True story. So I’m wrapping up my latest biography, and one of the final stages is filling in any lingering blanks. Well, I had two—the name of an aunt and the name of a grandmother of somebody’s college coach. I spent much time in Grenada, Mississippi interviewing the man—literally, hours upon hours—but forgot to ask for the two names.
Well, I’d been warned the coach never answers his phone—and he doesn’t. For days, I tried calling, only to get a never-ending ring. Sometimes, he’d actually answer by picking up the phone and placing it off the hook. Weird. Inexplicable.
Anyhow, the book was due today. And I needed those facts. I called the Grenada Star, the local town newspaper, and spoke with the sports editor. I said, “Look, do you guys have any clerks or copy kids who’d wanna make an easy $100 by going over to this guy’s house and asking?”
With nary a flinch he said, “Hell, I’ll do it for $100.”
Now, why did I offer $100? Not sure—probably because, for the Roger Clemens book, I paid a Texas-based reporter to knock on the door of (what I thought would be) his brother Randy’s house. The area was v-e-r-y sketchy, and the reporter told me he never felt safe. So, in my head, I was thinking of that … of what comes with reporting.
Well, maybe two hours after speaking with the sports editor, he called back. “Got ’em,” he said. “Easy.”
Goodbye, $100 …