as a way to share more information about the people who bring you the news every day. Next up is reporter Rick Wells. Rick has a knack for finding and telling unforgettable stories.
1. What was your first job in television news?
I was a writer and producer at WRC-TV in Washington DC. I wasn't your typical young producer – rather, I was a 34-year-old former U.S. Army Major working with mainly 20-somethings – but regardless, it was a terrific job. WRC was an NBC-owned station so we shared a newsroom with the NBC Capitol Bureau in DC. It was very exciting; I was working the day they staged a parade for the Iran hostages after they were released. The day President Reagan was shot, I was on the job. I got a late-night tour of the White House from one of the press corps. The place was empty except for Secret Service. The Oval Office really is oval.
Stuff like that was AWESOME! But after a while, I grew tired of writing words for other people to read, so I began looking for my second job in TV news which brought me to Oklahoma after a stop in Texas.
2. You have 15 minutes of free time, what do you do?
I'd spend it with my wife – just talking about nothing. But she works many more hours a week than I do – so I'd probably end up spending those 15 minutes on the deck, smoking a cigar and petting Dottie Hinson, the Cocker-Shih Tzu mix (who's named after Geena Davis' character in “A League of Their Own”) we adopted from the Animal Rescue Foundation four years ago.
3. What's in the console of your car?
Well, I drive a Ford F-150, so the console is big enough for a small child's playroom. No bunk beds, but everything else. Head phones, earbuds, coins, pens, pencils, notebooks, a couple of CDs I can't remember why I bought (does anyone buy CDs anymore?), Advil, Kleenex, napkins, insurance forms, receipts, gum, breath mints, two counterfeit tickets to the Red River Shoot-Out that my wife and I bought from a guy on a bicycle who set up shop outside of the Cotton Bowl in 2005, my health club membership card, lip balm, and way down in the bottom, I found a baseball. Heard enough? Go look in your console.
4. What's your hidden talent?
Wow, that's a hard one. I've been in Tulsa 25 years, so I feel like nothing's “hidden” anymore. I was president of the mixed chorus in high school, and my wife says I still have great pipes. My son and wife both think I could grill or smoke a carpet and make it taste like filet mignon. Something not many folks know is that I've taught Sunday School for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders for the past decade or so – and seem to have a knack for connecting with these kiddos on their level. Go figure?
5. What was your high school mascot?
This is mildly interesting. I just checked with my brother and our alma mater changed its mascot just this year. Lamar High School in Houston opened in 1936, and from then until this summer, the mascot was the Redskins. When I was there we had a rather large fiberglass figure of an Indian in some sort of war dance pose we used to haul around in the back of a pickup truck. Not very menacing, but neither were we as I recall. Anyway, this summer the school changed to the "Texans". Interesting that 500+ miles south of here, they no longer use Redskins as a sports mascot, yet we still do here.
6. How would you describe Tulsa to someone who's never been here?
First of all, if you ever come here try to ignore the roads. The city's trying, but it's a big problem. The front-end alignment business is booming! But seriously, Tulsa has a wonderful small town feel, with a big city vibe that is really exciting. We have terrific, locally-owned restaurants (try Juniper, The Polo Grill, even Weber's), great museums and activities for nearly everyone. I've never been shy about inviting friends or relatives to "come see us.”