I never let August 11th pass without mentioning the Wichita sniper story. It was on this date in 1976 that Michael Soles opened fire from the 26th floor of the Holiday Inn, in downtown Wichita, killing three and wounding seven others.
I was a young broadcaster with a tape recorder, hustling downtown to cover this major story. I arrived near the scene with the sound of gunfire echoing among the buildings, and – with the “all clear” signal -- rushed to the street below the Holiday Inn … by now, filled with terrified people.
My wife was at work and heard that a news reporter had been shot. Of course, she was concerned that it might be me. It was not. It was free-lance film and photo journalist Joe Goulart, who had been killed by a sniper’s bullet to the chest.
My news teammate – Rob Freemen – kept the updates going on the air and called on me for “live” reports from my car radio. We did well. Our stories hit the wire services and radio stations as far away as Australia.
August 11th is a date I will never forget.
Our thought for today is from Matthew Arnold:
“Journalism is literature in a hurry.”