My summer internship at The Ocala Star-Banner presented me with some pretty exciting assignments. One of which involved an Ocala horse farm, a hot air balloon and a dress from Macy’s New York. Intrigued yet? I was. Judy Greene, Ocala Life magazine editor and a top-notch graphic designer, offered me (a then features intern) and my co-worker Jessica a chance to model for a fashion spread in, you got it, the renowned Ocala Life fall edition. The 6 a.m. shooting allowed me my first ever balloon ride (although we never went higher than 20 feet) and countless times of running barefooted in a dewy field with a way too gleeful smile.
Snorkeling and turtle catching
The fun at the Star-Banner didn’t stop at a pro bono modeling gig, though. I jumped at a chance to write something for the metro section. This time the story entailed a scientific research crew studying turtles in the Rainbow River. I geared up in a wetsuit and flippers to snorkel with the scientists and college-aged volunteers. I watched their work firsthand and got back in time to write my front page (OK, local section’s front page) story.
My celebrity interview
It just so happens that my first pseudo-celebrity interview was Jared the Subway guy (and yes, he had his “before” pants with him). The article turned into a second-page police story, though, after UFPD officers arrested two anti-Subway protestors.Other “celebrities” I’ve interviewed include a character actress on the Disney show “That’s So Raven,” country singer Aaron Tippin and Rudolph Giuliani’s ex-wife and author of book, “My Boyfriend’s Back.” Reporters live such glamorous lives, don’t we?