panel to discuss the election this past weekend.
I’m withdrawing from any national media involvement for a while. I hope to continue writing about local news events, shoot photos of area sporting activities and concentrate on continuing to build my archive of video on the area’s music heritage.
Whatever happens in Washington will happen. It doesn’t need my involvement or commentary by me.
Got a middle school basket game to photograph tonight. The high school basketball season is gearing up. The Floyd County Board of Supervisors meets Thursday. Area high school winter sports gets underway in full force after Thanksgiving.
The late Congressman Tip O’Neill, Speaker of the House when Amy and I arrived in Washington in 1981, said “all politics is local.”
So are the news and events I like to cover and that is where my focus will be and will remain for the future.