Telling the good stories

Published 6:03 pm Friday, November 11, 2011

One of the unique things about the newspaper business is that no two days are ever the same.

Sure, there’s a break in the action. Most times it’s hard to find news but sometimes, it finds you.

In fewer than seven days two fairly unique men have graced out town.

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In Wednesday’s edition, Jeremy Smith profiled a young man who floated through town on a homemade watercraft. Considering the materials he used – plastic bottles, bamboo and other discarded items – the fact it floats at all is impressive.

That he’s been able to float it from Tuscaloosa this far, with aspirations to make it to Mobile, is nothing short of ambitious – maybe a little crazy.

Think about the kind of engineering it takes to construct boat. Most anything will float. Throw an ice chest in the water. It will float. Now, get inside of it and see what happens.

It took a certain amount of talent to fashion together the materials in a manner than didn’t self-destruct when you put weight in it.

Now, consider the gentlemen profiled in today’s newspaper.

He’s traveled practically across the country in a homemade RV pulled by two mules.

Someone like that has an interesting story to tell if for no other reason it’s because he’s lived an unconventional life.

People who run at a different speed offer a unique perspective on most everything.

If you’re open-minded and have the time, listening to these people’s story can change your perspective on a few things.

Think about “Zeru”, again.

What would it be like to live life just floating along the river all day with few real worries. Most of us would say, “He’s got plenty of worries. He never knows where he’s going to sleep. He’s always at risk of getting hit by a barge.” There’s a lot of things most of us would have to overcome before on embarking on such a venture.

But, those things don’t bother Zeru. He simply doesn’t care about those things.

You may say that makes him crazy. I say that makes him unique.

I couldn’t live that lifestyle simply because I don’t run on that speed. I have other priorities.

On the other hand, Zeru probably would say the same thing about me.

Being able to tell the different stories of our community is one of the most rewarding parts of this job. Sharing their wants, needs and talents with our readers is just as important as any budget crunch or drug bust in their own way.