Notebook: Small town small talk

Didn’t realize how true the statement is. Everybody knows everyone in a small town. Yep, it took an assignment that sent me down to Nova Scotia’s South East coast to understand this.

Two towns there were hit by a weekend snow storm in February. My assignment editor sent me down to a couple of areas that received the worst damage.

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Camera man and I getting ready to hit the road.

Our first stop? The Shelburne waterfront, which had been inundated with storm surges the day before. But today, the water had receded as if it never happened. There was really nothing to see. And the locals knew it. That’s why the waterfront was dead. But we got our shots anyway.

But then all of sudden a car drives by. Then a couple more. Soon enough there’s a steady train of cars passing.

My cameraman stops filming and mentions; “Oh! You know why these cars are all here?”

“Huh?” I mumble without glancing from my iPhone’s Twitter feed.

“They’re coming to see you,” he says and then inserts his head back into the camera’s viewfinder.

I smile and think how self-important it would be to think all these folks would come here just to see me.

We continue on our site seeing tour. Was there anymore damage? There was.

The town of Barrington had returned to normal, but some were cleaning up from the storm’s vandalism.

Winds, that were at times hurricane strength, looted its way through signs, leaving shreds hanging in the afternoon breeze. The rampage continued as the storm ripped off the facade of a local No Frills and smashed its glass like a bandit.

A short distance away, the winds lifted the roof off a trailer park home and dropped it on the street a couple metres away, the crime scene still fresh.

The damage made for great TV. So like the wind, we arrived, got all the footage and interviews we needed, and took off.

***

The next day, back at the newsroom, one of the producers who didn’t work that weekend, asks.

“Where you down in Barrington this weekend? Because my mother, heard from her cousin, who said her friend met a Black reporter down there.”

“Yes,” I respond; blushing.

“Yep, they said they saw you. You’re the talk of the town.”

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