Exiting the News Business–Here Come the Alpacas!


Tom Greets Thelma Lou (Cosette) the first birth he ever sawTom and I have been pursuing his dream of making the broadcasting big time ever since we married. I left my job freelancing with, as they say, a major network and followed him to the hinterlands of Tennessee where he had landed a position with the local radio station. My friends thought I was nuts. Come to think of it, they think I’m nuts going into the alpaca business.

Maybe they were right. Most broadcasters tend to pull up roots every 2-3 years. Even if you are good at what you do, you don’t necessarily advance at your station and you don’t even necessarily keep the job you have.

We moved because: There was a job with more potential, a news director found out he was talking to other stations and fired him, his brother on the other side of the country became very sick, he had the opportunity to be a news director, the station he was at was financially unsound, he found a better position, he found a better position just as he figured out his station was going to have to let someone else go (and probably kept someone else employed), and because the station that had him move across the country decided for financial reasons they were going to eliminate some positions and, last hired, first fired.

OK, enough is enough already. As someone who still jumps up when she hears a siren, I understand how hard it is to stop and do something else. I left because we were blessed with a son (who is now 20 and still a blessing.) It was all I could do after covering things like the Air Florida crash in Washington, D. C. and Congress–including the Capitol bombing, the Reagan administration, and the Williamsburg  Summit of Economic Nations, to keep from scooping the baby up and reporting on forest fires and a big apartment fire when he was just months old.

My spouse suggested that maybe babies shouldn’t go to burning things, but that didn’t keep me from a burst dam and a nuclear reactor closing. (If you leaned over, you could see the rods in the crystal clear water. My now four-year-old thought being tested for radioactivity before we left was cool.)

I finally figured out I had to become a responsible mother and stop having him read under the desk while I was broadcasting and off to school he went. I did the room mother thing, the class trip thing, the take him to practice thing, the take him to play rehearsal thing.

Now it’s my turn. At first the husband balked big time when I mentioned alpacas. I convinced him to visit a couple of farms/ranches with me and he could see how taken I was with these critters. He loves me and then we bought three to agist and the seed was planted deeper. Can you tell he likes then a bit more now. Cosette, seen in these photos, belongs to Fox Run Suri Alpacas and is the first living creature Tom ever saw born.

Tom greets Thelma Lou (Cosette)

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