Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dec. 26 - Lisa's Musings on Every Day Life

My plan to relax and read a warm and fuzzy book on Christmas was thwarted by the shrill beeping of a fire pager.

I'd just filled a plate with ham and yams; leftovers from Christmas Eve.

But when a mutual aid call came in for a structure fire in downtown Dexter, Christmas or not, I immediately went into reporter mode.

Alert editor, then out the door, camera and notebook in hand. Heart pounding.

Before I began my new gig covering Ann Arbor for A2 Journal, I covered Dexter for the Ann Arbor News, and before that, for the Dexter Leader. I know the town and the people; it's one of my favorite places on this side of the county.

And about 10 miles from my house.

I charged out the door, started the van, then remembered I had no gas.

You'd think after almost 30 years as a reporter, I'd know better.

Reporter's Rule No. 1: Always have at least a 1/2 tank of gas -- ya never know when you'll need to go cover something in the middle of the night, when no gas stations are open.

And, in fact, I'd tried to fill up on Christmas Eve, but the local station closed early and since I was supposed to be off on Christmas, I figured I'd just get gas on Saturday.

This of course, set one of Murphy's laws into effect.

I knew I should have turned around and driven to one of the other stations in town that was open, but I didn't.

So, there I was on Christmas Day with no gas stations open in town and not enough gas to get to Dexter.

I turned off the van and came back inside to a ringing phone. It was friend calling to wish me a Merry Christmas.

When I told her what was going on, she suggested I check the gas can for my lawn tractor.

Bingo. A full 5 gallons.

A quick fill-up and I was back in business.

Although one business was destroyed and several others were smoke damaged, no one was hurt. A tenant who lived above the business was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, treated and released.

There were more than 30 firefighters there. They, too, left their families on Christmas, but I bet their Christmas dinners, or some semblance thereof, was waiting for them when they got back home.

Unlike mine.

Remember that full plate I left on the dining room table to go cover the fire?

The plate I came home to was licked clean. And two very guilty-looking dogs greeted me at the door.

I'd also broken Dog Owner's Rule No. 1: Never leave a full plate unattended.

Yesterday was a perfect example of what happens when you break the rules. Even innocently.


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