In the news business, it’s either feast or famine. Either Pookie shoots Ray-Ray on the same day that the governor is caught in bed with a dead woman and a live boy, and Airforce One crashes into the papal jet over a crowded shopping mall; or the most exciting thing in town is the paint-drying convention over in the field where folks are watching the grass grow.
Sometimes finding a story is easy, sometimes it’s tough, and sometimes, a story finds you.
A couple months back, I got a friend request on Facebook from a complete stranger. Being in the news business (and now a starving author of the really cool novel, Shooter in the Crosshairs) I generally accept anyone. I like to have my stalkers where I can see them. So I accepted Gene’s request without really thinking about it.
Over the next few weeks, every time I posted Gene had something to say. His comments weren’t arrogant or derogatory. The weren’t inflammatory. Half of them weren’t even funny. It was just enough to let me know he was out there. Stalking me.
I figured the man was truly a stalker or really bored.
After more than a month, it was time to turn the tables on my stalker. I began reading his newsfeed. Wading through the pictures of his wife and kids. Learning all about the protein shakes he drank and when he drank them. Then, took a close look at his tiny profile picture and knew I had to tell his story.
We met for the first time earlier this week. We hung out for a couple hours at his favorite gym, and I found out may stalker is a Damn cool guy. His story is Damn inspiring.
Everyone has a story to tell. Every story has a lesson. This one isn’t about social media and mining for news, it’s about a dream and an indomitable spirit that I learned from a stalker.