The rush of television news surged through us as the Roman taxi driver blared U2 music from the speakers of the tiny, lightweight care ideally suited for the narrow winding streets of the Eternal City. We were due at our CBS News live location across the street from St. Peter's Basilica in just minutes. Our delicious dinner of typically tasty Italian food had lingered as meals often do in Rome. The meal that started at 9:00 pm had pushed past 10:15 at night. We had to finish eating, pay the check and then get the taxi to cut a 12 to 14 minute drive into seven or eight minutes instead.
Our driver had greater confidence than the rest of us in the car that he would get us back to Vatican City in time for the live report. He made it. We rushed up a two story ramp and another three flights of stairs. Photographers Andy Wolf and Dave Fulkerson were getting the gear set. CBS engineer Malcom from London and producer Anna from Milan were true professionals and had us as set.
I was the last one up the stairs to our roof top setting at the convent. We had offered our Buono Sera evening greeting to the sisters at the front desk. They couldn't have been kinder throughout our week. They also had no idea how up against the clock we had become. I made the live shot with mere minutes to spare. I plugged in my earpiece. I grabbed the microphone. I took a deep breath. The broadcast went off without a hitch. We couldn't help but be a bit amused by the rush across town to deliver the report.
Working in Rome provided several challenges of timing, location and transportation. We solved them all one at a time and kept our coverage moving forward.
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