Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: NEWS (07/05/18)
TITLE: In My Day
By Donna Powers
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Not here at the Garden Grove Nursing Home.
At "the Grove", we get the daily newspaper read by our fellow resident Sol Grabowski, nattily clad in a "World's Greatest Grandpa" T-shirt, plaid pajama pants, frayed carpet slippers, and bifocals. Sol's voice could only be deemed avuncular if your uncle is a Borscht Belt comic.
I'm a newsman. Well, at least, I used to be. I worked for one of the local news channels. I found headlines by scouring foreign papers and news bulletins and interviewing local and regional officials. My words may never have won a Pulitzer, but I like to think they were well-received by my audiences.
Sol's daily newscasts get mostly yawns, although fellow other residents have often accused him of purposely injecting them with a liberal bias.
Sol's newscast today was chock full of presidential news. Whether you like America's president or not; most agree his words and actions are polarizing, and Sol droned on about him for a full ten minutes. After that, I sighed heavily and backed away from the recreation room. I decided I'd wheel over to the library to see if they had any new titles. Anything but more of what was passing for the news.
But, halfway to the library, Sol caught up with me. "What's your problem, Jerry?"
I sighed as I answered, "Sorry, Sol. I know you're doing your best, but in my day a news presentation was very different."
Sol flushed. "I just read what they write in the local paper, Jerry. We can't all be superstar newsmen."
"I know," I assured him. "I guess that's part of the problem. They can make even the most routine issue seem like a major disaster."
Sol nodded. "I guess that's true. But what can I do? Like I said, I don't write the news... I just read it. If you think you can do a better job..."
"Well, maybe I do. You see, in my day..."
He shook his head. "You keep saying that. But, the way I see it; any day the Good Lord wakes you up is 'your day'. So, go ahead. You read the news tomorrow. Tomorrow can be 'your day.'"
I couldn't resist. Sure, I'd retired years ago. But maybe there was something in what Sol said. I asked God to help me, as he'd done back in my working days. I wheeled myself around "The Grove" and listened. Piece by piece, my newscast came together, and by the next morning, I was ready.
I wheeled up to the microphone and began: "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This is your morning news. We've heard all week about the President's proposed health care bill, but here at Garden Grove, we know all about health care. Most of us here have health challenges, and we depend on our wonderful nurses and nursing assistants. One of our nurses, Miss Anna, hasn't been here for a few weeks, but my good news for today is that she'll be back next week - with her brand new son, who she's adopted from Korea.
"Another piece of good news comes from our kitchen, where Chef Cleo says she'll be bringing back her three cheese ziti. And those who've been missing our exercise room will be glad to know it's coming back soon - with a brand new therapy pool.
"Now, I know some of us are civic-minded, so I'll close with some news from our local government. The debate for our upcoming mayoral election has been canceled due to an electrical problem at the community center. Councilwoman Terry Wilson says she'll personally make sure it's fixed in time for its rescheduled date, next Friday.
"I'm Jerry Johnson, and that's your morning news."
I stepped back from the microphone and saw smile after smile on the other residents' faces. It felt great; just like when I'd been at the station. In the back of the room, I saw Sol, who was smiling and giving me a "thumbs up."
Well, how do you like that? I guess today IS my day.
Psalm 118:24 "This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
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