Tag Archives: Gulfarium

Turtles, Alligators & Ducks, Oh My!

This week has been … interesting, to say the least and it’s not over yet.

On Monday, I was hit with the hard stuff: a great, non-traditional story that the readers would love. The thing is, with this great reader-friendly story came the inevitable backlash.

A little boy witnessed his pet turtle (Tomalina the turtle, if you care) being eaten by an alligator (Again, Gracie the alligator if you care at all) minutes after donating him to the Gulfarium. (Read it)

It had everything you would want in a story: great quotes, controversy and random animals.

The thing is, the Gulfarium is an advertiser and does a lot of good in the community. After speaking with the manager, he told me how disappointed he was in me, the paper and that this would lead to terrible things for their organization.

I told my editor. Mistake.

He is conservative, to say the least. So the call was made. The story would be online only and he rejected any pictures of 8-year-old Colton and Tomalina saying he didn’t want to “sensationalize.”

When the mom heard it would only be online she fired away. She called me two times then had her husband call me all to yell.


The story, despite being online only and without pictures, is still one of our most commented stories. I guess people can’t resist hearing about a little boy being traumatized.

Tomorrow, however, is what I’m most looking forward to.

Not only is it a half day for me, but the one story on the budget is about am 80-year-old man who has a pet duck (named J.D., which stands for Just a Duck, if you care) that he walks in a stroller every day.

You are wondering why — me too. I’ll get exercise and a really interesting story out of it.

What a week.


The Unplanned Job

My mom asked me the other day if I had a planned schedule. I thought about it, pictured the calendar lying on my desk and realized that most of the time, no, I don’t really have a schedule.

She was amazed. She is a planner through and through, which honestly I get from her. I’m annoyingly organized and never spontaneous, I like to have a plan. I even came up with a life plan, although God may not agree completely (engaged at 25, married at 26, kids at 28 — if you were curious.)

But at work I like the unplanned.

I went in today with nothing on my plate. The square for Monday on my calendar was a crisp white with no pen marks upon it. Then the day started. My immediate boss was out with a stomach virus, so I made morning calls immediately and things began to come.

A power outage in one county because the nice tropical state I live in has been freezing, a car accident because the idiot sitting in the passenger seat grabbed the steering wheel and ran the car into a tree, and a group of rescued sea turtles that just got stationed locally.

My day was set.

I posted what I could, headed to the Gulfarium, interviewed, made a video, wrote a story and then it was time to clock out. I like the unpredictability. I like that I start my day with no idea what will unfold. I like this part of my job.

So to other journalist not in the breaking news arena, sorry but my beat’s better. You can count on it.