I walked back to my desk. That short trip turned my exhilaration to terror. What had I done? How would I feed my boys now? I must have had a peculiar look on my face because one of my colleagues, Denny, got up from his desk across the room and walked over to me.
He reached out and touched me on the arm. “Veronica, are you OK?”
My blank look prompted him to suggest we take a walk out to the parking lot. When I told him what happened, he said, “I can’t believe they’ll let you go. You’re a fine reporter. I bet Owen will think about this over the weekend and ask you to reconsider.”
Remembering how the incident went down, I simply shook my head, knowing otherwise. I had acted out of haste, but there was a considerable part of me that knew I couldn’t continue working the hours I did.
Another reporter, Gerry, who was in charge of the paper’s sports coverage, came out of the building and walked over to us. “Hey, guys…what’s going on?”
“Veronica quit,” Denny said.
Gerry shook his head in wonderment and then asked abruptly, “Do you have a job lined up?”
“No!” I answered. “I can’t believe that Owen reacted the way he did. I thought he would…well, it doesn’t matter what I thought. Now what am I going to do?”
Gerry smiled. “Hey, I’m president of the Valley Press Club. I just heard that a small newspaper in the San Fernando Valley is looking for an editor. Come back in the office and I’ll give you the number of the publisher.”
As luck would have it, I interviewed for that job the next week and was hired as editor-in-chief of The Tolucan, a community newspaper situated in the heart of Toluca Lake, a ritzy neighborhood in Los Angeles surrounded by NBC, Burbank, Walt Disney and Warner Bros. studios. Toluca Lake was the home of Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamoure, Andy Griffith, and members of John Wayne’s family. It’s greatest asset was Lakeside Country Club, a private golf Club located on the border of Toluca Lake and Burbank that drew movie stars, motion picture executives and sports celebrities.
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