Sunday, April 22, 2001

Take Me Home Country Roads...

Hey Kanestergrammers!

These quiet musings are really too infrequent, and I, as your ever consummate internet correspondent, shall endeavor to do better in keeping in touch.


Well, Charleston West Virginia is as quaint as any Applachian capital city, with plenty of news and plenty of overtime it seems. I've only been here two months and have already seen my fair share of indifferent and weird homicides, serial rapists, embezzlers, crimes of passion and crimes of stupidity, animal cruelty, and basically all of the dark hollows of human existence that the general population is fortunately not exposed to on a daily basis.

Each of these stories leaves impressions with me, and there are many of you who probably giggle when I mention West Virginia. You probably get impressions of toothless women and trailer parks, but it's really a neat state with a lot of natural beauty, and it's bad reputation has no merit in reality.


I work at WOWK-TV, it's market 60, but we are dealing with Parkervision hell right now. For those of you unaware with the system, it's a fully automated technical studio that basically replaces manpower and usually makes up for its costs in about a year. But it comes with heartache and many technical difficulties that simply drain motivation at times. Often times packages you work on all day don't air because of a miscue or the wrong ID entered into the computer.We have the ONLY news chopper in the state, and that adds a bit of excitement to the news for us. We have two live vans and a monstrous satellite truck that I got to work with last week for the first time on a suspicious murder in the the remote woods of Boone County.

As I said above the news is plenty, and it covers a wide spread of issues. We are dealing with the controversial Gray Machine (video poker machine) legislation in the current West Virginia Legislature (Charleston is after all the capitol city) and so that takes up many of our newscasts, but trust me, many of us here are plenty tired of the issue. The bill just passed (finally) this week.


I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream a few weeks ago. If there's been one constant in my frantic life, it's been the city of Pittsburgh, and more so the Pittsburgh Pirates. There has only been two years out of the last 15 that I haven't been able to catch a Pirate game somewhere in the country, and on April 9th, I got to cover the opening day ceremony for the Pirate's new PNC Park for WOWK-TV. It was a bittersweet affair, with the new park contrasted with the death of Pirate great Willie Stargell, whose statued was unveiled only two days before his death. I got to meet and interview the owner of the Pirates Kevin McClatchy and former Pirate coach Chuck Tanner who led the Pirates to a World Series victory in 1979. I'll get to see plenty more Pirate games this summer, and can't wait to go back to the park. I also hope to cover the first games at the Steelers new stadium when it opens in the fall.


I've also got to see the family quite a bit in the last few weeks. Travelling back to Pittsburgh is a straight three hour shot up the Interstate, and so hanging out with my sister (who is now 16 and driving - can you believe it!) is a whole new experience for me.My grandmother helped me make the trip out here to West Virginia from Los Angeles. Her and I road tripped almost three thousand miles across every weather condition you could imagine. It was fun for what it was, but hopefully I won't have to do it again anytimes soon. But it was a memorable experience.


Well, I've talked to many people over the last several weeks. I've learned that some of the most influential people in my life are retiring at my high school, Mr. Bill Myers and Mr. Harry Adrian. I hope to get back and see them before they call it quits, and I really need to get back to Ottawa just to say hello.Blake Miller is only two hours away from me at West Virginia University, so I've hung out and it was just like old times in Korea.Rich Marincic and Rod Swearingen are living and loving in Los Angeles, and I hope to make a triumphant return for a weekend of Supercharging at Insomnia the weekend of June 2nd, which should have the ultimate lineup. See some of you there.

Rob Thiry is hopefully going to pay me a visit here in Charleston and I plan on coming on several different occasions to Chicago to see friends including Steepdogg.

And I must say that I hope this e-mail gets many of you to write to me, because communication with a great many of you has been woefully inadequate.