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A Tale of Tears...

April 8, 2011 - Steve Schulwitz
Reporters are required from time to time to interview or interact with people while they are dealing with strong and powerful emotions. As a result I have seen more than my share of tears fall from the person or people involved in my reporting.

I have seen tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of laughter, tears from frustration or anger. I have also seen tears of remembrance.

I have seen a group of more than a dozen men's eyes swell up while remembering fallen comrades on Memorial Day. I have seen a mother's tears as she recollected about the birth of her children.

I have watched high school coaches cry, not because an important game was lost but because of the loss of the seniors from his squad, who will move beyond high school and away from their mentor's watchful eye.

I've seen tears of pride from couples in their golden years who reflect back on how and where they first met, were married, raised children.

I have seen tears of hate, pain, fear and honor.

I have seen tears of regret from criminals, as they ask for forgiveness in front of a judge before being taken to jail. I have also seen tears from a judge and jury, as a victim shares their story.

I have seen a black man cry as he explained to me the challenges he faced as the first black student at Alpena High School and how he was perceived in the community.

In more than one of these instances I have either had to fight back my own tears or turn my head and "adjust my glasses" to hide the tears that were about to overcome me.

It is because of all these tears that I tend to believe in today's world of mobile communication and social networking, people haven't lost their sense of passion, patriotism or pride.

It is nice to know most people haven't become numb to emotion, good or bad. I use these tears as motivation. To share the story each one of the tears tell and to stir the reader toward feeling the same emotion that came from the original source.

It is not that I want my readers to cry, feel guilt or get angry when they read. Instead I want them to think about the people I am featuring and appreciate the courage they had to share their stories and emotions on the front page for all to see.


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