To make matters worse, they had about 20 people in a pressbox meant for 15 people, and it was impossible to work. So at halftime, I went into the stands. I figured I'd have room to work, and I'd have enough light to write. I could write on my notebook, true, but the batteries didn't work in the computer.
After the game, I called the paper and gave them the score and stats. I told them I'd write on the bus back.
The problem was that I couldn't plug the computer into an outlet on the bus, and the bus driver wouldn't turn the lights on so I could write. So, desperate, I asked the coach if we could switch places. "Rudy" was playing on the monitors around the bus, and in the flickering lights of the football movie I wrote the game by long hand on a yellow notepad. About 15 minutes before deadline, I called the paper and read the story to an editor.
Oh, there's a postscript to this story. The next week, my wife bought me a small light with a head piece, so I could type and write when the game was blacked out. Naturally, the next pressbox didn't have lights, either, but my little Borg light worked perfectly. After the game, I did my interviews and went back to the pressbox to finish writing. The pressbox folk locked me in and left; I finished, sent my story via email, locked the pressbox, walked to my car and drove home.
Piece of cake.
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie
Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)