Friday, July 14, 2006

Birth of a Reporter

Hey, all! Leslie Brymes here, reporter for the Kanner Lake Times (published every Wednesday). And driver of the coolest car you've ever seen--a bright yellow VW with pink daisy petals on the doors. Got that car when I graduated from high school two years ago, and it's definitely my baby.

Isn't this blog thing just fab? What an awesome idea Bailey had! Wish I'd thought of it first.

So. Me. I grew up in Kanner Lake. It's a great little town in a beautiful area. I grew up boating on the lake and taking walks in the forest. Now I work full-time for Jared Moore, owner of the Kanner Lake Times. We have an office on Main Street, just up the street from my favorite place in the world, Java Joint. (Can't go a single work day without at least one of Bailey's biggee lattes.)

So how did I become interested in journalism? I think I was born interested. Always poking my nose into situations and trying to solve mysteries. Kanner Lake's very own Nancy Drew. The mystery that totally pushed me into going toward journalism happened two years ago, when I was a high school senior.

Things started disappearing at the school--items that would take some planning to steal. A plaque in the principle's office. An entire shelf of books--and the bookcase--from Miss Trudedale's English lit class. A bunch of cheerleader pom-poms from the gym. (Oooh, did that make them mad!) And other items.

I wanted to get to the bottom of it. But as much as I tried, I couldn't find who did it. Somebody was really being sneaky.

Then the worst theft of all--at least for us seniors. Four long, pretty benches had been donated to the school by a landscaping company the year before. By unspoken rule, seniors got first pick over underclassmen for using those benches. At lunch in the spring there was always a stampede to get a place on the benches. As soon as the bell rang, the race was on. On this particular day I was among the leading pack, galloping down the steps and out the door when the couple in front of me pulled up short. I slammed into the back of them, books flying. Ended up landing on my rear and tearing a very good pair of embroidered jeans, drat it all.

When I picked myself up, I saw what the others were staring at. Empty spots where the benches had been. All four of them--gone!

Hey, stealing a plaque and books was one thing. But for seniors, this was war.

I bought a Steno pad and stalked the halls during school days, interviewing people and taking notes. Finally, due to my diligence, a picture began to emerge of the culprit. I kept my findings to my self until I was sure who it was. I was so proud of myself! I'd done what no one else could do. I went to the culprit privately and revealed what I knew and what evidence I had. Told this person that I would tell no one as long as everything was returned. Especially the benches.

The culprit said it was all a joke anyway. One night everything was returned to the steps of the school. As for the benches, they were put right back where they belonged.

To this day I have never revealed the name of the perpetrator and never will. That experience taught me sleuthing, and it taught me the value of a protected source. (Okay, in this case the source was guilty, but that person did make things right, so I let it slide.)

From then on I hounded Jared Moore for a job at the Times. And knowing my victory at the school (of course, he wrote up the story for the paper), he hired me.

Now here I am, reporting on town events and waiting on my big break. Some day it'll come. I was really excited when world renowned movie star Edna San moved into an estate just outside town. I wrote numerous stories on how she bought her property and moved in. She's been here awhile, and that excitement has kind of died down now, but I still keep an ear to the ground in case she makes news. But in the meantime don't ask for gossip about her, because that I won't do. I'm not a gossip columnist. I'm a reporter on my way to fame--and dontcha forget it.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 6:00 AM
Go girl!

Bailey said you were posting today.

Ahem... No gossip... RIGHT!

Anyway, I think your going to make it BIG someday. Maybe even Spokane!
Posted by Anonymous Wanda Coffee : 11:35 PM
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Posted by Blogger Malia Spencer : 9:57 AM
Leslie, you make being a reporter sound like fun. Hope you make it big!
Posted by Anonymous Carly Suggs : 11:42 AM
Yup, Leslie, I've known of your ambition. You'll make Kanner Lake proud some day.
Posted by Anonymous burt laroy : 11:44 AM
i miss high school. hahahaha
Posted by Anonymous Knight of Malta : 2:06 PM
Ah, the old Edna San movies. She's right up there with Joan Crawford and the rest. They just don't make movies like that any more.
Posted by Anonymous Elizabeth Monty : 2:58 PM
I agree with Ms. Monty. Edna San was my favorite.

Leslie, we'll be watching for your name in lights. TV news show lights, that is.
Posted by Anonymous r.j. hager : 2:59 PM
I've enjoyed seeing my byline on a few feature articles myself. I say go for your dreams, Leslie.
Posted by Anonymous fred wiley : 4:09 PM
Both the car and the job sound really cool. Nice to "meet" you.
Posted by Blogger Gina Holmes : 4:54 PM
Leslie, you keep working hard young lady and make us all proud! Also, slow down in that flower-flyer you drive . You about ran Bev over last week.
Posted by Anonymous Angie B. : 4:58 PM
Let me tell you, this girl here...she don't need none of Bailey's coffee to keep her running around!
Posted by Blogger Jake Tremaine : 6:34 PM
I gotta' hand it to ya' girl, ya' got a lotta' spunk! Especially where that Edna San is concerned.

She wasn't very nice to you on that first interview, but then again I've noticed her being not so nice to other people to...but you still got a lotta spunk!

You stood right up to her and got the facts for your story. You go, girl! I can't wait to read the paper next Wednesday.
Posted by Anonymous darla bloom : 8:42 PM
Hey Lesley! Great to see you posting.

I just love that little car of yours. I wish I had got it first. ;-) I'm so envious every time I see you zoom on past.

Can't wait to read more about your fabulous job.
Posted by Blogger Kanner Lake Resident : 9:39 PM
I've just found this site while I was looking for information on the Coeur D'Alene area. I have some friends who just moved there and I'm going to be visiting them soon. But since they'll be working, I was looking for day trips for myself and Kanner Lake is definitely on my list. I can hardly wait to try Bailey's coffee.
I look forward to reading more before my trip.
Posted by Anonymous Karen Eve : 12:18 PM
Oh Leslie, I just love your car you know. It reminds me so much of the sixties. I'm so proud of you. You actually remind me of me when I was your age.
BTW (that means by the way, in case you didn't know) I framed your picture of you know who in his 'shorts'. I'm still laughing.
Posted by Anonymous Angie Brendt : 12:26 PM
I almost got mad to read this, but you didn't break your promise. So, yeah, it's been a few years since the "bench incident." Glad you kept your word. I promise I'm not stealing any benches these days.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 1:31 PM
That's my girl. Leslie, I remember all those days you pestered me in my office about getting that job. I recall you bringing me a few of those Java Joint Lattes to kiss up too. The truth is, I had my doubts (how serious of a journalist could anyone who wears that much pink be?) You proved me wrong though, young lady and I'm proud. I don't even mind all those coffee breaks you take at Java Joint-- you and I both know that those regulars are our best sources!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 8:17 PM
What an awesome sounding car. And I bet Bailey's coffee is just as great. I can't wait to spend my vacation there. It'll be great to hang out at the Java Joint and meet y'all.
Posted by Blogger Pammer : 10:23 PM
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