Thursday, January 28, 2016


Back in 1974 (Gadfrey, was that really more than 40 years ago???) I was a 30-something television news reporter in Phoenix.

One day a prison guard . . well nowadays we call them detention officers . . was overpowered by inmates at the Federal Detention Center in Florence, Arizona, and taken prisoner.

I have no memory what their complaint was at the time but after holding the officer for some time, he was released.

I had drawn the short straw and was at the scene trying to cover the story.

When the guard was freed, I was given the opportunity to interview him.

He looked about as happy to meet me as he had been to be captured by the inmates.

And it was a look I saw time after time over the years, frequently from lawmen.

Of course in modern times they are more than happy to hold a news conference for dozens of reporters and television cameras.

You might also note the 1970's-ish equipment I was working with - a microphone with a long cord that went to the photographer's equipment and a boxy tape recorder for my editing purposes later.

Like the comparisons between wall telephones, huge computers and box cameras with today's smart phones, we've come a long way.

The long hair and mutton chops on your heroic newsman are long gone too.