A couple of weeks ago, KXAN reporter Doug Shupe and I had the privilege of touring the Google offices in North Austin. I must say that the thought of applying to work at this office, crossed my mind more then once during our tour. Take a look at our story from a couple of weeks ago, and you be the judge. Are you feeling “Googly?
Thanksgiving Day was my scheduled day to work. I admit, while driving in Thursday morning, I couldn’t help but think of my family spending Thanksgiving without me at home. Nevertheless, I proceeded on to work. My first assignment of the day was to go up to North Austin to shoot this event called “Operation Turkey.” Some of you might have heard about this but for those of you who haven’t, it is for a great cause. Through various sponsors and volunteers the Bikini Sports and Bar Grill host this annual event to prepare Thanksgiving meals for the less fortunate. When I arrived, I was amazed at the turnout. Thousands of people were there standing in line waiting to deliver meals to needy Austinites. Seeing this, reminded me of how very fortunate and blessed I am to have my family, and it is also a reminder that things can happen at a drop of hat, and your life is not to be taken for granted.
When I stepped into Bastrop National State Park on a media tour of the devastation, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Thousands and thousands of acres burned, left behind an eerie silence. I was able to deviate from the media “convoy” for a brief second to shoot some additional video that helped show just how desolate the national forest has become. As I was driving home, I had a chance to reflect on what I had seen. Although this park is 95 percent destroyed, nature will do its thing, and it will be rebuilt and restored. Life will return to Bastrop National State Park. Below is a link to the story I shot and edited which aired on our 6pm news.
Today, Nanci Wilson and I visited the Steiner Ranch neighborhood destroyed by the fire earlier this week. We came across resident Dan Stern, who had his house completely destroyed. During our interview, we realized Dan had quite a story. He was an air force veteran and was recalled to active duty the day before he was to be married after 9/11. I turned around and this amazing sight caught my eye. Placed in the middle of is chard front doorway, the ultimate symbol of what this country means to him, and the strength to continue. I was taken back by this image for what it stands for and applaud Dan for his bravery and drive to move forward. I wish him and his family the best.
Today at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Michael Jackson’s jacket that he wore in his “thriller” album was unvailed in Austin for the first time. Although this did not especially thrill me, I can appreciate what he did to the music industry and culture as we know it today.
For the last 5 to 6 months, Political Reporter Josh Hinkle and I have covered the 82nd Legislative Session. We have filed many stories together, but I want to highlight one story in particular. Over this past Memorial Day weekend, while I was spending a much needed 3 day weekend with my beautiful wife and family, Josh spent his holiday weekend at the State Capitol. On Saturday, the members of the Legislature met together on the House floor, to honor the lives lost within the past 2 years in Texas. Josh shot, wrote and edited this story which shows that it was indeed a special day for all those inside the chamber as well.
I took these pictures of the devistating fire that swept across Oak Hill this past Sunday, which fell on Passion Palm Sunday. On this day, Christians believe marks the beginning of Holy week. Out of this tragedy, we can find hope that Jesus will rise again on this coming Easter Sunday to bring a renewed sense of hope and prayer to the people of the Oak Hill community.
I woke up this morning with an all to familiar pain in my left middle and fore-finger. I remember the pain well, as it happened while covering this story at the State Capital. While working my shift today, and feeling this pain I now feel everyday since, I was taken back to the day it happened. I want to be clear that I do not condone being hurt on the job is ok in any way, but I am glad this story turned out good, as it makes the pain a little more bearable knowing that I was able to overcome it and still put out a decent story for that day. Now, some 7 months later, I wish the pain in my finger was gone, but it reminds me that my job as a photojournalist is rarely painless, as well as life itself. As I prepare to be a father of a little girl for the first time, I suppose I will be put through more painful tests, but I have faith that it will all work out just fine, as this story did.
Today, while waiting for the Texas Senate to convene to discuss the voter ID bill, I had a chance to listen to this Mariachi choir perform in the State Capital rotunda. The rotunda is an ideal place to perform because of the great acoustics. This was a nice chance to “relax” a little before the Senate could start making their own “music” later today.