Last night I finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. There are no chapters. Punctuation is sparse. The dialogue is not separated by quotes. It’s one of the hardest books to read right from the start. You have to do a little backtracking until you understand how the dialogue works. Beyond that, it was one of the best books I have read in a long time. Haunting, scary, and beautiful. There are scenes in The Road that will resonate in your dreams (not in a good way).
Today I spent most of the afternoon on “Trial Stand-by.” We were waiting on a jury to reach a verdict in the Munyon case here in Brazos County. Karla, our reporter, had been down there for most of a week, watching the trial and reporting. She spent the last two days waiting. I’ve learned a lot about humanity waiting in the hall outside the 272nd District Courtroom. People don’t really understand the media and our responsibility to provide coverage of court cases. The judge banned cameras from the courtroom. That didn’t help us. Tonight the 12 person jury reached a verdict about an hour after we left for the day. Go figure. Not guilty was the unanimous ruling.
In the middle of the case, Bryan and College Station were gearing up for the 10th anniversary of the collapse of the Bonfire. Events of the past several days have had somber moods. I’ve heard heartbreaking stories of parents who lost children, family members who carry a torch out of respect for the fallen, and first responders who can still vividly recall driving up on a scene of utter chaos. Bonfire wasn’t just a stack of logs, one on top of another. It was the physical manifestation of the burning spirit of the Aggies. It was as if the heart and soul of every Aggie and former student (there are no former Aggies) burst open and poured out onto the 60 foot plus stack. That, and their burning desire to Beat The Hell Outta t.u. The Aggie spirit and resolve was in full force that morning. The stories and pictures have just as much impact a decade out that they did the day after. There were a few nights I spent in a editing bay trying to hold the tears back. Everyone who has worked on these stories experiences them differently, but tears are common. To borrow a phrase: Tears that fall less often, but tears that still fall.
KBTX Bonfire Remembrance – the collection of stories we did for the 10 year anniversary.