Last Wednesday, following a trek through rain-drenched city streets seeking photos of what a wicked storm left behind, I earned a new nickname.
I am “Noah.”
A few of my editors thought it was funny that I accidentally locked my keys in my car — while it was still running mind you — in the parking lot of the Cattle Baron Restaurant before rummaging the streets looking for photos.
Luckily I had a spare key at the office, and Portales Fire Department Battalion Chief John Bridges was kind enough to pick it up and bring it to me. The mental blunder added an entirely new twist to an already interesting story: a tired, rain-soaked reporter wades through town trying to snap images that would tell the story of the storm.
Adorned with a $2,500 digital camera around my neck, I hopped over puddles, avoided fast-moving streams and attempted to keep a not-so-water proof camera somewhat dry.
Those in large trucks darted down Avenue D, spraying water in every direction, while drivers of smaller cars like Ford Mustangs slowly tried to weave away from deep pools of rain water. Some cars made it, others were not so lucky.
I was driving a Nissan Altima and had problems in many areas; my brakes slowed and squeaked throughout the night; and at one point a car pulled next to mine near a deep puddle, spraying buckets of water on my face and in my lap (I had the window down trying to de-fog my windows).
When I got back to the office, water dripped from my head like it would from a leaky faucet.
Since the event, at least one associate calls me Noah, another periodically asks me if I have my keys.
The minor heckling doesn’t bother me though. I enjoy the excitement of experiencing moments like the one that occurred last Wednesday. To me it was just another adventure, like the first time I tried to drive a stick shift, or surfing in Florida during hurricane season, or the one God gave to Noah and his ark full of critters.
Mike Linn is managing editor for the Portales News-Tribune. He can be contacted at 356-4483, ext. 33. His e-mail address is: