Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: Highlights of the workday
What do you tell your kids about your job? It’s interesting to break it down to children in terms of what they’d want to know. It makes you look at your work in a different way. Kids naturally gravitate to action jobs like police officer, firefighter, teacher, garbage collector, mail carrier, pilot, truck driver and the like. Other jobs aren’t so specific. It’s nice to let them know what you do and share details so they can picture you there, even if it’s just what you ate for lunch and which co-workers you chatted with.
On Monday, I covered the Martin Luther King Jr. unity march and rally downtown. I told my preschooler son about it, about a group of people who marched down the street together in honor of King, who wanted everyone to be treated the same. I also told him I pet a cool doggie (Sarah and Mike Woodard’s friendly spaniel). He wanted to know if he could go to the march next year. Sure, I said. I showed him the photograph of the march, and he eagerly pointed out the children who were marching. I told him how I walked around downtown Durham on my way back to the car, and the people I saw along the way, like the ever-present crowd waiting to eat at Dame’s Chicken and Waffles. Then the panhandler I obliged with spare change. Then Rev. Cornelius Battle, who had spoken earlier at the march, and has arguably the best clergy name ever. I told Battle so, too. On another day I might have kept my thoughts to myself, but if I was the bearer of such a fantastic name, surely I would appreciate that affirmation from others.
Last Saturday at N.C. Central University, I met Miss NCCU, who is named Harmony Cross. Also a fantastic name. When I told my son about that workday, I also said that I saw university students sing and dance, and especially two drummers. My boy received a drum for Christmas, so that was important news. The drummers were two of the talented D.O.A. drumline of the NCCU Marching Sound Machine, who pretty much made my entire day with their few minutes of stick work. There is some real talent here in Durham, let me tell you.
One of the best aspects of this job, aside from being the town crier and all the inside baseball reasons for being a journalist, is experiencing humanity on so many levels. On breathing in the crisp morning air of a day when people gather together to make the world a better place. Of passing that feeling on to whomever you meet along the way.
Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; 919-419-6563.