Saturday, October 9, 2010

News From the Nest: Hyperventilation Overdrive Version

Thursday, I get this call from one of The Folsom Telegraph's staff photographers. I had been expecting it, mind you, as I had given a phone interview the day before to one of the writers there for a front page article on me and the haunt. I collect donations for the Vista Del Lago High School's art department, and I was happy to have the opportunity to promote that for them.
"Hi, this is Philip. I was wondering if I could come by today or tomorrow to take pictures. And we want you in costume."

It was Thursday, just when I got home from school, and I had planned to take the day to write my copy for the Charmed Pot segment for this month.
"Um, today? Well, I can't really do that because I only have one prop set up. How about tomorrow?"
So we worked that out. I told him to be there around 6:30 p.m., so at least he wouldn't be shooting the haunt in broad daylight.

I hung up the phone and reached for a paper bag to put over my face. I thought briefly of using a plastic bag and tying it under my chin, then discarded the idea as I realized how ugly that would make my corpse look.

I took a half hour to have lunch, because I had a marathon of frenzied set-up ahead of me. Mr. ShellHawk was in Bass Lake, doing a survey, and wouldn't be home for a long time, nor would he be in any shape to help out after hiking a site like that all day in the heat. I was going to have to suck it up and do it myself.

Fortunately, my next door neighbor was home to help me bring out my fencing for setup. The spiders had gone to town in their webmaking activities, a move I heartily applauded, since it makes less work for me. I put stakes of rebar in the ground and slip the PVC fencing over the stakes, which is a little tough to do by yourself when you're trying to get everything lined up properly. Pounding the stakes in can be a challenge, too, since Folsom, as far as I can tell, is one giant rock, and you don't know if that obstacle you've encountered is a rock or part of your sprinkler system.
I am terrified that I have just created 27 new holes in the sprinkler system. Mr. ShellHawk will not be pleased, and I will never hear the end of it.
Thank goodness it's almost the rainy season.

One of the neighbor's kids came home and did help with the fencing, which made things go a little faster. I recruited her and her brother to help me get my props and other Hallowe'en paraphernalia out of the attic. Although my legs were sore at the end of the night from going up and down the ladder, because of the kids, I could hand most of the boxes down to them and not have to run up and down even more. Thanks, kids!

I was outside until 10:00 with yet another neighbor who popped by to help. I was outside at 8:00 AM to continue with set-up. Mr. ShellHawk was able to help a little in between conference calls, but mostly, he had to work. I finally called it bloody well good enough at 4:15, sat down for fifteen minutes with a Leinenkugel, then got up to take a shower and get ready before folks showed up for cocktails at 5:30.

The photographer showed up early to scope out the place, and then came the work of putting a smile on when what I really wanted was a good, long nap.

The neighborhood kids showed up to see what was going on with all the fog, and soon we had a small crowd out in front of the graveyard.

We took a few test shots. I sheepishly asked him if maybe he wouldn't shoot me from below. I've seen shots of me like that, and they are really unflattering. Like, collect all copies and burn them unflattering. I hate to be vain, but, well, I'm not the cute little 21-year-old I once was, and I want to be proud of my first front page spread.

 We took some serious shots, some funny shots, and some extremely cheesy shots. I am very sure that the cheesy shot will make the large print photo on the cover of The Telegraph, because that's just my luck. I don't really care, though. What I care about is that we pull in more money for the kids than we did last year. Our arts program is in serious danger out here, and though I can't pay a teacher's salary, I can help get some more materials into their classrooms.

When it was all over, I shook the photographers hand and gave him my e-mail address so I could get the photos from him later. I'll share them when I can.

It was fun, I have to say. I can't wait to see the article, which is being written by a guy who is also a paranormal investigator.

Now, on to Jack Russell today to sell stuff!


  1. ha! I quite enjoyed reading that! sounds like it was a lot of fun, despite everything...make sure you share the photo and newspaper article with us here in blogland!

  2. No no, shots from below should NEVER...EVER...EVER be taken, even when you are 21. I do NOT know why people - especially photographers - have not burned this into their minds.

    I am the first one in the group to correct someone with the camera - especially when it is a close up - and immediately you hear a sigh of relief from the rest of the women in the group.

    Yup. Generally, I am a pacifist, but I will jab you in the hand with a fork before I will let you take an upward shot of me lol

    Besides that, it sounds like you pulled together a last minute miracle! Bravo! Hopefully they use the nicest picture, not the cheesiest ;)

  3. That is too cool! I've always wanted my haunt to be in the Media. I'm glad that got the attention you deserve. :D

  4. Congrats my dear. If the world was perfect I soooo would have been there to help you.

    Glad it all came together, and I am sure the photos will be fine.

    You are doing a great thing and I hope all kinds of good Halloween karma finds you this year. You deserve it.


  5. Wow, that was a frenzy of activity! You look great with your tombstones. Very cool news.

  6. Thats awesome! Congrats on the press, can't wait to see the photos.

  7. Fantastic : )

    Can't wait to see the pics.

    Great entry.


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