The first call yesterday was from Bay News 9.
“I wanted to see if you were available for an interview today,” the woman said.
At 8:30 on a Sunday morning, I did my best to pretend like I was actually awake and being productive at that hour of the day. (For some reason, I’m one of those folks too embarrassed to admit being asleep when the phone rings – I don’t want people thinking I’m lazy.)
“Count your lucky stars,” said the voice on the phone, interrupting my thoughts of “Why in the world would Bay News 9 want an interview with me?”
Before I knew it, I had actually said I was available. Then I realized I wasn’t dreaming. This lady hadn’t called to offer me an internship at her television station. She was yet another person to mistake me for the other Kevin Graham. By now, most know him as the attorney whose Bank of America office space 15-year-old Charles Bishop flew into Saturday with a Cessna.
I’m not sure what I told the Bay News 9 lady to get her off the phone. But what she said – “count your lucky stars” – kinda stuck with me.
I wasn’t in the Bank of America building when Mr. Bishop committed what law officials have said was an act of terrorist support. In fact, I was having a peaceful dinner with my two roommates. As soon as someone called my cell phone to tell me of the news, the serenity was broken, and I found myself rushing toward a TV, radio, anything to find out what was happening. My initial reporter’s instinct was, “I gotta get down there.” As I began getting news updates, I realized the best place for me to be was at home … watching yet another horrific news story unfold.
The fall semester was jam-packed with events that will forever make our college days some of the most memorable. The stories opposite this column on Page 5 can attest to that.
Being a news junkie – The Tampa Tribune, St. Petersburg Times and New York Times are delivered to my apartment seven days a week – I must say the headlines of the fall made being in this country during this era nothing less than exciting. But how many times will variations of Sept. 11 replay? Haven’t we learned our lessons yet? And what are we supposed to learn from this weekend’s latest attention grabber?
It’s the end of the world is one explanation readily offered by some. Others have different reasoning. I’ll leave the debate of who is right to someone more educated than I am. One thing is certain – whatever was escalated on Sept. 11 isn’t finished yet.
Does that mean we start the new year, the new semester, treading lightly? No. We move forward, all the while counting our lucky stars … being blessed and blessing each other.
Inside Edition was among the news outlets calling my place Sunday for attorney Kevin Graham. It was fun (or funny) to receive so many calls from the media. And while the name fit, the story didn’t.
Saturday wasn’t my day for tragedy to knock at my office door. And unless you are the other Kevin Graham, you should count your lucky stars it wasn’t yours either.