Saturday, March 6, 2010

Not necessarily banker hours

Back in the old days, people always used to comment on my having “banker’s hours”.

Sometimes that was true. Go to work around 8 (in the morning), get off at 3 or 4 and play a full round of golf at the Choctaw.

Then I switched banking jobs and the hours got longer (egad!). For a while I sold insurance and the hours even got longer (double egad).

After that, tired of 8 a.m. appointments in Texarkana (four hour drive, trust me, I know well), I got another banking job in Poteau at a bank which will not be named because.

Argh! No more banker hours. Worked at least eight hours a day, seldom took a lunch break and figured out shortly the main part of my job was dealing with angry customers.

No, really. So in September I started publishing a little web site called The LeFlore County Journal. I had wanted to do this for a long time. Some days aren’t all that busy and then other days…

Like Friday, for instance. Got up at the crack of dawn, okay, it was actually a little after seven. But there was light shining in my bedroom window! Worked on the web site for a while and decided if I should cover games.

See, I had been sick all week and was finally starting to feel better. I knew it would be a long day, but dangit, the LCJ peeps hopefully wanted results on games involving the three county teams. That would involve a trip to Muskogee for two games and then travel to McAlester to cover another game.

I knew that would get me home around 11:30 or midnight, and then an hour or so writing stories and processing the pictures.

I decided to at least go to Muskogee and see how I felt. So took care of a few Craigdoos and left a little before 11 for Muskogee.

Got to Muskogee early, which was good since I didn’t know for sure where I was going. I covered two ball games (Heavener girls and Spiro boys), which finished around 4:30.

Talihina didn’t play until 8, but again, I wasn’t sure where I was going so off I went down Hwy. 65. Would I get there early enough to check out Pete’s Place? Millions of people undoubtedly wondered the same question.

The answer: No. It was around 5:30 or so when I got to McAlester and nature was calling my name: Craig, you gotta go! So I did, at some nasty convenience store. Good thing it was numero uno and I didn’t have to touch that toilet seat.

I had to go ALL the way through McAlester. I have never seen so many traffic lights bunched together. The lights would turn red as I approached, go green and hit red again at the next light. I would have said an obscenity except I don’t cuss.

Finally, I got outside of McAlester and kept driving. Passed the place where the bad guys go, I could almost feel the bad karma, but then decided it was hunger.

Then, I saw it! The Southeast Expo Center and a rearload of vehicles already parked there. I found a parking spot where a space was probably not an actual parking spot and made my way inside, after a short wait outside.

I thought at first there had to be a mistake. This looked more like a place to show a prized heifer than a basketball game. The seats were forever away from the temporary court and the score clocks were so far away I could barely see them.

But this was it! I waited in line at the concession stand for about 30 minutes and found a seat on the press row. Nobody asked for credentials, which is good because all I had was a bent business card.

I watched a war in the first game between Konawa and Savanna for the area championship. Savanna was huge, Konawa was the fastest team I have seen for girls.

Anyway, Konawa won. Now it was time for Talihina to play Haworth. The teams had to dress a football field away from the court, or so it seemed.

The Tigers blew the game open in the second quarter and cruised to the win. The game ended around 9:30 and there was a traffic jam outside which would make driving in Dallas seem like an easy chore.

I actually escaped the parking lot, shoving my truck in front of some little bitty car, I waved like I was thanking them but could see a scowl on the driver’s face. In fact, I thought for a second they were telling me I was No. 1!

Drove the nearly deserted two-lane highways and again got hammered by the traffic lights in Wilburton. Caught every one of those suckers. Sat there for a minute, while no cars ever appeared to my left or right. Got home around 11:20 or so, got the pics ready, wrote the stories and did some shameless plugging for the stories on the Journal’s Facebook page and finally got to bed shortly before 1 a.m.

So if you count all the hours I put in to driving, writing two stories and posting four pictures, it was a total of 14 hours.

How’s that for web publisher hours?


  1. Sometimes it is the pits when you don't have a "boss" to complain about.

  2. You said it! No boss, no set hours but plenty of hours. That's the way with newspaper work is, whether it's on-line or on paper. Good job, tho.

  3. Yes, we appreciate what you do, Craig!

  4. You're the best Craigman. We appreciate your dedication to bringing us the news and sports that matters to us! (If you ever mention "Hawg Ball", I'll send out a hitman!)