An explosive ride and twice forgotten suit jacket: Matt's Memo
Just as I backed out of a friend's driveway in Fayetteville and started forward I saw a flash and heard a loud pop. I thought I must have blown a tire. Or, maybe someone's gas tank had blown. I pulled to the side of the road. Looked back for the source of the bang. It happened again. This time I saw it.
A transformer flared at the top of the utility pole. It sizzled with an arch of electricity. I dialed 911. School buses were just letting out. Police responded. The fire department arrived moments later. I pointed to the hot spot. The fried transformer cut off power to a couple thousand customers in the village.
I safely finished the drive to work on a slushy March day. About an hour later I realized I had left my house with out my suit jacket and tie. It was one hour before news time. I called home. My wife Jamie was heading out. She had called my cell to let me know the jacket had been left behind. She started out to deliver it to the station.
In the meantime I started trying on jackets from the other men on the staff including Investigative Reporter Jim Kenyon. Jim sported a nice tweed blazer. That became the back up plan in case the matching suit jacket did not arrive.
Just minutes before the anticipated arrival of the chalk striped navy blue jacket my cell phone rang. I was sure it was Jamie in the parking lot. Instead it was Jamie... she was back home. She too had left the house without my suit jacket. She got half way to the station before realizing it. Now the clock was ticking, louder and louder. We were just a half hour from news time and my suit jacket was 20 minutes away.
I pulled out a back up tie from my desk drawer. I got to the studio and put on my microphone. Just eight minutes before the newscast open would roll my phone vibrated again. Jamie jumped from the car as I opened the back door of the station. She nearly threw the jacket into my arms. I whipped it on and dashed off to the set.
Moments later I was standing next to Megan Coleman greeting our 5:00 pm viewers to our newscast.
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