Apologies to my University of Arizona journalism professors but the best teachers I ever had were The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the Dallas Morning News.
Who would have thought that actually reporting and writing on deadline for real editors and for real newspapers would be such a great deal?
Every spring, University of Arizona journalism students from Tucson would pile into a van headed for the University of Southern California to interview for summer jobs.
I remember getting a call from then The Gazette Telegraph. It had me spend time in both news and features. I’ll never forget interviewing the “Clown Prince of Baseball.” I still have the autographed baseball card he handed out.
At the Dallas Morning News I met Dave Smith, who reigned as one of the greatest sports editors of all time. I also met great writers, such as Randy Galloway, Ivan Maisel and the late Gerry Fraley.
One of my claims to fame at the Morning News was watching a skinny Eldrick “Tiger” Woods come from behind to beat Notah Begay by a stroke in a junior golf tournament in Houston. And, of course, I’ll never forget Smith tossing me a Dallas Morning News T-shirt across the newsroom.
Because of my internship adventures, I knew my daughter, Sarah, would have fun.
Every day, I received play-by-play from her at Occidental Petroleum, a chemical conglomerate with facilities across the United States. She likes it so much she texted me a photo with a dorky helmet and goggles on. She said I couldn’t put it on Facebook, but you can bet I’m keeping this shot.
A chemical engineering student at Auburn University, she was tasked with analyzing two identical chemical manufacturing plants and figuring out what is causing their differences.
Not only did they give Sarah a project, they flew her and other interns from across the country to Dallas for two days of team building.
My internships taught me lots of work and life lessons. I’m waiting to see what Sarah gets from hers. If the beginning is any indication, Occidental may just be the best class she ever takes.
Duwayne Escobedo covers Santa Rosa County for the Daily News. You can contact him at 850-315-4489 in Fort Walton Beach, on his cell phone at 850-255-1484 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org