So last night at about 11 o’clock my roommate knocked on my door and told me that I needed to write a column today.
Ummm, okay. That’s a great thing to tell someone when they’re trying to go to sleep!
Since I don’t know enough about this area to have an actual opinion or talk about anything with any authority, I’ll just tell you what’s been going on in the Land of Strange since my last introductory column.
Well, it didn’t take long at all.
I’m now as busy as can be and am once again developing an intimate relationship with the calendar program on the old laptop.
It’s always kind of fun, although challenging, to try to schedule interviews and make them fit with other appointments and deadlines and such. Let’s just say flexibility and cooperation are the mantras of the day.
In taking over the education beat here in the city and county there are certainly a lot of things I need to learn quickly, but it seems like you have a lot of good things going on in the schools.
I haven’t had the chance to get out very much to this point to meet the important folks in the school systems, but those I have met have really impressed me.
It may be hard for you to believe, but many of the school systems I’ve covered in the past don’t, ummm, run as smoothly as things seem to run here. I remember covering the renovation of a middle school in another locality that nearly ended up with a fist fight during a school board meeting. And that was among the members of the School Board!
Another School Board member in another locality actually chained himself to the front door of a school scheduled for closure and had to be cut away before being led away in handcuffs and charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. That was fun…
It will be a relief to cover the education beat when there are people in positions of responsibility who actually place the needs of the student before their own political ambitions!
Speaking of schools, I had the chance to visit Pilot Mountain Middle School last week.
Driving there was a challenge because I was on the highway trying to find the “right turn on McKinney Road after you pass all businesses.” the hand-written directions mentioned that it was right before Interstate 74, but failed to tell me there would be a North Carolina State Trooper about 18 inches from my rear bumper while I was looking for the turnoff.
I let him stay back there until I found my turn, but it’s never comfortable having the constabulary on your bumper when you don’t know where you’re going.
And trust me. I don’t know where I’m going about 90 percent of the time.
Today, for example, as soon as I finish this column I have to put the computer in the bag and head out to the Millennium Academy to do a story. this afternoon I have to meet some people at the county School Board office in Dobson.
Tomorrow I have a meeting with the Mount Airy School Board folks to try to get up to speed on what’s happening in the city’s schools.
As of this writing I have no idea where any of them are located.
Wish me luck and let’s hope the police stay off my bumper while I’m driving around wondering where I am.
I did get the chance to try one of those chopped steak sandwiches (the steak grill?) at Dairy Center over on Lebanon Street Sunday. it was highly recommended by the trusty roommate, without whom I’d starve.
A steak grill is something I’ve never heard of and never knew existed, but I’d just like to thank the person who created it. it was yummy!
It was the look and feel of the place that struck me most, though.
Walking into the place I got the distinct feeling that I was going back in time.
Tommy James and the Shondells were playing over the speakers as I ordered my meal. Turning around I saw two tables of teens who could just have easily been sitting in any 1950s soda fountain.
The cook was even wearing a Tennessee Volunteer hat and shirt! I immediately felt at home. next time I’m going to try a hot dog…
Now, if I can just schedule the time to try one of those pork chop sandwiches at Snappy Lunch everyone’s always telling me about…
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929