A big check and ‘my photographer’

Published 8:20 pm Thursday, February 12, 2015

By Frank Roberts

The lottery and/or Publisher’s Clearing House will make you rich, rich, rich. But they are small potatoes. The big winner is yours truly.

It says so, right on the check I got in the mail recently. It says it can be cashed for over $968,999.00. Over? That’s what it says, so I might as well cash it in for an even trillion bucks.

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This over-generous prize money comes from Vertex Transport Service, so I hope they will “transport” the money to me. I can pay off my credit card.

I never heard of them, but who cares? My momma told me to never look a gift horse in the mouth (besides, that is so unsanitary).

Just to make things honest, they tell me the check is issued for the individual named…. Whoops! It’s in my wife’s name. I will give her a choice — me or the money. What?? Goodbye?

There are paragraphs on verification and authorization. It all looks so official. And they say that if anyone pretends to be the name on the check — but ain’t — Vertex might get nasty.

They are nice people, though — they even sent a return envelope. Anyway, I have to sign the form and, wouldn’t you know it, I ran out of pens.

Vertex works out of Fort Lauderdale. Makes me suspicious right there.

I think I’ll hold out for Publisher’s Clearing House. At least they give you some nice balloons with your winnings.

On the serious side — when you receive junk like this, if it comes in regular mail, rip it up; if it comes via email punch that delete button. Smart people already know all that, and you must be smart — otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this column.

I see where Sports Illustrated is ‘laying off’ its entire photographic staff. For years I worked with Mike Kestner at the Virginian-Pilot. He was a good friend, and a character.

He only got mad once, and that’s all it took. I had the habit of introducing him as “my photographer.” Whoa! He let the world know he was a photographer for the Pilot, not for me.

I also worked with J.T. McClenny. This is one of those “small-world” tales. We took our trio of kids to King’s Dominion, and my youngest, Jennifer, got lost. She wound up in an office set aside for such young’uns. Another little girl, the same age, Cherry, was waiting to be reclaimed by her daddy.

The kids got to talking, and it turned out that both had daddies working for the Pilot out of Suffolk.

During a 60-year career spanning newspapers, radio and television, Frank Roberts has been there and done that. Today, he’s doing it in retirement from North Carolina, but he continues to keep an eye set on Suffolk and an ear cocked on country music. Email him at froberts73@embarqmail.com.