Thursday, June 29, 2006

A day in the life of Black Gnat

yTwo days ago David Stephenson called and asked me if I wanted to go to Black Gnat.


Black Gnat is a small city near the center of the state, right where the time zones meet. In fact, the time zone line runs right down the middle of the city. We were able to find one house that actually sits on the line, but unfortunately they were not home.

This was the most I've learned since I've been at the Herald Leader. Stephenson shot and did audio, so I really got to take in what it's like, and what it's going to continue to be like. I thoroughly believe that multimedia is the future of photojournalism. I think it will eventually become a required part of the job.

Also, Amy Wilson, the reporter for the story was with us. I must say Amy is incredible with people. She's really just excellent at making people feel comfortable. She was so friendly and comfortable with talking to people that she almost had me thinking she knew people prior to our arrival.
But this was not the case. We had to look and try to even find Black Gnat. We were actually in Black Gnat and didn't know it.
The name came from an old story about a church being painted, and immediately after painting the church a swarm of black gnats flew into the paint. So this place was named entirely after that.

Now while we never really figured out what building that was, we met some great people.
Like Mr. Patterson, who has farmed tobaco all his life:

We met several others, like the Gilpins who had lived there for most of their lives. Also, a mechanic who after getting a settlement for his right hand being injured, bought his property where he now works and lives. The man said he literally gave his right hand for the property.

Sorry I couldn't load more pictures, is really sucking today.


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