2013 Elite Series Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite
Alabama River - Montgomery, AL, May 9 - 12, 2013

Montgomery Elite Marshals: Pick 3 + 1

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“Who, who, who, who…”

Dateline:  Montgomery, AL

I’ll tell you the first time I did something like this…random/freestylin’ interviews,


I was a Feature Reporter at KFSN-TV in Fresno, Calif. I was the newest guy in the newsroom so I got stuck working on Thanksgiving.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING was going on around Fresno, yet we still had a newscast to put together. There were two reporters and two photogs working that day…another new guy handled the hard news…me…I had to find a story.

On Thanksgiving.

And Google was no help since both Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were just 10 years old this Thanksgiving.

So I went to pre-Google, the phone book, and I started looking for a story idea…and guess what, I found it.

Random/freestylin’ interviewing began Thanksgiving 1983.

I grabbed one of the photogs, a cool dude named Gary Brooks, I think, and all I told him was this…I have a story…and here’s the address.

Nothing else.

We get to the address; I knock on the door, Gary is standing behind me with the camera rolling, a huge blue RCA monster with an equally heavy 3/4-inch video tape deck hanging off his shoulder,

and the door slowly opens,

laughter from inside the house spills out as well as the smell of turkey and all the fixin’s,

standing in front of me are a man and a women,

Gary flips on the big light on top of the video camera, and I say exactly this:

“Hi, I’m Don Barone from Channel 30 Action News…”

And they are just staring at me…they have no idea why I am there…I never called to say I was coming…it’s Thanksgiving, they are with their family, and an Action News crew is standing on their front porch.

And then I say exactly this:

“…are you Mr. & Mrs. Pilgrim…”


“…great, because I would like to have Thanksgiving dinner with the Pilgrims.”


Back at the station, when looking at the tape in editing, you could see the camera jump up and down as Gary started laughing when he heard me ask the question.

You would also see 20 some minutes of my Thanksgiving dinner with the Pilgrims…and their entire family.