Dark And Stormy Night
Wednesday - January 07, 2009
I guess I’ll start the New Year out by telling my story of the great Oahu power outage of late 2008. First of all, I believe HECO has cleared me as being the cause of the outage due to my Christmas tree lights.
Anyway, that Friday evening, we just completed putting MidWeek to bed for the press. Nearly everyone had gone home and our managing editor and I were minutes away from stepping out the door when all the power went out. I know the drill and knew right then that I would not be leaving until the power was restored. Little did I know that would not be for another 12 hours.
Those of us left in the office, a total of five, assembled in the reception area on the first floor to take stock of our emergency equipment. We had a hodge-podge of flashlights from the 2006 outage, but we couldn’t find a radio. Actually we found one, but of course it needed batteries. I guess the missing battery theory when you need one not only applies at my house, but also at work. Two of us walked to a nearby convenience store and they sold us batteries through the door. We also bought gas-cooked food from a Chinese restaurant and brought it back to the office.
I had confirmed that my family was OK and explained to my wife that I had to stay at work. So we hunkered down in the reception area, ate Chinese food and listened to Perry & Price. For some insane reason, we decided to tell ghost stories - in particular, ghost stories about our office and printing plant.
Over the years I had heard of several accounts of ghost sightings in our office, and one of the guys who works the graveyard shift told all of us a particularly chilling experience he had one night at work. Our managing editor didn’t want to hear it and decided to leave as soon as her husband picked her up.
One of our managers happened to stop by just then and went upstairs to do something in his office. When he came back down, he said he saw someone in a trench coat round the corner near the back offices. We all looked at each other since he wasn’t in on the ghost stories we had just told and we knew for a fact that no one was up there.
He left and the four of us laughed nervously, realizing the bathroom was upstairs. Everyone was holding out when I stood up and decided that no ghost was going to prevent me from bladder relief. I cautiously walked up the stairs and the second floor was pitch black. I only had a rinky-dink flashlight.
As I walked past my office I noticed something at my window blinds. When I shined my flashlight at it, it was someone staring at me! I yelled out loud, “What the ...!” and then realized what it was. It was a portrait drawing of Barack Obama by Roy Chang that we’d used a year ago for a MidWeek cover.
Everyone came running upstairs like a SAW movie and asked what happened. “Nothing,” I replied and went on my way to the bathroom. Thank God we didn’t do a cover on Dick Cheney. Now that would have been scary.
Jeremy D. Low of the Office of Language Access sent in a link to PBS Hawaii’s Island Insights with Dan Boylan. In particular, you can watch the video of a unique discussion, “Civil Rights and Language Access.”
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