One of the reasons I suppose I got into news was simply by consuming news from a young age.
My parents never shielded me away from watching the 10 p.m. local news or the Spanish-language news that followed at 10:30 p.m. Names like Peter Jennings, Jorge Ramos, Pedro Sevcec, Ron Magers and others became heroes for me the same way Scottie Pippen or Frank Thomas did (Magers is actually retiring this month from ABC7 Chicago).
Another name I came to admire at a young age was Morley Safer. He wasn’t delivering the news every night, but on Sundays, the way he told stories from all corners of the world drew me in to listen. Last Sunday, 60 Minutes aired a tribute to Safer as the reporter retired that week and sadly died a short time later.
I work on Sundays so recently I haven’t been able to sit down and take in the stories from the program like I normally do. But I took a short break from producing the 10 p.m. news and watched part of his tribute episode.
One part in particular stuck out to me. It was the part describing how Safer got his first television job at the Canadian Broadcasting company at the age of 24. My age.
Now, I don’t pretend to think I’ll have the remarkable career that Safer did. But at that moment, after a long week of producing and not at my highest energy level, I felt comfort and a quiet inspiration. It was a good reminder that there’s not way of knowing where life or a career will take you. That with hard work, patience and a bit of good timing, things will be ok.
The same idea is shared in popular post on Tumblr that goes along the lines of how Tina Fey was a hotel receptionist at 23 and how Chris Pratt was an Alaskan crab fisherman at 22 or something like that. For some reason that post never really had an effect on me.
But seeing Safer’s career televised over an hour made me realize that (Lord willing), there’s still a lot more ball to be played and hopefully I can enjoy a career that has a fraction of the excitement, satisfaction and purpose that Safer enjoyed.
Here’s to what comes next.