I Beat the System
Yesterday, I really wanted to jump out of my newsroom chair and shout, “I BEAT THE SYSTEM!” and then let everyone wonder what I meant. In a way – I think I did beat the system. Here’s how I did it:
It wasn’t the headline – it was the photo. A picture of a red Toyota 4-Runner that was stuck in a Lake Roosevelt swamp last year just before Halloween.
National Park Services hinted that they had photos from the day a crew of them had to hike into the swamp to remove the vehicle because the towing company wouldn’t. Without a visual element, my story would de-fizzle.
I called the offices for Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and explained my intentions. They responded by saying I’d have to file a FOIA and that would take forever and couldn’t meet my deadline of same-day or next morning. I told them I was a dreamer and a wishful-thinker. With a few tugs of strings up top, I have a photo taken over a year ago from the scene.
The online version of the photo had its quality reduced when it was uploaded, but if you look carefully at this version (same photo – just bigger), you can see a Keystone beer can hanging out on top. Look just behind a tree branch.