As a journalist, I make use of an appointment calendar to remind me who I am scheduled to see and where I need to be. However, every calendar entry comes with an asterisk mark, whether visible or not, that signifies the meeting is subject to change at a moment’s notice. Tuesday was one of those days.
I had no appointments scheduled, so that meant I would have a day where I could sit down and just write stories. I had conducted some interviews and attended some meetings and needed some uninterrupted time to get those stories done. Tuesday would be that day, or so I thought.
One of my coworkers, Abby Armbruster, received a call from Paul Cebul of Reach Trade Co. informing her some coffee farmers from Peru would be stopping by the coffee shop. Abby asked me if I would be interested in doing a story, and I said yes. I was out of the door in minutes. I spent time with Jose Jorge Durmand and his wife, Marleny Jorge Ingaruca, and Selena Contreras (in the top photo).
I had the opportunity to talk with the coffee farmers and learn about the challenges they faced, whether it was weather or terrorists or middlemen trying to skim off some of their beans or thieves stealing their beans. I spent nearly a couple of hours with them, Cebul and Dan Hildebrandt.
On Monday, I had tried to get in touch with Kathryn Gabriele (she is on the left in the bottom photo), a Wooster native who was living in the Boston area who ran in the Boston Marathon. I left a message for her father, but I never heard back from him.
I noticed Gabriele and I had a few Facebook friends in common, so on Tuesday, after returning from speaking with the coffee farmers, I sent a friend request. I was surprised to see she accepted it within a relatively short period of time. We exchanged messages and arranged for a time to talk.
One of the things that struck me during my conversation with Gabriele was how she said of one of the explosions she could see it, hear it and smell it.
My job allows me to talk to people who shape the news, make the news and are part of historic events. And, on Tuesday, I went from the Amazon jungle in Peru to a half of a mile away from the finish line in the Boston Marathon. I am blessed.
As a side note, my wife, Wendi and I, were in Copley Square, the site of the finish line for the marathon, last August. I heard the bomb went off at 671 Boyleston St. You can see the address on the left side of the photo below.