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Strickly Speaking - Kasie Strickland



On Monday afternoon I was doing the same thing as pretty much every other journalist in the state — driving around, taking photos and interviewing people affected by Hurricane/Tropical Storm/ Whatever-you-want-to-call-her, Irma.

Or, that was the plan.

Normally, I don’t have any problems when it comes to tracking down a story: A phone call tip, quick private message on Facebook, a lucky catch over the scanners — and I’m there, camera in hand.

More than once I’ve simply stumbled across news while going about my day because in this profession, over time, you kind of develop a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

Or, so I thought.

To my extreme irritation, Irma was proving to be an elusive creature to catch in action and after a cold, wet and rainy day driving around looking for damage to shoot — and coming up empty handed — I gave up, packed away my camera gear and was headed home.

I had just picked up my son from the in-laws and was driving down Brushy Creek Road, at this point looking forward to nothing except for changing into some flannel pants, eating casserole and sipping on a glass of red wine when Irma decided to bring the storm to me.

How nice.

Right in front of me, a tree fell on a power line, blocking off Brushy Creek Road — and guess who no longer had her camera on her? That’s right.

Figures.

Cops and utility worked showed up with flashing lights and bucket trucks to secure the scene and here I am juggling a two-year-old and trying to take photos in the rain with an outdated crappy iPhone.

I kicked myself the whole way home for not keeping my camera gear with me.

Lesson learned.

As luck would have it, a couple of the shots turned out decent enough for me to use but the situation was … let’s just say … less than ideal. (Apparently Mother Nature has zero respect for newspaper reporters just trying to make a deadline.)

When I got home that night my husband laughed at my whining of hardly having any photos and reminded me that we do live in Pickens County — was I really hoping for mass carnage and destruction?

Now, don’t judge, but honestly, yes and no.

Let me explain! Did I want the Upstate destroyed by a hurricane? Floods and debris and casualties? Of course not. I have the utmost respect for life and I don’t want that to happen anywhere, certainly not my home.

But … On the other hand, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a teeny bit excited about the idea of reporting first hand on a natural disaster. Am I terrible person? Eh, maybe. But it’s not like I was the one causing mayhem and destruction … A storm either hits or it doesn’t, it’s not my fault.

OK, OK, deep down I know that not having a lot of damage to cover was a good thing — I really do.

But you know those reporters you see on TV in ponchos who stand in knee-deep water and get clobbered by flying stop signs while trying to cover storms?

Most people — most sane people — when they watch coverage like that, say “Who would do that? Why would they want to?” and “You couldn’t pay me enough.”

The answer is Me. I would do that. Happily.

Just as soon as I get out of my flannels and finish my wine.

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Strickly Speaking

Kasie Strickland

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at kstrickland@championcarolinas.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at kstrickland@championcarolinas.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.

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