Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When did I start writing?

I always enjoyed writing; my first paying job was with the Navy Newspaper, The Panorama, in Naples, Italy. It was a summer job when I was a rising 9th grader. The Navy assigned jobs on the first day of the summer break, first come first serve. My job was to work at the AFSOUTH NATO beach --- in the kitchen of the snack bar. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I thought that I would give it a try. I wasn’t enthusiastic about it. There was a tiny window that looked out onto the beautiful Mediterranean beach and I wished I was anywhere but in the greasy beach snack shack. Before long, the cook asked me to go into the food locker and get him some frozen hamburgers. The minute I stepped foot into the meat locker --- that was it. Done!

I took my apron off for good. I caught the beach bus back to the Navy base where I had to report to the Navy Chief in charge of the summer program. He gave me a stern look but then said he had saved the best job for last. Navy Public Affairs! He told me to give it a try, but, it might be a little demanding for a little lady like me. It was a perfect match. I loved it and continued to work there for the next three years. I was assigned a Leica Camera and went out on assignments just like any of the other Navy Photo Journalists. I shot my own photos and wrote articles for the Navy Newspaper. I went out on the Navy Carriers with the PAO chief when the ships came to port, covered a major cholera outbreak, sporting events, Admiral visits, rock concert in Rome, just all sorts of interesting events.

Below is copy of the Navy Newspaper, The Panorama with my first byline, it’s a double spread in the middle of the paper! Oh, and I was paid $ 1.60 an hour.

No comments:

Post a Comment