Feature: Behind the scenes at the circus (2001)

The Clyde Beatty/Cole Brothers Circus invited me backstage when they performed at the Phillipsburg Mall. I watched the clowns prep for the performance, talked with the lion tamer, interviewed a corps of Russian Aerial Ballet artists and even fed the elephants. I loved those elephants. The man who took care of them handed me a loaf of bread, plain old sliced white bread and directed me to slap it into their mouths.

Literally.

I had three or four slices of bread on the palm of my hand. The elephant would lift his trunk and I would stick my hand in his mouth and press the bread to his tongue. And he ate the whole loaf.

This feature appeared in the (Phillipsburg) Free Press in June 2001. I took the photos. I also photographed the show. I may have to dig those out and scan them another day.

 

circus1

circus, part 2

circus, part 2

Circus, part 3

Circus, part 3

 

 

Feature/Health: Breastfeeding (2004)

I clearly remember leaving the office on my due date to visit the obstetrician. I had been 4 cm dilated and significantly effaced since my birthday, a good three weeks earlier. In the newsroom, at meetings and at interviews, my heavily pregnant self made people nervous. I asked my obstetrician when I should stop working. He looked at me and, once he recovered from the shock that I was still in the office, suggested I not return.

That was June 10. My daughter came into this world on June 23, thanks to some hearty doses of Pitocin to hurry her along. Any first-time parent will tell you, those first six-to-eight weeks are “baby boot camp,” grueling, exhausting and testing your limits. I can’t speak on second babies. I only had one.

As a good reporter, I tried to recycle some of my personal experience into copy. Plus, I learned a lot of information as a new parent that I never knew before, or perhaps thought about things I never thought about before I had a baby.

Breastfeeding was one of these topics. I felt like no one really talked about it. I was born premature and didn’t come out of the hospital for three months so my mother never breastfed. I felt lost and figured if I felt lost, so did others.

My editor allowed me to do a lengthy two-part series on breastfeeding. This is part one.

Breastfeeding, part 1

Breastfeeding, part 1

Breastfeeding, part 2

Breastfeeding, part 2