Goodbye, Old Home

by Melissa Brunner

I was sitting at the desk waiting for the 5 pm news to start when one of the photographers walked into the studio and said there was a report of a fire at our old WIBW building so let's see if we could see it on any of Jeremy's weather cameras.

Words can't describe the feeling in my stomach when Jeremy said, "We got it," followed by, "Oh, wow."

There it was. You could see the bright orange glow flickering from the center, the thick black smoke rolling into the sky.

To me, that building wasn't just the old WIBW studios. It was the place I grew up, the place I learned what it really means to report, to work as a team. I remember my first day, midway through a tour with Mary Loftus when Jim Doblin called us back to the newsroom to send me on my very first story. I remember my desk in the corner of the newsroom - the new person got the small desk in the corner, next to that monster of a machine where we rolled the CBS Newspath feeds - tapes changed every hour, on the hour. It all comes into a computer now.

That building was where I met my husband, where I battled chicken pox, where I was first chewed out by a public official. That building is where I made so many friends and learned from so many far wiser than myself.

When all is said and done, I think those of us in news will appreciate the visual, headline-making way in which that old building went out. It would have been nice to set up a tent and have a picnic while we watched the wrecking ball have its way. But, in the end, we had to scramble and respond the same way in which we learned to do it from within those very walls.

And, in the end, the technology that never existed within those walls brought the "family" back together tonight. Through Facebook and Twitter and emails, we've shared memories and consoled each other through the loss of this, our old home.


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