If it happens on College Street, we’re there.
That’s a humorous and favorite saying in our newsroom. Every time something happens on College Street, someone will say that.
On Wednesday, the church across the street began a project to replace its steeple. They had two cranes, and guys were being hoisted to the top of the steeple. People were cruising by watching the events unfold.
As the saying implies, we were on it. I’d occasionally take a trip to the side door of the Standard, while other employees were keeping an eye on the work from the front.
Then, word came that they were about to remove the very tip of the steeple - the only part that would be reused. I grabbed a camera and an umbrella and headed for the door. It looked like rain.
I found the picture angle that I liked. Yep, it was starting to sprinkle. If you’ve ever tried to take pictures and hold an umbrella at the same time, you know exactly how difficult it is. While you can hold both, you cannot manually focus or change the settings on the camera with one hand.
Rather than struggle and potentially drop my camera, I decided to sit on the sidewalk and grip the handle of the umbrella between my knees to hold it up. Shear genius: the camera and I are protected from the rain and my hands are free to hold and adjust the camera.
So, there I was crouched on the sidewalk under an umbrella. Those who know me waved and smiled as they drove by. I wondered what everyone else was thinking. Homeless?
One of the crew members stopped and asked me if I was with the newspaper. He had a humorous side. We exchanged niceties. He told me it would be a few more minutes before they attempted to remove the top of the steeple.
Bummer, but much appreciated. I was beginning to feel the strain in my legs from that isometric hold I had on the umbrella. I relaxed and stretched my legs.
“We’re going to try and lift it,” he said. “Get your camera ready.”
Several tense minutes passed. Nothing happened. Epic fail?
“We tried,” he said. “We put about 600 pounds on it and it didn’t move. We’re going to cut through the steeple to see if we missed a bolt.”
Not sure how much time had passed. In my mad dash out of the building, I left my cell phone. Smooth move, right? Some people say they feel naked without their cell phone. My clothes remained on, mentally and physically.
Time lagged on. One guy said it was almost 11:30 a.m. I had a noon luncheon to cover. It was over for me.
Later that day, I asked Atlanta to go over and check on the progress. She got the picture. Just not my lucky day, I guess. However, I did get the benefit of a prolonged isometric hold. My legs hurt for the rest of the day.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.