Thursday, July 27, 2006

A good communist

This is from an interview with Ward Sloane, an "Evening News" producer in the Washington, D.C., bureau, CBS News.

"Who is the most fascinating person you've covered and who is the biggest jerk?

The biggest jerk I ever covered is almost any athlete I’ve tried to deal with. It’s why I try NOT to do baseball stories -- I love the game so much I don’t need to find out that the players are really nasty, mean, brutish millionaires who forget why they’re so rich. People I put in this category: Mark McGuire, David Cone and Tom Seaver. Oh and yes, Orioles fans, Brady Anderson.

The most fascinating person? That would be the mayor of a tiny town, called Kukes that sits on the Drin River, at the border of Albania and Kosovo. I forget his name, but I was there covering the Kosovo crisis in 1998. Thousands of Kosovars sought refuge from the Serbs in Albania, a poured into that small village. They came mostly on Ford tractors, with 10 people to a tractor. The town sits atop a long steep mountainous road, and has few resources. The square would fill up with hundreds and hundreds of refugees and a single bus would arrive to drive one load down to capital, Tirana. Whenever a bus pulled in, pandemonium took hold, a mass of people yelling, screaming crying, trying to keep touch with family members. In the midst of this, the mayor, who happened to be a communist, would calmly and politely get everyone in a line, and create order out of that chaos. It was fascinating. I will always remember watching him, and thinking, “Well, communism may be dead, but a good communist sure knows how to form a line.”
CBS News

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