Thursday, February 05, 2004

How to become a dad in 30 days...and a trip down memory lane

This is an interesting one. It seems that one of the people I worked with way back at the Daily Nexus at UCSB in 1991 (They were true journalists, I was just an interloper for a year), is embroiled in a very unfortunate situation. Not responding to a notice in the required 30 days had made him, in the eyes of California, the dad to a child DNA proves is not his. Another fellow Nexite, Matt Welch, has a good piece on Tony's plight in Reason this month. Several other blogs have picked up the issue. Instapundit, Unbillable Hours, Cathy's World, among others. Here is a pic of the "tall, dark" man of the hour, at Blogosphere, by Mark Frauenfelder, of Wired Online fame.

Anyway, while I may not agree with Tony on many political issues, this is most definitely a terrible thing happening to him and people should write their Congresspeople. This story has made me think what an exciting year it was back at the Nexus in 1990-1991. It was, of course, during the First Gulf War. We were always looking for local angles to the war to make it more personal. I remember when we found out that some guy had performed self-immolation on the Capitol steps, apparently in protest of the war. We got a call from a former Nexite working at CNN that had seen some footage of the guy. He was wearing a "UCSB" t-shirt. I was given the task of trying to see what I could find out. Not sure how I managed it, but, within 30 minutes I had tracked down a phone number and was talking to the son of the man who had died. The son explained his brother had gone to UCSB and had simply given the father a shirt at some point. So, that was it, no story. Immediately, I was struck by how awkward it was to have been caught up in the moment of calling people out of the blue to get the 'scoop', completely oblivious to the pain this family must be going through. They were absorbing the loss of a family member, and someone was calling to find out why or how they might be connected to a University. I know this kind of thing must go on all the time, but, it gave me the creeps.

Anyway, good luck Tony...sdg


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