The pitch was a slam dunk.
We had been seeking potential stories for our November ratings period — promotable pieces that would provide those moments everyone shares and discusses the following day. Since I specialize in those emotional epics, I had been tabbed with securing them.
And then the e-mail came in.
A 92-year-old World War II Veteran, who happened to be the e-mailer’s father, would soon receive the chance to fly in the very type of plane he flew during the war. The man, named John Tarabula, was celebrating 69 years of marriage to his wife, Jo.
The e-mail caught the attention of many in the 11Alive newsroom, and I volunteered to do the story. No matter what happened on the actual flight, we assumed, the piece would practically write itself.
I arrived at the Tarabula household the morning of the flight, planning to interview John and Jo and shoot some footage of the couple before heading out to the airfield.
Within minutes, I learned John had no intention of going up in that plane. (more…)