The cool people I met in line


James Overstreet

Dateline: Lake St. Clair, Michigan, USA

Imagine this, for 20-25 years most of the people I met while doing my job as an investigative reporter wanted to:

A: Beat the hell out of me.

B: Sue me.

C: Subpoena me.

D: Run away from me

E: Beat the hell out of me.

True story, on my desk was a log book, I used it to log phone calls…death threat phone calls, I went through 2 of those books.

I met a source one time in a certain Manhattan alley by a dumpster because they had a Polaroid photo that would break a story open, sat on the hood of a rental car in the middle of the Everglades at night waiting for a car to pull up and hand out evidence from the window, was advised one time by the Feds that if I was going to go to a specific town to do a mob story that it would be “safer” if I flew into a different city far away and drive to the meeting because, “certain folks may be waiting for you at baggage claim.”

Scroll up to A, B, C, D, E…

Now to be honest I was paid a lot to do it, I was surrounded by folks committed to doing it and who were the best at this gig, and the crown in my eyes for putting up with A, B, C, D & E was winning The New York Festival World Medal for Investigative Journalism.

I tell you this for one reason…I’m a flat out kid in a candy story at every B.A.S.S. registration…just ask the B.A.S.S. workers around me how much I love “Reg” because I get to do one thing I cherish…

shake the hand, hands, of all those who come through the registration line, ask each and every person their name, where they are from, and what they do, we laugh, sometimes we hug, I get to meet all walks of life, all races, all creeds, one handshake at a time.

I’m meeting 100 or so Americans 12 to 15 Wednesdays a year.

And counting Wednesday, so far this year I’ve had the privilege of shaking 900 hands.

All very cool people, none so far coming even close to A, B, C. D. E’ing me, but yesterday, I have to tell you, Wednesday was extraordinary.

Normally this gig blurb thing focuses on 1 person but yesterday 3 people in line blew my mind when I asked the question: “So what do you do…”

I tested corvettes at the GM Proving Grounds.”

Meet Karen Howe, BTW this is the exact moment she got the txt that she would be Randy Howell’s Marshal…