As Tim and I wondered around aimlessly in Arlington, Texas at 2 a.m. last year, we just wanted to find our rental car. It was hours after the Eagles topped the Cowboys in overtime in the beginning of November, and only lamp posts lit the dark, empty streets.
After a random man pulled up in a silver Chevy, rolled down his front passenger window and yelled at us (“I’m Uber, get in!”), we realized our car had probably been towed.
The only open business was Walmart, which we were unusually excited about because they had an ATM. We were somewhat worried the towing company would only accept cash, so I withdrew $200. (Fun fact: If you withdraw hundreds of dollars from an ATM 1,500 miles from your home after midnight, you set off all kinds of fraudulent alarms).
Eventually, we found the car and Tim dropped $275 to get it out of the lot. It was an incredibly frustrating experience — our parking permit could still be seen on the dash when we picked up the car — and I was already typing up drafts of my Twitter rant. (Thankfully, Tim advised against it.)
But somehow, I look back at that experience and smile.
Why? It was just another day in the journey Tim and I went on last year — as he continued to elevate Birds 24/7 and I tried to not screw it up too bad — and I loved the hell out of every one of those days. Even in annoying instances like that night in Arlington, things were always fun with Tim. It’d be a waste to only focus this space on how good of a writer he is, because that’d take away from spotlighting what kind of guy he is.
I couldn’t have learned under a better person as I started my journalism career, both as an intern and as a coworker. He taught me the work ethic and standards it takes to not just be one of the best writers, but to also be one of the most well-respected reporters. Sheil said it best last year, and it bears repeating: When T-Mac hints at something, you can take it to the bank.
Because of the work Tim and Sheil put in here, Birds 24/7 is in a great position to continue to thrive; and because Brandon Lee Gowton will be my new partner, we have everything we need to follow through on that. Our editorial mission will remain the same, and our staples won’t change. But Brandon will help us add to our coverage, and we’ll only get stronger because of how thoughtful and knowledgable he is. He’s done a terrific job of building Bleeding Green Nation, and while he’s understanding and respectful of the Birds 24/7 brand, he will help us grow even more.
On both a personal and professional level, I’m extremely excited to get started with Brandon. His first day will be September 6.