After graduating from college, I not want to come home to St. Louis. I sent out my résumé to media outlets in Kansas. One evening I received a call about an opening in Ponca city at local low power television station. One the girls I went to school with had worked there before. I went on the interview and my car broke down on the way home. I got the job at the small television station in Ponca City, Oklahoma.
One of my Alcoholics Anonymous home group’s members loaned me his car for a week I so could start my job as a reporter. I had never wanted to be an anchor person. When I attempted to anchor SCTV our college news program I had an anxiety attack. My classmates said I sounded like I was rapping. The news producer/camera man told me they would train me. My training consisted of live promo before my first newscast. At KPOC, I was the news director, anchorwoman reporter, and video editor. One night I was more nervous than usual. I mispronounced everything and said the call letters backwards I was suspended from on air.
The people who had supported me during college went out of their way to continue help me as I entered next phase of my life. I commuted 80 miles a day to and from work. During a rainstorm my friend from the domestic violence shelter and her husband came to pick me and take back to Winfield. The baby sitter took me to work. I got the dealer ship to resend the sale on the first car and put me into another.
While working at television station I went the jail to interview the sheriff and a reporter from the local newspaper was there. I had plagiarized his copy the night before on air. I was sure he was going to confront me. He complemented me on the story.
Oklahoma one year after the bombing, I went to the federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to cover a memorial event. The citizens of Oklahoma were emotional and mean to the press. I was wearing my press badge and that made me a target. I took my friends middle school daughter with me to Oklahoma city. Since I had struggled through my preteen and teenagers. I thought I could use my experience and make a positive influence possibly. My friend had shared with her daughter looked so I thought maybe she would be willing to listen to me.
My favorite story that I covered was “The drug store “a scare kids away from drugs project. They take the kids on the journey drugs take you on from the party, to the hospital, to court and finally to the casket. When you look inside the casket there was a mirror. I wonder would have not been an alcoholic if I had that in high school.
The commute was hard on me. I was not spending any time with La Freda. My mom suggested I rent a room, until I could find an apartment I liked in Ponca City. She came to Ponca City to help me find some place. She took La Freda to St. Louis until I was settled. The landlord was a nice woman she had multiple sclerois. One day I was having a horrible day. I ran over something knocked the water out for the boarding house. I was saying the short version of the serenity pray “fuck it”. I did not want to turn my life and my will over to the care of God. I wanted God to get me on the right course and then I wanted to take control.
I went to Narcotics and Alcohol Anonymous meetings in Ponca City because they were smaller than the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I had gotten use to small meetings in Winfield. More men from the halfway house started coming. In the meeting, someone blabbed I was a news-person. I told them I knew what anonymity was I hoped they did too.
At the meetings ,I met a white guy named Greg. At first, I thought Greg did not like me. One night the group was going out after the meeting but I had to go back and do the news. He invited me for coffee after the broadcast. One day we where at a pizzeria I wonder why people where looking at me was it because I was with a white guy or because I was on the news. The relationship did not go anywhere. I could not imagine being intimate with a white guy.
I was scared about being away from my support system. I asked a 17-year-old girl, I met at the Narcotics Anonymous to baby sit. I let her drive my car and I used the company car. That was a mistake. She wrecked my car.
I was working from about 9 am till 10:30pm at night. The other person that made up the news team had quit. I learned a lot but I did not feel comfortable. In April I quit because I was feeling overwhelmed.
My family came in May and spent graduation weekend helping me load the U-Haul truck. I had always prophesied that on graduation day the moving truck would be packed. My friend had mailed my cap and gown to me in Ponca city. It had gotten lost in the mail. I could not be able to take part in commencement with out it. The morning of the commencement ceremony, I went the bookstore and rented another cap and gown. Then I called my friend to make sure she would attend graduation.She told me she had the cap and gown. I went to her house to pick it up. I did not like the length of the original gown I order. I went back to the bookstore and exchanged it. She gave me Tupac’s Mackeville cd as a graduation gift.