Just a thought…
In my career as a journalist, I get to meet and know many people in all walks of life. In the entire 24 years of my career, I have only met about two or three people in all of the world I simply did not like. The rest have been great.
Once in a while, I get to meet special people whose paths I would never have crossed, had it not been for my job.
Peter Moore, Lincoln, England, and Princess (yes, that is the name her parents gave her) Nash were two of those people. Peter shared much of what his experience had been in Iraq, and I chose not to put it all in the story. For one thing, he may write a book about it someday. And for another, I wanted the story to show how well he seems to have recovered and is enjoying his life again. He is an amazing person. Nash was also quite interesting and another whole story could be written about her life, and how interested in international health she is. Both had an extraordinary effect on my life and expanded my knowledge of people and the world we live in. Just from a chance meeting.
Another time, it was an eastern journalist. He was a senior editor from U.S. News and World Report magazine. It just so happened that he was born in Lisbon, ND and some of the staff of the magazine were doing a feature story on some of the customs of places where they had been raised. This man did not live in Lisbon for any great length of time, but he chose Lisbon to use for the story because he was born there and wanted to go back and see it.
I, of course, got to interview him when he came to Lisbon to get photos for his story. I was very nervous, because he was an important journalist in the Washington, D.C. area, and I was a lowly reporter in a small rural state in the Midwest. He quickly put me at ease as he talked about his family and we visited like two neighbors over the fence. After he returned to Falls Church, Virginia, he sent a thank you card to me telling me that I had done a good story on him. I was humbled that he took the time to do that.
I have interviewed many people over the years from children to adults who have survived cancer and other life threatening diseases. And some who have passed away, later. One that stays in my heart was a little one named Nathan, who had a form of muscular dystrophy. What was so touching in this story were the neighborhood kids who had a fundraiser to buy their little friend a great big Barney (the purple dinosaur), which they had seen displayed in a store. The kids came up with the idea themselves, raised the money, went to the store, and talked the owner into selling Barney to them. Nathan, 18 months old at the time, was thrilled with the gift. These young children showed all of us how to give of themselves to brighten someone else’s day. Sadly, Nathan died just a short time later. But he left behind a memory of the goodness he inspired, despite his disabilities.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mette and Sofia from Denmark, a teacher and a journalist who visit Rugby from time to time, and whom I have come to enjoy.
Also, Colin from England, who was raising money for Hospice. The list goes on and on, including exchange students from many other countries. All have contributed in a positive way to my life and others.
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