Summer and the Newseum (…Of Dreams My Parents Don’t Approve Of)
I was back home for the summer, so I split my time a few different ways. Online classes. The Sopranos. Asking my friends to call me “Charlotte” and not just “The Media.” But one of the best things I’ve ever done was on family vacation in Washington, D.C. when I visited the Newseum.
News museum, Newseum. So clever. Not as clever as, say, Piranhaconda or Pteracuda, but still.
So it was our last day on vacation, and my dad and I went to the Newseum while my mom and sister went shopping. My dad loves museums, first and foremost, but I have another theory that he agreed to go because he wanted me to see in-America, non-dangerous news stuff.
We see one room that’s filled with famous front pages from history. History as in from around the Ferguson riots all the way back to, the oldest one I can remember right now, Blackbeard. Now, I knew the news industry has been around for a while, but nothing really drives it home like seeing an article about Watergate, running back a few feet, then seeing an article about Blackbeard.
At this point of the trip, covering pirates and their goings-on is a desirable career path.
Then, we see this car in the corner. It was Don Bolles’ car. He reported on the mafia. Then, one day, he got an anonymous tip about some top-secret mafia information. All he had to do was meet this guy at X place at X time. Don got there, the other guy never showed up, Don went to his car, got in, started it, and a bomb went off under his seat.
As I said earlier, I spent a large part of my summer watching The Sopranos, so I’m thinking about how interesting and dramatic it would be to cover the mafia.
The rest of the tour went about like that, seeing things like Edward Murrow’s desk. That was really cool because he’s basically a radio hero. I wouldn’t mind reporting live on-air during a war.
Nellie Bly’s purse. I’ve always been interested in the undercover stuff. Her big break was in an insane asylum. Awesome.
The broken Watergate door. Cameras that survived the Vietnam War. Part of the Berlin Wall.
I saw pretty much all of the moments in history that have kept me wanting to be part of the industry. And even the non-life threatening stuff like the first C-SPAN sign were incredibly inspiring.
So we get out of the museum after around seven hours of my dad and I gawking at all of the history and the news and the microphones and the headlines…which is when I start my rant about how I think it’s so amazing that there’s an entire industry devoted to what’s happening and how much would we really know about history without the news and it has to be done fast because everything is changing all the time.
After seeing everything the news should be and shouldn’t be, after looking at the equipment all of your news heroes used, and after realizing how much in this world there is to report on, it was the hardest thing for me to wait another week to be back at WBAA.
It’s also very hard not to get romantic about what I do, and I think my dad felt like that a little too. When we left the Newseum and started talking about how I want to do everything I can news-wise with the time that I have, he didn’t argue with me about how I should stay safe or be careful what I look into, he just said…
“Well, at least you won’t get bored.”