Notebooks and nonsense | VailDaily.com
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Notebooks and nonsense

Follow that Taxi

Local taxi driver Terry O’Brien launched into his 15 minutes of fame when he picked up Kobe Bryant’s three bodyguards at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera and hauled them to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. O’Brien picked up Bryant, who was there to provide DNA samples, and took them to Glenwood’s Hotel Colorado, where they slipped in the back door.

When the first media reports hit, O’Brien was swamped with interview requests.



Finally, a press conference sort of spontaneously materialized, but apparently no one bothered to tell O’Brien. He didn’t show up.

That didn’t stop enterprising journalists, conspiracy theorists and grassy knoll people from looking for O’Brien behind every corner in the Vail Transportation Center.



The whole circus became a clown show when reporters convinced one another that Fox News had stashed O’Brien in their truck for a private interview.

When the Fox truck pulled away, a herd of reporters followed it, creating the same sort of comic relief we’ve come to enjoy in Roadrunner cartoons.

O’Brien, by the way, wasn’t in the Fox truck, either.



Tips for a tip

A West Coast reporter checked into the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, looking for information – tips, is what highly trained professional journalists call it.

Tips, in a different vernacular, is what wait staff and bellmen live on, and the intrepid reporter stiffed his bellman.

Not a wise use of the operative version of the term “tip,” especially for someone looking for looking for the kinds of tips by which highly trained professional journalists make their livings.

The Doctor was in, both times

Hunter S. Thompson was in the Watergate Hotel the night of the break-in, hanging out in the bar with then-Nixon speechwriter Patrick Buchanan (some say he was being diverted). As it turns out, The Doctor was recovering from back surgery at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic when Kobe Bryant came through for knee surgery.

The man has amazing location karma.

While we’re in Thompson Land, The Doctor says he received two death threats over the telephone. Because his phone has caller I.D., and because the callers apparently are in no danger of being snapped up for a Rhodes Scholarship any time soon, the calls were easily traced to – Thompson says – the managing editor’s desk at the Aspen Daily News.

Thompson and his new wife were not amused.

Dubya did better

There aren’t this many television cameras and trucks covering a presidential event, which makes no sense. With the Lakers getting bounced from the playoffs and President Dubya cracking open a can of whupass in Iraq, the president had a better year.

Still, some folks have their priorities straight. One talking head was bumped from a quickie segment on Fox News because the president’s speech had to be translated into Italian and ran longer than they thought it would.

I wonder if Kobe, whose dad was a professional basketball player in Europe and is said to speak Italian, could have translated it any more quickly?

They look like money

Locals are nothing if not enterprising in trying to drum up business from journalists in town to cover developments in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case.

At a Texaco convenience store packed with teens, the case has

generated conversation. One teen said he planned to sell his high school yearbook containing the alleged victim’s photo to a reporter.

Dozens of journalists from around the country have streamed through the street where the woman lives with her parents.

Television satellite trucks are parked outside the Eagle County Justice Center, which houses both the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office. It’s not unusual for local kids to walk over and ask for work.

Some reporters and camera crew members sat in camp chairs in the few spots of shade on the Justice Center’s lawn.

The manager of a Mexican food restaurant tried to drum up business by

giving out coupons to them. Some stopped to play with his Chihuahua.

Pedro Maldonado, a waiter and bartender at the restaurant, said the

economy of the town revolves around tourism and that the captive audience

has helped business.

“”You can never have too many tourists,” he said.

All about Bryant

Janelle Medina is causing a stir as she tools about in her maroon Subaru Legacy sedan, windows painted with the phrases: “”8 Lakers!!” and “”Kobe is innocent.”

Medina, 19, is one of many young adults who have been asked repeatedly

about Kobe Bryant and the young woman who has accused the Los Angeles

Lakers star of sexual assault.

“”People think they’re going to sit around and voice their opinions. Well

I’m going to voice my opinions, too, on my car,” Medina said.


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