Steve and Jack, on the job live blogging Wednesday. Photo by Doug Loudenback, www.dougdawg.blogspot.com (be sure to check out Doug’s great account of yesterday’s Devon tower announcement) .
Yesterday’s reporting on the new Devon Tower was a lot of fun, if simply because it allowed the repairing of what editors used to refer to as “Lack-Money.” Yep, that could also probably describe my financial situation – and that of Jack Money. But back at the newsroom, the phrase “Lack-Money” was usually uttered by an editor amused at our latest bit of trouble-making or excited over our big scoop.
Jack started at The Oklahoman in 1988, I started in 1990. That means that in the early 1990s, we were a couple of kids who didn’t have any life (well, at least I didn’t) and journalism was a fresh adventure. Our earliest collaborations involved mostly crime stories. Investigations into Asian gangs, a brutal slaying in Edmond, etc. Jack was moved to the City Hall beat just as MAPS was being launched. We worked together again reporting on the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, and we were paired as a real reporting team in 1996.
We won the lottery getting to cover not just MAPS, but also the recovery from the bombing and the development of Bricktown and the Skirvin. In the late 1990s it seems as if we were getting on front page on a daily basis. And just as the Bricktown Canal was about to open, I dared to suggest we were witnessing history – so why not write a book? Jack, almost always the more level-headed half of this team, looked at me and didn’t hesitate calling me crazy. But seven years later, we published an in-depty history on downtown, “OKC Second Time Around.” The response to it has been flattering.
We were separated as a team a few years ago – editors wanted me to try my hand at full-time investigative and special projects reporting. Jack was sent to the State Capitol and then promoted to assistant city editor.
I moved to the business desk first, in 2005, after I expressed an interest in covering more of the business angle to downtown development. It also didn’t hurt that editors agreed to let me have a weekly column – part of the job I truly enjoy. After spending a couple of years as a highly-regarded editor, Jack desired to move back to writing and reporting, and he took over the always-busy energy beat just as the ice storms were tearing through the state in December.
Anyway, just know that yesterday’s blog reporting was a two-man effort. I continuously posted play-by-play as Jack outlined interesting factoids in the press release and uploaded photos for us to post. Maybe along the way, you noticed an early error or two – construction starting in 2008 instead of 2009 (typo) or a quote attributed to the wrong person. We corrected both ASAP – such problems are the downside of reporting this way. But I’ve heard from quite a few of you that you enjoyed sharing a seat in the auditorium via our postings. We had fun, and I hope you did too.