If you do this journalism thing long enough, stories tend to come and go like leaves on a yard. Some are beautiful, some are ugly, some are bright and colorful, some are dull and green. Come day’s end, most are, relatively speaking, irrelevent. Somewhere in a Nashville library, one can find clippings from myriad high school sporting events I covered and would never, ever recall.
It is what it is.
Every so often, however, a story comes along and sticks with you. I’ve had that, oh, 20 times. But it’d been a while …
I initially pitched this piece to Westchester Magazine, oh, a year ago. I wanted to write about the stone in front of my kids’ elemtary school; the one that honored a girl named Bianca Webster. I thought how sad it was, the way we put up memorials to remember, then inevitably forget. The editors agreed, and offered me $400 (small pay for a 2,500-word piece). Then, once I submitted it, they no longer showed much interest. I like the folks at Westchester Magazine, but this one stung. I have my suspicions why the story never made print, but, well, those are mine, and mine only. I was pissed, to say the least.
Anyhow, the good folks at Patch saved Bianca Webster. Michael Woyton, the editor at New Rochelle Patch, said he loved the piece, and would happily run it. Which was good enough for me.
I’ve never received a dime for Bianca Webster’s saga and, in an odd sense, I’m glad about that.
This was never about money.
It was about a girl.