…or is everybody aging at an incredibly accelerated rate?
I was prompted to think about this because of a call that came in Saturday. My friend Joy called to ask if I’d come to a little surprise get-together for her husband Scott on the occasion of his 50th birthday. Normally, I wouldn’t put his actual age out there, but you’ll see it on the picture of his cake anyway.
Scott is the chief photographer at NewsChannel 3 (the station DOTR as Joe Larkins used to say on his blog… it still hurts to know he’s not blogging anymore). Scott and I spent many a day out in the trenches back in the days when I was an honest working journalist. One of his favorite lunch spots back in the day was Saigon Le in Midtown. It always seemed that the family that ran the restaurant was trying to come up with the hottest spices they could to test out on Scott. As you may have noticed from articles in the Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Flyer, a member of the family has opened their own spot in Collierville, called Nu Que Huong. Scott lives out that way, so he’s at the new place all the time. There were three former NC3ers at the party, and the owner recognized the two of us who actually ate at Saigon Le regularly. Incredible, since I hadn’t been there since 1997!
Anyway, not only was Scott’s lovely wife Joy on hand, their daughters were there as well. One is 18, the other 15. Many of the Christmas cards I got this year feature photographs of many of children of close friends. I can’t help but be amazed as how old these kids are getting. It seems like most of these kids hadn’t even been born when I first moved here in 1990. Most of the older ones are in college now, like Steve Hayslip’s son Andy. In their card, Andy’s actually taller than Steve now! Some of the old gang are actually grandparents. The march of time continues.
Speaking of time, many of my former co-workers will remember the person who has done the most to make sure news actually came out of Channel 3. Rachel Wooldridge is starting her final week at WREG-TV on Monday. Rachel has been at the station for 33 years, most of them as the administrative assistant to a long line of news directors at 3. She’s the first person most of us met on our first day at the station and was usually the last one we talked to on our way out. Rachel didn’t report or shoot or edit or anchor, but she has been the rock of that organization for a very long time. Hundreds of us have come and gone from that place over the years, and it hasn’t really affected what happens there. I wonder what happens at Channel 3 after next week. Rachel says she’s going to sleep in during her first month of retirement; she deserves it. When you hear the cheering on Friday, that’s her. When you hear the crying the following Monday, that will be the folks left at 3.