Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I need another word for "inspire"

My job keeps getting in the way of my life of adventure.

I worked a dayside shift on Monday (who don't love a Monday morning?). I had to re-train on one of our satellite trucks. The icecream truck has gone through a major overhaul in the last few months and my bosses agreed with me, it might be a good idea if I learned how to run it.

I know, I know. . .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. So much for being an Action-Man. It's okay though, the day turned out better than it sounds on paper. I wound up out at Whiteman Airfield in Van Nuys.

See, the plan was to do a live test of the SAT truck by doing a real satellite shot. We had a crew covering a story out at the airfield, so I got to piggyback on their assignment. The other crew was covering the first solo flight of Carlana Stone Lawson.

If you don't know anything about her, you might wonder why getting her pilot's license ranks as a newsworthy story.

Why cover this story?

I've been getting that question a lot lately.

Carlana has accomplished a few things in her life that's worth reporting about. She has a blog and a web page (Carlana's blog and Carlanastone.com) that tells more of her story and you might want to take a peek at them.

All I'm doing is trying to get a few words out about a person I met briefly and got to share a little bit of a day that meant a lot to her.

The sad thing is, I just don't feel like I can do this story justice. I want to say how inspiring it was to see her accomplish something no other paraplegic woman has done in the United States.

I'm finding it difficult for me to write this. I just can't get the word "inspiring" out of my head. In the short time we were at the airport, I don't feel like I got to know Carlana well, but I feel like at least I got to know her a little.

She was funny and happy and the fact that she comes from Louisiana goes a long way in explaining her accent.

It was a "wow" moment. I think it was just amazing to see her fly solo and the word "inspiring" doesn't even begin to describe it.

It was great to be there and get a chance to witness someone achieve a dream.

I mean, we're news. We cover a lot of stories where people have just given up and taken the easier roads in life. The newscast is never short on crime and suffering. Lots of people just seem to believe it's easier to take from someone else rather than putting in the effort to achieve on their own.

I guess, I accept that news covers the events that are out of the ordinary. In our day to day, 9 to 5 lives, what interrupts our routines and disrupt what we do are the events that are more likely to wind up part of the newscast.

She didn't screw up traffic and she didn't cause anyone to suffer. Carlana's flight didn't take away anything from anyone else in the world. This is just one of those rare events that's also out of the ordinary, but in a good way.

It gave us inspiration. It showed what determination and effort could accomplish.

I don't know if at some point this particular dream may have seemed out of reach. I don't know if Carlana had time to think about her situation while she was flying. I don't know if it would have meant any more or less if her situation was different.

All I know is that I saw a woman fly an airplane solo yesterday. It meant a lot to her and I didn't really need to ask how it felt. You could see it in her face. She was happy beyond words.

You could see it in her tears.

Yesterday, people died and were hurt and bad guys were out doing bad things. There were a lot of stories that needed to be told yesterday.

I'm glad this was one of them.


Anonymous said...

COOL STUFF indeed! Having trouble commenting on Haloscan, sorry. TW


beFrank said...

TW - I'm going to use them both. Did you take a look at the post I did for the station on the CBS/KCAL website?

turdpolisher said...

great story. i'm on the other end of the spectrum. i've been in new orleans for two weeks. no words to describe that either.

great post. it lifted my sagging spirits today.