NORMAN — Sometimes it’s hard to be a journalist. We have to approach people we don’t know and ask them questions. Often, those questions come at times when people don’t really want to talk to anyone, especially the media.
We are perceived in movies to be cold, heartless and unwilling to see the good in the world. We are forced to go to banquets where we have to dress nice, something journalists don’t really like to do, and make small talk.
You’d think we’d be good at small talk, since that’s the nature of our business, but some of us still struggle. We also try not to show our emotions when we are out on an assignment.
Earlier in my career, my beat was crime and courts. I spent many hours inside an Oklahoma courtroom hearing verdicts that changed people’s lives forever. At times, I knew the individual in question was guilty and I knew they deserved punishment, but it was still hard to watch.
There were several times I had to pinch the inside of my arm to stop myself from crying right alongside a mother or father who had just watched their child become a part of the system.
I found myself on Tuesday, once again, trying my old tactic of pinching the inside of my arm, usually my left, to fight off the tears. This time it didn’t work.
During the Moore Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, seasoned meteorologist Gary England spoke to a packed house at the Yellow Rose Dinner Theater.
In the beginning of his speech, England revealed things about the early days of his life and career. He joked with the audience and told them about his wilder days on campus. Then his tone switched.
It was on everyone’s mind, I’m sure, that eventually England’s discussion would turn to severe weather. It was hard not discuss the weather, since we were all in a building less than a mile away from where, just months ago, an EF-5 tornado ripped across Moore.