I have to guess everyone has an unexpected plane ride in their lives. Many times I feel I’ve had an unexpected plane ride when my passengers decide they want to be friends during that flight, and maybe pass along some information or wisdom to the next guy. On my way back from New Orleans, I met a fascinating man from Port St. Lucie, Florida who reminded me why I love investigative journalism.
Dan *Smith asked me all about my life: my school, my interests, my family, my career, my aspirations … It was cool. And being asked again why I love journalism or why I want to do investigative reporting and what that really means is the most rewarding reminder that you know exactly what you want to be doing with your life. Just for a moment, then it’s gone. I wanted to record the euphoria this time, though.
“It’s really the cold cases that interest me, actually … ” I tell him all about Ron Tammen, the Miami University student who went missing from his residence hall in 1953. He challenges me. Why is it important? Who cares? What will it take to find out what happened to him? I couldn’t believe this guy was really making me think hard about my answers – and having to fight for my own cause made me realize how much I love digging up anything I possibly can to offer some explanation to Ron Tammen’s disappearance. I love it. And now it’s recorded – the euphoric moment where you realize you love something you’re doing.