Sunday, June 15, 2008

From Out of Nowhere

You never know what's lurking in the bushes at Overton Park. Warren and I took the boys for a hike on Sunday, like we always do, and just as we were about to turn onto the trails a Channel 3 Jeep pulled into the parking lot, and Stephanie Scurlock jumped out. She called out to us, "Have you heard any bulldozers?"

"Is that a pick-up line?" I asked Warren.

We kindly told her that we hadn't heard any bulldozers in the 30 minutes that we had been on the playground, but that she might wanna check out Mordor, since that was where the bulldozers lived.

Warren gave her directions and she was off.

"Well, I guess we better go see what's going on," I said.

By the time we had walked over to the future site of Teton Trek, Stephanie had her cameraman filming over the fence.

Hmmm... I was curious. We hadn't sent out any press releases and our big meeting was over a week ago. Did I miss something?

Warren had browsed through the Sunday paper (while I prepared his gourmet Father's Day breakfast) and hadn't said anything about the Zoo or the Old Forest. There was a story on the Wolf River Greenway trail... maybe that sparked the interest in the Old Forest...

As we walked toward Stephanie and her cameraman it was very clear that we were now being filmed. As we approached I asked, "What's your angle?"

"There's a group that's really upset about the Zoo cutting down trees," she said.

"Oh really?" I said.

"Yeah, they even have a website," she said.

"Is it Citizens to Preserve Overton Park?" I asked.

"Yes," she said, getting a bit hopeful.

"Hi, I'm Stacey Greenberg," I said.

"I've been trying to call you all morning!" she exclaimed.


Huh. I didn't have my phone on me which was unusual. And actually, it might have been on "beep once" all morning when I was home. I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

"Can I ask you a few questions?" she said.

"Sure," I replied.

And the rest is history.

I learned later that Stephanie Scurlock stopped by Naomi's house that morning and left a card on the door. Naomi called her and left a message but never heard back.

Unfortunately the video didn't make it to Channel 3's website, so we can't share it with you. But it didn't cover any new ground aside from the introduction of a new media spokesmodel (and Brian Carter doppelganger), Matt Thompson, who is the Memphis Zoo's mammal curator.