I grew up in Alton, Ill., a mid-size river town near St. Louis that saw its best days fade away with the Civil War. It was a unique place to grow up, surrounded by historical oddities like the Piasa Bird painted on the bluffs along the Mississippi and Robert Wadlow statue downtown. But don’t let this hilariously outdated travel video fool you, it’s a pretty dull place.
I can’t remember when exactly I decided to go into journalism. Somewhere between my childhood career aspirations of ‘scientist’ (which ended as soon as I realized it was nothing like Dexter’s Lab) and ‘golf ball water-trap diver’ (I’m still holding out), I started to write. I wrote in my black leather journal about how horrible I was at basketball and about how embarrassed I was for farting in front of that cute girl with the glasses who sat next to me. At some point, I got tired of writing my own stories, so I started to look for others’.
I’ve covered general assignment shifts at the Columbia Missourian, writing briefs about fires, car accidents and drownings. I’ve written about rare Cuban books and wilderness survival for the Missourian‘s weekly lifestyle magazine, Vox. Last summer, I had my first real experience at a major publication, interning in the features department of The Kansas City Star.
I still find it odd that people make a living doing this – day in and day out, talking to people, asking them about their past, their passions, what makes them tick, and writing it down to run on the presses. The very fact that the craft of journalism exists shows me that, in the end, human beings crave stories. They’re how we communicate and how we endure. They give us a past, a present and a future. So I can’t think of anything I’d rather be than a storyteller.
If I haven’t bored you, and you’d like to get in touch, drop me a line.
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