Monday, October 29, 2007

Hey, I'm Talking!

Remember the Rodney King verdict? How riots and mayhem and civil discord instantaneously erupted after the LA police got the big 'not guilty' pat on the back--54 people died. Racial fault lines were exposed--fault lines that still tremble. Big national deal. History.

I was sitting in the recording studio at Minnesota Public Radio, being interviewed by then Mid-morning host Paula Schroeder. An essay I had written was in an anthology and the LA-based editors were on hand to promote the book, as well.

We were in the midst of the interview when the Rodney King verdict broke. Schroeder started doing quadruple duty, holding together our interview thread while listening to one million other sources and breaking for live news every five minutes. The book editors were panicked. This was before the standard cell phone; they used a valuable MPR line to check in on friends and family back home.

Finally, Schroeder succumbed. "This is too big," she apologized, and ended the interview.

The editors stayed, rooted, listening to the news in horror. Reporters ran at a fevered pitch. And I stewed. Just when I was really the center of attention. Just my luck.

The horrifying thing? I still feel that way.

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