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It's 3am and the phone is ringing...

For most people, a phone call interupting a deep sleep usually triggers twinges of fear: Has there been an accident? Did a loved one die? For me, the early morning phone call usually indicates a busy - and at times bizarre - day is ahead.

Today, the phone call was from an assignment manager.  "Did you feel it?" she asked.  "Feel what?" I responded.  "The earthquake! There's been an earthquake in Sycamore and you need to head in that direction."  An hour later, photographer Pat Keating and I are on our way.

Most people might think a call like that is a prank. I did.  The first time it happened.  In April of 2008, I received the exact same phone call.  Same story, different location.  Five hours after that call I was in Salem, Illinois.  A 5.2 magnitude quake caused a few cracks in a couple of buildings.  That's when a guy on horseback rode through town.  He was a local character and about the most interesting thing to come out of our day downstate.  

Other tragedy and triviality that's led to the wake-up call from our newsroom: Lincoln Park porch collapse, E2 nightclub, two earthquakes, snow, rain, tornadoes, and a plane crash that wasn't.


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Congrats on getting the shot of the bull farm piece yesterday. One more off the list!

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